In his new weekly column, Android Central Senior Content Producer Nick Sutrich delves into all things VR, from new hardware to new games, upcoming technologies, and so much more.
Somedays, you wake up and just want to be a warhammer-wielding Dwarf. It's a weird fantasy, I know, but it's one that seems to burn deep inside many a geek like myself, considering the immense popularity of Dungeons & Dragons these days.
That's why I love games like Dungeons of Eternity and Demeo, two of the best Quest games around that funnel D&D lore and style in two completely different ways. In fact, Dungeons of Eternity isn't even out yet, but it'll be available on October 5, likely just before the Meta Quest 3 launches.
The game puts three human players in randomly generated dungeons on a quest to raid all the loot they can find, hunt for crystals while battling spirit bosses, or partner up with Death himself to reclaim the souls of the undead.
Meanwhile, fan-favorite Demeo just got a huge new update that enables both hand-tracking support and better mixed reality support. That builds upon the mixed reality support the game launched last year and allows you and three of your friends to play a virtual D&D-like board game at a real table together.
Dungeons of Eternity
Dungeons of Eternity has quickly become one of my favorite VR multiplayer games of all time. I say this without an ounce of hyperbole, as I know the VR community is tired of the hype that so many unwarranted games and announcements receive.
Simply put, Dungeons of Eternity is the multiplayer fantasy roguelike I've been waiting years for, and it's about time someone finally nailed the formula.
Players can band together in groups of three and will begin in the traditional hub area of a roguelike game. Here, players can upgrade their characters, craft items, change up weapons and armor, and otherwise just have a go at perfecting their skills — either social or physical.
A giant holographic table sits at the center of the hub and guides players to their next mission, giving around a dozen options for venturing out into the unknown. The game's theme is rather unexpected and blends sci-fi with fantasy. Each dungeon run warps players to a planet called Eternity, which is filled to the brim with never-ending dungeons and heinous monsters.
But, for me, it's not the puzzles or the environments that make the game shine. It's the combat.
I'm not sure I can think of another VR game that made me feel as badass as Dungeons of Eternity. In the press build I've been playing, my character started off with a sword on my left hip, an axe on my right hip, and a bow on my back. Being able to effortlessly combine attacks from all three of these weapons is beyond stunning and feels like nothing I've ever played.
Take a scenario you'll doubtless come across many times throughout your travels in the game where you're approached by half a dozen hostile skeletons and undead creatures, not to mention the giant hornets or low-crawling scorpions in the room. In any given one of these scenarios, I always begin by grabbing the axe and throwing it as hard as I can at a remote enemy, followed by a barrage of arrows let loose from my bow.
After shooting a few arrows, I typically reach for my axe once again — a mechanic that's possible since it comes back after being thrown, Mjöllnir-style. Once enemies get into close range, the next level of combat begins with the sword. No other game in VR with hoards of enemies has sword combat this good. None. Period.
Watching enemies parry your attacks in real-time while you swiftly try to evade or parry their attacks is a visceral feeling I haven't experienced since the original Gears of War introduced gritty combat to flat-screen gaming. If you were around as a gamer in those days, you'll understand what I'm talking about.
The way weapons connect in this game is an unparalleled feeling. The weight of each is perfect, and none of them feels floaty or too "heavy" the way some other physics-based VR action games tend to incorporate into the mechanics. It's really unbelievable, and it makes me want to keep playing over and over again.
And don't get me started on the first time I got to wield a gravity staff. Grabbing enemies with a magic beam and launching them into other enemies — all while these physics are properly networked across all players' headsets — is an incredible sight to behold.
Plus, there's just something special about exploring places with friends. I have no idea why more roguelikes don't employ multiplayer because it would make them immensely better games, but, alas, that's one of the things that makes Dungeons of Eternity so unique. Three-player co-op multiplayer.
Each mission takes place in one of four environments and across one of three gameplay modes. Loot is random, and players will constantly find something new in every run. Developer Othergate says it'll take about 50 hours to find and unlock everything.
Visually, the game is quite excellent looking on current Quest 2 hardware and even has an option for Quest 3 graphics enhancements in the settings menu. I cannot wait to see how that changes things.
I'm looking forward to playing this game for months, exploring every nook and cranny of every randomly-generated dungeon, and getting my character upgraded for bigger and badder enemies. In fact, there are 20 different enemy types and 80+ variations of these enemies in total, with more being planned for after release.
That progression system is also incredibly important to keep me coming back for more, and it proves even more how well-executed this game is compared to most VR games right now.
Delve dungeons deep with two of your best buddies to collect loot, level up your character, and weave plenty of your own tales in this incredible co-op roguelike.
Preorder now at Quest store
Demeo gets real
Demeo has been one of my favorite VR games ever since its release and the game has only gotten better with time. In addition to new campaigns and hero units to play as developer Resolution Games has regularly upgraded the game's feature set. Whether that's allowing players to enjoy the game on traditional flat screens or enhancing the social aspects of the game, Resolution is always doing something new.
This time around, Resolution Games improved the mixed-reality gameplay by adding posters and other environmental objects that adorn your real walls while playing. Players in the same room will now also see each other in the proper space they're actually sitting in, a feature known as co-location.
This means that four people can actually sit at the same table and play Demeo together as if it were a proper board game since the mixed-reality feature anchors the Demeo game board to a real surface.
I marveled at this concept last year and it's only further enhanced by the fact that you no longer need controllers to play — you can just use your hands. Thanks to the latest Hand Tracking 2.2 update, this actually works and feels great to play. There's nothing quite like picking up your virtual playpiece character and moving it around an actual (virtual) board while rolling actual virtual dice with those same hands.
Granted, I wouldn't recommend this feature with a Quest 2 since the Quest 2's passthrough is so low quality. Instead, it's pretty clear Resolution Games has designed this feature with the Quest 3 in mind, although it works very nicely on a Quest Pro, as well.
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Hell yeah! Who wants to be stuck around a table with your friends drinking beer, eating pizza and rolling dice when you could be alone wearing a Zuck helmet?AC News said:New games like Dungeons of Eternity and fresh updates from solid titles like Demeo prove that VR is the best place to be for D&D fans.
I can't get enough of D&D in VR, and I bet you can't either : Read more