Asgard's Wrath brings fantasy melee dismemberment to VR

The fine print admits "some simulated gameplay," but the Asgard's Wrath trailer above at least establishes a goal: VR hacking, slashing, and magicking that separates monster heads from monster bodies. The Oculus Rift game is coming later this year from Sanzaru Games and Oculus Studios, and will swap us between god perspective—the glowing hand in the trailer, I presume—and first-person, mortal combat as we prove ourselves to Loki, who definitely will not trick us or anything.

"One of my favorite things to do in-game is to use a shield to 'catch' thrown enemy weapons like daggers, yank them out, and throw them right back," writes Oculus Studios executive producer Mike Doran. "Another great moment is swinging your weapon to knock decapitated monster heads through the air. Physics, time dilation, dismemberment, ragdoll, and a ton of tuning and polish come together to complete the core foundation of our combat."

Rather than being a "physics sandbox," says Doran, Asgard's Wrath is designed around "a melee fighting system that leverages physics and is supported by game rules that demand—and reward—playing with skill." And when not decapitating things, we'll "swap between the god and mortal hero forms to solve puzzles and overcome challenges to advance through the world," he writes.

There's an asynchronous multiplayer feature, too, as well as "a heavy helping of RPG elements"—so, a lot of things. I'm mostly interested in how Sanzaru handles movement, and how the 'force' of parries and blocks is animated, whether it feels natural despite the lack of real resistance as I swing my arms around. Doran says that more reveals are ahead as Asgard's Wrath is demoed at events this year. Like all VR games, it's one I want to play before I come to any conclusions, but those flying monster parts do look nice enough. 

Asgard's Wrath will release for the Oculus Rift in 2019. You can find more in Oculus' blog post, as well as the Discord channel.

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.