Monday, April 11, 2022

"In Death" do us VR

I love playing VR games, and I love playing GOOD VR games even more. My son got an Oculus Quest 2 for Christmas, and it's been a lot of experimentation with what's out there on the Oculus store. I haven't really written about any of the VR games I've been playing for some reason, but I've finally been playing a game that has me solidly hooked, and that game is "In Death: Unchained."

In Death Unchained is all about traversing a procedurally generated dungeon and shooting things with a bow and arrow.  In fact, movement is even accomplished with the bow. With the press of a button your regular arrows turn into glowing movement arrows, which can allow for a lot of sneaking around and gaining crazy vantage points to shoot down and surprise your enemies. It can also allow for a lot of OH CRAP moments when you accidentally shoot a movement arrow into your enemy instead of a regular arrow. Yeah, it's happened. *sheepish grin*

Snipe a knight!

In Death: Unchained is also a 6 Degrees of Freedom (6DoF) VR game, meaning you can dodge your enemy's attacks by moving around, or shooting around a corner. It is incredibly cool to get into a shoot out with the Bow Monks and you're ducking for cover to escape their arrows and trying to time your shots. 

The Oculus Quest 2 excels at these types of games. Why? Because it is simply the best VR system out there to date right now.  It's 1- relatively affordable, 2- has no wires (thus the "unchained" in its title as the original In Death game on Steam didn't have this luxury), 3- has no dirty earbuds to mess with, 4- excellent boundary drawing tools for creating your play space. Granted, the only VR system I played before this was the PS4, but it's hands down a better experience all around.

If you managed to descend far enough into In Death, you'll find portals to more challenging content than what you'll find in the initial castle crawl. There are truly terrifying specters that don't seem to die unless you hit an arrow directly in their hearts while they are within a close range. Demons that chuck fireballs. Skeletal archers with deadly aim. Bosses with tons of hit points surrounded by swarms of undead. etc. etc.

Time to dodge a fireball from a portly demon

It's terrifying and fun at the same time. A couple days ago I actually ran forward out of fear when a couple of skeletal archers found me and almost knocked my desk over. I really really wish I would have been recording. It was hilarious. I saw myself exit the game boundary I had drawn and actually crashed into my computer desk. (When you go out of your boundary, you see your surroundings in Black and White, so watching my desk almost dump over was pretty funny.) The skeletons made quick work of me despite my efforts. I was giggling too hard.

There are a few other modes in the game, but currently I'm enjoying running the Purgatory dungeons. The Tower Defense mode is good, although very stationary. The more action-packed Desolation Mode is much more fast-paced with less sneaking around and more mass target practice.

Good times await!

. . . and I haven't even tried using the crossbow yet . . . I'm having too much fun with the bow mechanics only possible with a two-hand controller system like the Quest 2.

All in all, I have to say this was the best purchase I've made on the Quest 2 to date. Hopefully someday I'll actually be able to survive when delving deep into the dungeons, but for now I'm just having fun trying to stay alive.

Happy Dueling!  

Monday, April 4, 2022

Spiritcaller, Icywiz, and Stingite vs. New World

Imagine my happiness and surprise when I saw my good friends Steven Spiritcaller and Icywiz (of Spiral Radio fame) streaming some New World!  Also imagine the good fortune of them playing on the exact server I had already started playing on before my friend lost interest in the game.  Awesome!

Before you knew it, I was logged on and hanging out with 'em like we were the three musketeers.

It's a brave New World, friends!

The only bad thing here is that they have awesome colonial names and I'm "Stingite." waaaa waaaaaaa! Yeah, Name change isn't a thing in New World, but perhaps someday I can match the awesome names of Eudoria Wells and Ewan Hardcastle . . . get on that Amazon! *snaps fingers to encourage haste*

The main reasons my friend, Tess, stopped playing New World seems to be lack of variety in quests and the projected disappointment when there was to be an eventual lack of content at high level. 

That's it . . . that's all there is . . .

That's fair. While the lack of content at high level will most likely be addressed in the future, I doubt the treadmill to get there will be changed. It all has a kind of LOTRO vibe about it where you kill wolves, then more wolves, then bigger badder wolves, then the biggest of baddest wolves, and then the epic of the biggest badder wolves.  At least that's how it feels in the beginning of the game. Some don't mind, and some would rather kill crazy looking varied creatures. *shrug*

I will say that following the main quest line has run us into some pretty awesome undead, and perhaps that is what was missing for my friend. If you stick in one area and just do the city quests and faction quests, well, it can all get pretty same-y pretty quickly.

The great thing about last weekend was that it was double xp and double weapon xp! 


With that, it wasn't much work for me to advance from level 18 to level 24 with only moderate play time. I was also able to unlock a penultimate skill with my firestaff that slaps down a rune underneath me that increases my damage by 25%. 


Rumor has it that Steven and Icy will be continuing their journeys in New World throughout the week, but I also hear they're feeling the pull of ARK as well.  I'm just happy I was able to play with my old friends again.

Happy Dueling!