Hands-on: Crytek’s ‘The Climb’ with Oculus Touch Feels Like an Entirely New Experience


The Climb is a climbing simulator game from Crytek designed for the Oculus Rift. Originally premiering in April using the Xbox controller, The Climb is getting an update to work with Oculus Touch, the company’s yet released hand controller.

From the start, it surprised us to find that The Climb would launch ahead of the Oculus Touch controller—after all, it seemed like a perfect fit. Somewhat unexpectedly, it actually worked pretty well with the motion-less gamepad (our review here). Even so, it seems as if eventually adding support for VR motion controllers was the developer’s long-game from the start, as using the Touch version of The Climb felt profoundly different.


Traversing the mountain face was easy, and while it left my arms tired (as I was constantly grasping for handholds) the results are so much more satisfying when you’re mimicking the movements of reaching and grabbing, instead of craftily manipulating a gamepad and craning your neck for purchase.

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Moving your arms to reach for a new grip changes your point of view in the direction of the next hand hold, so even though your head is fairly immobile, you feel like you’re traveling left, right, up or down depending on your chosen direction. While this doesn’t sound technically appealing (any undue movement is usually a bad thing in VR), it felt more like I was pulling the world with me, and that I had a tight control over my locomotion even if it was exaggerated to help me move from handhold to handhold. Even making a risky jump to a next handhold felt like a natural movement, if only because I was engaging more with the physicality of the game than I would have otherwise.

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There’s only a minimal auto-locking mechanic for when you get close to your target handholds, but you’re expected to really stretch and work for the next move despite this. I know the content of the game hasn’t changed at all, but with the addition of Touch support, I really want back into my copy of The Climb for an extended session, because from what I saw today, it feels like an entirely new experience.

The update to add support for Oculus Touch to The Climb will come at the same time that Touch launches, which the company has only confirmed will be before the end of 2016..

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • J.C.

    Cool. When the oculus store adds native support for the Vive, I’ll happily buy this.

  • Sebastien Mathieu

    Yep, Yep and Yep!!!

  • Graham J ⭐️

    So it was like playing a Vive version of the game. Cool!

    • PrymeFactor

      Yeah, playing Knack was exactly like playing Uncharted 4 since they use the same controllers.

      Still can’t believe grown adults would troll over VR HMDs.

      • You overestimate adults. Have you not been following the elections?

  • James Friedman

    Yeah this was one reason why I had zero intention of purchasing this game. I’m holding off till the touch controller finally make it to market

  • Liam Mulligan

    The fact that this was ever released on a gamepad was ridiculous. This game has so much potential and it made me angry when I saw it was the case. Gamepad VR can take a walk. Finally someone got a bright idea. Will buy if it comes to vive.

    • Brym

      It’s my favorite and most-played VR game over the course of the 3.5 months I’ve had my Rift, so I’m glad they released with gamepads.

    • Steve Dennis

      Gamepad version is easily my #1 VR game right now. You can get angry all you want, but they shouldn’t withhold something from people who might like it because you don’t.

      • Ned Hoon

        Im with Steve on this one took the words right outta my mouth.

    • PrymeFactor

      Gamepad version works well.

      I’m sure an angry young person on reddit told you VR wasn’t fun without motion controllers and ‘roomscale’, but people are enjoying this just fine.

    • Veraxus

      The gamepad version is actually pretty good. It’s certainly not worth more than $30, but it’s a solid VR game and the controls work surprisingly well.

  • Doctor Bambi

    Awesome, it looks like Crytek really nailed Touch support. Got to try the Climb at an Oculus demo and was really impressed by how quickly it drew me in, just using my head and a controller. Looks like short play sessions/ showing to friends and family will be great with Touch. Where as longer/ more competitive playthougths would be better with a controller. It’ll be nice to have both options.

    • Yes, I am a outdoor enthusiasts.When it rains or is too tired, I can play the game to experience mountain climbing.

  • RavnosCC

    I guess no news on when Oculus (home) exclusivity will end then?

  • MacGoose

    Is it just me or are the VR community filled with Vive owners degrading the Rift because they cannot play the games that are exclusive to it? And they mostly do it with stating that the game would be so much better on the Vive if it was released for it?

    • DM

      Seems that way to me certainly. IMO they should have just bought a Rift in the first place, or maybe we should take it as a sign that Oculus has a better gaming catalog than the Vive and it’s gonna be worth the wait for Touch.