Meta Releases ‘Citadel’ Co-op VR Adventure, Its Second Marquee Title in ‘Horizon Worlds’


In late July, Meta introduced a hero shooter called Super Rumble’ to Horizon Worlds, aiming to improve user retention on its social VR platform with the promise of higher quality first-party content. Now Meta released its second big anchor minigame on Horizon Worlds, a co-op adventure game called ‘Citadel’.

Citadel is what Meta calls a “rogue-lite action-adventure puzzle platformer FPS,” offering up both solo and co-op play.

Here’s how Meta describes the action:

Combining combat, puzzle-solving, and skillful gameplay, each room in Citadel gives players a new challenge to overcome. With numerous hidden secrets to uncover across 30 rooms, Citadel offers a wealth of content to explore. And after completing the game in Casual mode, those up for an additional challenge can take on Veteran mode for an even greater sense of achievement (and additional bragging rights).

As you infiltrate the citadel, find hidden relics, and eliminate enemy forces, you’ll unlock weapons and rewards and earn credit to buy new armor with unique stats to upgrade your hit points, number of lives, and speed. Mix and match helmets and torso armors at will to fully customize your gameplay experience.

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Stocking Horizon Worlds with higher quality content has only been one piece of Meta’s user retention puzzle. Back in April, the company announced it was set to officially open the platform to kids ages 13+. Meta has also recently begun a closed beta for Android users, opening the platform to non-VR devices for the first time.

The company says it’s hoping to open Horizon Worlds to iOS devices and standard web browsers too at some point, which could help the platform gain greater traction amid some already fairly fierce competition. This comes as Meta opened Quest up the online gaming powerhouse Roblox, joining popular social VR platforms Rec Room, VRChat, and Gym Class on the Quest platform.

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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.
  • gothicvillas

    They are trying to copy Rec Room quests but kinda failing imo. As much as I dislike Rec Room, their quests were actually pretty decent levels and have played them through a few times with my spouse. But this (Citadel) just doesnt do the same. It looks way less attractive somehow. I honestly think, this all Horizon stuff is waste of time and effort for Meta.
    All you need is visit Horizon Worlds once and never come back. Their SS style community admins walking around is super creepy.

    • ViRGiN

      Let’s stop innovating and everyone should just switch to vrchat and go back to steamvr.

      • Arno van Wingerde

        Or… let’s try and see if we can get at least halfway decent games instead of aiming at crack-addicted toddlers?

        • ViRGiN

          What game you would like to see released in vr?

          • kakek

            Strange question.

            There’s been a quite a few decent games. Even on quest. Do you want us to list every games we liked ?
            We would all love games with real, full length content, story, setting, good pacing. and a bit more mature design.
            This is pure, unadultered shit, full of flashy colors. It’s aimed at kids with ADHD.

            Even with the quest limitation taken in account, this is bad.

      • kakek

        Where’s the innovation in that though ?
        They are strugling to just copy what recroom did in their own proprietary plateform.

    • scottosaur

      I was inclined to agree, but these last couple “premium” releases for Worlds are at least making me willing to keep an eye on it. They’re both pretty generic and bland, but they at least look “okay” which is a big step forward. The earlier Worlds content has been awful. It looks worse than Second Life did 10-15 years ago, had terrible performance, and no community or “point.” These newer releases at least LOOK better than Rec Room or Roblox, which is a start.

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        I guess that is a fair evaluation. But at the same time that’s setting the bar extremely low, when “generic and bland” “premium” releases looking “okay” is a big step forward, because the previous attempts were “awful” and looked worse than competitors decades ago. It’s like winning only because all competitors dropped out due to food poisoning or suicide.

        It’s especially horrible considering that Zuckerberg is basically betting the company on the metaverse and the insane piles of money they are burning over there at Meta Reality Labs. It is a start, but almost ten years after the largest social network bought the most prominent VR startup for USD 2bn this being the state they managed to achieve IMHO screams that they are doing something very fundamentally wrong.

        Best guess is “too much money” plus “lack of vision” equals “running in circles” and “getting nowhere fast”. I just looked at a couple of (videos of) Roblox VR games, most of which look very primitive, though still better than most apps on App Lab, with some featuring unexpectedly impressive graphics. But more important is that they all feel a lot more alive, with things happening in the world, while Horizon Worlds feels like mostly static locations with very limited interaction. The cause for this would be that Roblox focused on making it easy to implement mechanics instead of making it pretty.

        Compared to that Meta’s main priority seems to have been that the avatars look decent for user interactions, with everything else afterthought, leading to the (currently publicly) available tools being clumsy 3D tools and a visual programming language that make it very cumbersome to create anything interesting. Super Rumble/Citadel are the first to use imported assets and TypeScript.

        There never was a sufficiently existential need to make sure Horizon Worlds actually works and makes sense for users. In a case of doubt they could simply scrap it again, like several other social VR attempts before. That’s the same reason why sometimes indie titles that were forced to focus on just one thing due to a lack of resources result in a much better experience than very expensive and pretty, but ultimately hollow projects. So while Citadel may be a start and an improvement, I’m not yet convinced that Meta even knows how to consistently move in the right direction.

  • Iggy Pop

    Wow looks fun for 12 year olds

  • CrusaderCaracal

    Cool so it’s like rec room but blatantly ripped off and if instead of reporting people through a report system you can tattle to one of the many Gespato-esque virtual mods lingering around like narcs.