Oculus Unveils Viking Melee Adventure ‘Asgard’s Wrath’ for Rift, Trailer Here

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Wondering what Oculus and Sanzaru Games were hiding when they teased their next Rift exclusive a few days ago? Well, now we know: it’s called Asgard’s Wrath, and it’s poised to toss you head-over-heels into a Norse-inspired world of melee combat, monstrous fiends, and plenty of reasons to keep your playspace clear.

Asgard’s Wrath prominently features first-person, physics-based melee combat, which includes a fighting system that rewards skillful kills.

According to Mike Doran, an executive producer at Oculus Studios, you can’t just swing wildly to be successful though, instead requiring a skillful touch to slay more powerful enemies.

“That might work against some lesser enemies, but eventually you’re going to get your butt handed to you that way,” Doran says.

Image courtesy Oculus, Sanzaru Games

Asgard’s Wrath apparently features serious opportunities for some gruesome enemy dismemberment too, replete with ragdoll physics and time dilation—something fans of Early Access combat sandbox Blades & Sorcery should be well familiar with.

“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. Another great moment is swinging your weapon to knock decapitated monster heads through the air.”

Image courtesy Oculus, Sanzaru Games

It’s more than a first-person physic sandbox though, the studio explains. During crucial moments, you can physically shift scale and swap between human and god modes, letting you solve puzzles and “overcome challenges to advance through the world.”

Although that last part isn’t entirely clear yet, from the trailer it seems you can turn hapless animals into beasts that fight on your behalf. This might be what the studio is referring to when it says the title features “a heavy helping of RPG elements.”

Doran continues:

Way back when we first started prototyping this game, the player was always at god-scale. Eventually, we added a mortal hero to mix things up and give the player something to protect and support. Sanzaru then had the breakthrough idea to let players swap back and forth between God and hero, which really opened up the game’s potential to become far more expansive than we had originally envisioned. Add in quests/sidequests/a bunch of other metagame loops, and the action adventure that you see today was finally realized.

Image courtesy Oculus, Sanzaru Games

The game’s story takes you to the twilight of the Norse gods. As a new fledgling god on the scene you’re thrust into an encounter with Loki, who then tasks you with proving your worthiness before you can be given true godhood. Through standalone scenarios—called ‘Sagas’—you use your powers to help the world’s mortal heroes on their path to fulfill their destinies.

These mortal heroes each have their own load-outs and unique gameplay mechanics; in images and the trailer (linked above and below) we’ve seen single-handed swords, axes, shields, and some sort of ethereal dagger-nunchuk.

Oculus says there will also be the ability to augment combat via crafting, disposable weapons, elemental traits, and more.

Image courtesy Oculus, Sanzaru Games

The game aims to incentivize players to return to previously explored areas as you unlock new abilities that then open up more of the world. The game is also promising some form of asynchronous multiplayer, although the studios are staying tight-lipped for now.

Asgard’s Wrath is the result of multiple years of work, and is said to provide over 30 hours of gameplay. Sanzaru, which developed Marvel Powers United VR (2018) and VR Sports Challenge (2016), calls it their “deepest title yet.”

Asgard’s Wrath is slated to release sometime in 2019. The title will be debuting at GDC 2019, which takes place between March 18th – 22nd in San Francisco.

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  • MosBen

    Sounds interesting. I hope that there’s an easy mode. I don’t care about developing extreme viking fighting skills. I actually gave Creed: Rise to Glory a try the other day, and I’m not sure if I’ll go back to it much because it seemed more difficult than fun. Granted, I just jumped right into a fight, so maybe the tutorials would give me a better start. That said, one issue that I’ll be interested to see get worked through as VR progresses is how much physical exertion/skill is required. I like that games like Beat Saber can get my heart rate up a bit, and even with less intense games I like that I’m moving around instead of just sitting on a couch. But, on the other hand, I’m not enthusiastic about games that rely on physical skill even to play at lower levels.

  • Jarom Madsen

    Looks compelling! As usual I have my reservations about physical combat games and their solution to the zero-mass problem. 0:51 is the only real demonstration it shows. The glowing sword indicating a strike is a nice touch and I’d guess that there’s ragdoll physics when you’re not supposed to penetrate armor but mostly it looks like it’s a slaughter fest with a lot of feedback to imitate mass. We’ll see.

    Guessing it’s going to be at least a $40 game per the usual, but there looks to be a good amount of content for once.

  • sfmike

    Are you forced to be a woman again? I really like a choice.

    • dk

      if they don’t give u a choice …u should be at least able to see your boobs ….and jiggle them by jumping :P

    • Joshwa Sanders

      What about the 1,732,189 video games that force you to play as a man?

      You’ll be okay.

      • ds

        Ahh the double standard of the industry. I miss the industry from 15 years ago.

        • impurekind

          See my reply to the guy above.

      • impurekind

        Given that the vast, vast, vast majority of people playing those games you speak of are men, it makes total sense for most of the protagonists to be men. It does not make sense in most cases for the opposite to be true. Why am I having to explain this to you. Are you r*tarded or something?

        • namekuseijin

          as long as the man and the woman look like Kratos and Aloy in this trailer, I’m fine with both…

        • Sean Owen Birch

          “And if women or “feminists” or “white knights” or extreme lefties or NPCs want more female heroes to play as then more of them need to start making games”
          Yet here is a game where they did just that, and now you get to complain, so apparently there’s no winning with you :)

          • impurekind

            I expect this is very much a game made by almost entirely guys that will be played primarily by guys too, yet they possibly put a women as the lead (and I don’t know if you can even choose to play as a man). So this is not what I’m talking about at all.

    • Arcticu Kitsu

      I”m amused by this comment with how silly it is. Most likely intentional in being silly. Alright, try the other manly games out there then.

    • Sean Owen Birch

      You can choose not to have a sex change.

  • I admit I am not that excited by the trailer… I hope the game will actually be better…

  • MeowMix

    Wow !!

  • Arcticu Kitsu

    Nice, nice. Looking awesome. I wonder if like with ‘Blade and Steel’ these guys shall say they were inspired by Skyrim to 1-up it. I’m game! I’d play this game with how neat that trailer was, and what it hinted at.

  • Walextheone

    It looks like a really polished game. I’ll buy this one :)

  • impurekind

    Really looking forward to giving this a go.

  • impurekind

    By the way, Vanishing Realms still has the best combat I’ve experienced in any VR game to date. Here’s hoping this game has gotten it at least as good.

  • FriendlyCard

    Looks like a brilliant game. Can’t wait to try it.

  • Tags I812

    this would be awesome if its a four player co-op

  • Moe Curley

    This looks GREAT!. If you research historical premodern bladed weapons in war (which I’m sure you have done) you will see that modern representations (especially in film) and also games is rife with one serious misrepresentation. Edge on edge defense when not absolutely necessary. These men lived and died by these weapons. “Abwenden” in swords were, when possible made with the flat of the blade (the Fuller) and on the lower part of the blade (the Ricasso) Historical documents talk about battles in which swords were rendered useless because of edge damage sustained in earlier battles. To add edge damage as a variable would be very cool. With the Vive controllers this would be an *easy* fix and I think players would appreciate the authenticity added depth (I would at least). I can refer you to some previous research if it would help. Really like your work!