VR Combat Sandbox ‘Blade & Sorcery’ Heads to Early Access Tomorrow, New Trailer Here


Blade and Sorcery is a medieval fantasy sandbox from indie developer WarpFrog which is aiming to bring realism to VR combat. Including a physics-driven interaction and combat system, players can expect to master melee, ranged, and magic-based combat against plenty of squishy, stab-friendly NPCs.

Update (December 10th, 2018): Blade & Sorcery is set launch on Steam Early Access tomorrow, December 11th, and with it comes a new trailer showing off more of the bloody melee combat. We’ve linked the trailer above and at the bottom of the article.

Original Article (October 29th, 2018): Blade and Sorcery is slated to launch on Steam Early Access sometime in December (see update), targeting Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows VR headsets.

At launch of Early Access, the game is said to include:

  • 3 Maps (Home, Arena and Ruins)
  • 8 Weapons (swords, dagger, shield, axes, spear, bow)
  • 3 spells (Slowing time, Telekinesis and Lightning)
  • 3 enemy archetype (fighters, rangers and mages)
  • 2 enemy styles (Gladiator and Cult)
  • Avatar customization
  • Jumping, kicking, running
  • Free locomotion
  • Modding game data (player/weapon/npc stats, AI, NPC look, waves logic, etc.)”

The studio says Blade and Sorcery pushes for a more realistic combat style by giving objects weight that follow the laws of physics, dictating collisions via “fine” hitboxes, by giving creatures full body physics, and by giving blades the ability to penetrate soft materials or deflect magic.

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WarpFrog says that through Steam Early Access, the studio hopes to eventually evolve the game from a combat sandbox “into something with more depth.” The game is said to launch with some moddable features, but they plan to add support for custom maps, new weapons and even the possibility for modders to add new game modes.

The studio maintains that Early Access could last between six months to two years depending of the success of the game, which will impact the scope.

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  • Ben Smith

    This game is amazing, hopefully the developer works on it for years to come. It’s a gamechanger.

    • get lost

      really? What is a gamechanger? The dummy faces or the poor graphics??

      • 3872Orcs

        Not sure if trolling… This is a one man developed indie game, expecting AAA quality is unreasonable. Also VR is demanding, simple graphics is less taxing to run smoothly. I’m sure lots of work can be done to make it prettier and improve fps, though that is a time consuming job in itself. The “gamechanger” here is the physics. Not many VR games has this kind of melee physics interaction. Only VR game I can think about is Gorn. Just think about the melee combat in a game like SkyrimVR, it’s not very good. Physics interactions like in Blade and Sorcery would improve the fun and immersion in SkyrimVR by a lot.

        • Henree

          exactly….this would be great as a Skyrim MOD but is it a full game? NO.

          • Rosko

            If you want a game the size of Skyrim you would have to wait ten years for this guy to complete it with his resources. If you can’t see why this game is important then maybe it’s not for you, but for many it’s a step closer to reality for melee combat than there has ever been in gaming.

      • Arcticu Kitsu

        A shame ‘get lost’ (appropriate name for that person) simply needs to “get lost” with the sarcastic trolling comment they left. It honestly is a game changer because now you have a sandbox with the ability to replay the fun without being trapped in chained challenges similar to SuperHot VR. This one seems to allow you to pick a stage to allow you to wreck havoc your way without being trapped in anything. That, and custom levels……. That honestly is a game changer.

        I view this as ‘SuperHot VR’, yet more Skyrim style. Still need to also wait for Elder’s Scroll; Blades to enable VR support there that it’ll also push the VR market further on the free side of things.

        Read 3872Orcs’s posting without trolling some more.

  • nasprin

    Wow that looks like a next level Gorn without rubber sausages as weapons! I’ll definitely check it out, looks promising.

  • Rand

    Man… I gotta get this game!

  • Pablo C

    I don´t get how weapon physics can be different from other games like SkyrimVR….?

    • jj

      look up the game Gorn

      • Pablo C

        too bloddy for VR… can you elaborate please?

        • jj

          too bloody?? what

          and yes I can explain!

          Some games have your weapon pass right through other objects because there is no way for a game to physically stop your hand from making that movement.

          Other games like gorn have a more physics related weapon system where if you sword comes into contact with another game item, its virtual position remains blocked by the virtual object even if you real hand continues. So its almost like a ghostly, disconnecting thing where ur hand is in one place, but ur in game hand is in another up until your hand is in a location the sword can be in as well.

          So the ghost and disconnection sound odd, but its a lot more realistic in game than a player being able to just flail their sword in and out without ever being stopped.

          you tube gorn and the effect should be pretty obvious especially if youve tried skyrim vr.

          • Pablo C

            I´m amazed that it feels more natural to have the sword stuck, but I guess we are just discovering “VR feelings”.

          • jj

            well you’re just discovering… everyone else has tried gorn over a year ago

          • Pablo C

            I mean: recently discovered by game developers.

          • jj

            …no again recently discovered by you. it takes time to make games, and it takes even longer to flush out a physics based system in a way thats never been done before.

          • Pablo C

            May be I´m too old. 5 years is a blink for me.

  • sfmike

    Looks great. Just needs better maps on those store dummy faces as they screw up immersion.

  • doug

    0:20 “True magic physics” (?)

    • Claudio

      Love it :D

  • get lost

    Dummy faces or the poor graphics… just another VR garbage. Meamwhile, real games like the evil within 2, god of war, red dead redemption 2, etc… are getting further and further away from VR. As VR enthusiast myself, my heart sink to the botton every time I go to steam and see the pile of VR sh**t, that are release every day by incompetent talentless people just trying to make a quick bucks…

    • Raphael

      Just because another low-budget VR game hits steam doesn’t mean VR gaming is collapsing. Rockstar Games ported one game to VR and it looks like they plan to do more.

      Steam is an unregulated mess. They should separate the first game creation attempts from the genuine content.

      • Henree

        there are only low-budget cash grab games.

        • Raphael

          Some comments are just so incredibly dumb that they fall below the threshold of response merit. Unfortunately your statement is so far below the cutoff point that I have to disregard anything else you have to say. Sad but that’s the harsh reality flappy.

      • Pablo C

        Which game did Rockstar ported?
        You are right about Steam, I find Oculus list much more curated, but then I love Steam, they have a lot of great Indie devs. But, I agree VR will remain for some years as a platform to port old Flat games. Close to none is actually developing true AAA games. Most VR AAA games are experiences, not full games in the Flat sense.

        • Raphael

          Actually it’s very few tiny 2d rectangle games that are getting ported to VR. Mostly VR is seeing new game development but those games were very limited because of the nausea gamers. Now we’re mostly past that hysteria so we’re seeing longer length VR titles.

          “True AAA” is irrelevant. Steam is flooded with amateur first game attempts but they aren’t real games anyway. VR has no shortage of great games from indie developers and those indie developers are pushing the envelope where so-called AAA devs are scared to. Indie developers are the reason VR games are no longer crippled by only teleport movement.

          Also there are quite a few VR games being developed by breakaway professional AAA devs who form new companies and bring original VR games.

          You’re really complaining to the wrong person if you want to say VR has no good games or that VR success depends on AAA.

          • Pablo C

            I have been playing video games for 30 years, and I do think VR is the future of gaming. I have a bunch of VR games, but all of them could be qualified as VR experiences, not full games: i.e. there is no VR games made from the ground with the scale of Skyrim (not even close), which is a 2011 game. And Skyrim VR is arguably, one of the best VR games out there. So, we are in a stage of VR gaming that the Flatters had around 20 years ago (i.e. Space pirates is a -great- VR version of Arcade games, as most VR games are, that´s why VR is so Indie-developed). It will certainly take a while for us to get actual full VR games, and that will depend on how confortable VR is. Personally, I never got nausea issues, playing VR-only for a whole year, before trying again Flat games. I can personally say that despite the actual hardware, I feel VR immersiveness it´s just more tiering than Flat gaming. You just use way more brain on it. So I bet it´ll be at least 10 years, till we get to the current level of Flat gaming. We´ll need new hardware, but overall, a new way to see and appreciate video gaming.

          • Raphael

            I have been playing video games since the late 70’s. Bought my first VR headset around 2006. Played Serious Sam second encounter on it. “Built from the ground up for VR” – I absolutely hate that hipster journalist phrase. There are plenty of really great VR games that began as tiny 2d rectangle ones and got the VR upgrade. VR code isn’t some magic thing that has to be built from the ground up to be special. Unreal Engine and Unity both began without VR.

            I have a lot of very good VR games. Some are VR exclusive (built from the sky downwards for VR) and others began as tiny 2d rectangle ones.

            Consumer VR has developed at a colossal rate since Octopus DK1. A relatively short space of time and now we have some big name developers making VR games as well as a lot of new high quality indie.

            There is a growing list of VR games with AAA graphics. That’s something that’s relevant to some types of game. A game can still be great without DX11 visuals.

            Agree about the time VR will take to refine. Multi-plane displays, variable focus, foveated, face expression recognition etc. I don’t see VR becoming mainstream for the majority of gamers for at least 10 years.

          • Pablo C

            Yeah, I remember the time that gaming was considered childish for people of our age, and it wasn´t, pretty much, untill XBOX360 that it became really mainstream. Only then it started to be considered as an actual “adult” hobby, despite of course of many adult games that were available since the 80s. Gaming was niche until early 2000. I know PS2 was already there and it was great, and PC gaming was excelent too, but it was just not mainstream. From the people of my age that I know, only one plays video games regularly (not considering casual cellphone games). So I think VR is in that “pre xbox360” stage, it´s niche, and not considered seriously by the mainstream.

    • The Jackal

      I think you got this all wrong. Remember that it is these indie developers that is showing the big AAA studios what games formats are hits and what games are not. You must also remember that AAA games takes years to develop and the big studios will have to swing eventually when prices of the headsets are affordable for the general public and not the only the elite.

    • Arcticu Kitsu

      Yeah, get lost has it all wrong indeed. The Jackal, you’re correct. If your heart sinks when scrolling through Steam VR section then you aren’t scanning it properly as you should be. Do yourself a favour to check the store every week, make a list, then share that list somewhere for someone to check out. I’ve been doing that exact same thing on a few gaming forums that it’s fun seeing what games we have for VR that it’s a nice growth since December 2017… It’s now December 2018.

      Check the SteamVR store properly this time. Don’t make a trolling comment anymore, and view ‘The Jackal’s comment this time.

    • RationalThought

      You miss the point……….show a vr game that had action mechanic’s, physic’s and combat that looked this good? The purpose of this games was to make good combat in VR which up to this point outside of Gorn hasn’t really happened. Part of the problem with VR’s growth is the expectations of people like you……go play on your console or PC and just enjoy yourself. What you want is at least 5 years away……let us work on opening the doors to get there.

  • Raphael

    2 hours to complete…

    • jj

      damnnnn i still might get it depending on price because these physics look like something i want to experience

      • Raphael

        The fizzics do look pretty good.

        • jj

          yeah and i see how 2 hours is lame. so i’m gona go into it with that expectation and like Rosko said above, itll just be a sandbox for physics.

          • Raphael

            I do make exceptions to my ban on short games sometimes. If the experience is great. We don’t have a price for this game yet do we. What’s your cut-off?

          • jj

            good questions, honestly i’d give 20$ and i think others would pick lower like 10-15$ since its not really a full game, but i know creating those physics weren’t easy.

            It does not look like it offers much, but for someone whos spent time with vr physics in game engines, i just want to see what their physics are like and what might be in store for vr soon.

            Plus I kind of want to recreate them on my own for my own ideas, which would be similar to this but even more gore. so i think that’s inflating my choice and that if i were looking at this as a normal game with this level of content I would’nt really consider it even for 5$.

            so 10-20$ to sample their new physics type but i feel like im over spending and being generous

    • Rosko

      It’s just one guy i think. It was really just meant to be a sandbox for the physics.

  • Henree

    looks like fighting mechanics without a real game to contain them.

    • David

      I would rather have a tech demo that nails game mechanics in a novel way than a longer game with bad game mechanics. The former pushes VR forward while the latter has no lasting impact.

  • Steve Biegun

    I like the physics, but I feel like this trailer only showed off 20 different ways to slow-motion stab a dumbfounded character in the face over and over and over. Is that all this game is? Can you even parry or block attacks or is this really just stab-people-in-the-face VR? That’s all I saw in the trailer.

    • jj

      lol part of all these physics are solely why parry and blocking will work… seriously think all these physics would work but then wouldnt work on your shield?

      maybe im wrong and they dont swing back, and then ill be in the same boat as you in thinking its lacking.

    • JDawg

      You can parry, block, and even grapple. You’re right. The trailer should have shown more of that. Check out MerpTV on Youtube https://youtu.be/EP2O1rPDi6M

  • PJ

    Looks great, but is there a game? Or have we basically seen all what there is to do, as fun as it’s going to be, if this is it, it’s going to be short lived fun

    • benz145

      Don’t forget it’s launching in early access!

  • Mithrenes

    Give it 1vs1 and leatherboards and you have a new esport.

  • darklocket

    This looks wild. Cant wait to see it released, even if its early access or beta. It has potential to be built upon. nice work!

  • Arcticu Kitsu

    Alright, bring it on. If this is what I think it is then we really do need more games using more of SuperHot VR’s gaming mechanics of actually moving around while fighting. If not, it’ll at least have replayability to where you can make custom maps/levels while doing crazy thing. At least that part shall last longer that people may turn it into a race track of killing, or whicever. Once the Japanese community takes over you’ll be in for a hell of a ride threading the needle constantly on challenges.

    • jj

      superhots moving mechanics weren’t good, they were absent. you didn’t move, it just hopped you to the next location…. we need less of that and more real and smooth movement, like the type referred to as onward style movement, because dante did it first in a published game. and teleportation for those that like that too because its all about being comfy as a user

      • Arcticu Kitsu

        I’m looking at this comment wondering what you’re going on about. I’m reading it over and over again hoping my reply is what you meant.

        Looks like something went over your head (maybe mine) with how the game had you freely punch, dodge, and even steal weapons that this is what needs to be in more free-roamy VR games. That is what I’m talking about, not the movement between challenges. The part I’m trying to boast about is where you have to positon yourself in a room as to not hit a wall so you can punch people, swing swords, and etc.

        I’ll look into Dante though.

        • jj

          Ahh that makes sense! I read it wrong, i think. locomotion is a huge topic in vr game dev and i read “moving around while fighting” as a description of navigating the play space when you must have been referring to full body fighting movement.

          I see how that got mixed up because most of the time when people say moving in vr the topic is usually locomotion, and thats what i went to.

          Aside from that I think the majority of games require you to move around in the manner you speak of, otherwise they arent really vr, though im sure you guys can think of some good exceptions.

          So in the end i still kind of dont get what you’re saying if you’re not talking about locomotion because dodgeing, dipping, diving, ducking, and dodging are normal in most vr games. cheers though!!

          • Arcticu Kitsu

            Well, glad we managed to clear up that misunderstanding that I prefer these sorts of postings :)

            Yeah, that’s the thing though…. Tales of Glory you can move around normally, but can you steal weapons using it against the enemy and such? Are there any FPS games similar to SuperHot VR? Maybe Zero Caliber. It’s just fun having full interaction that VRchat is the only one I can think of being the hub of my experiences for VR. You can move around in Beat Saber, and it does give you that sort of thrill that it gains a pass in its own unique Beat Saber way. What games out there in VR allow you to actually move around?

            There are games that still take the teleporting route that CyubeVR is one of them, Scanner Sombre is another (with threads popping up asking for actual locomotion), and even the weird ‘Galaxity Beta’ that I wish we had proper locomotion. I tried out TheWaveVR that to move you have to teleport that it’s the cheap way out. Half the games I tried out forced you to teleport that developers need to self-teach themselves how to do locomotion, even if it makes users sick. Keep tackling it until you can perfect it.

  • Arcticu Kitsu

    Alright, tried this game out that it’s indeed awesome that it brings itself up near Tales of Glory side of things. Nice ‘Force’ (Star Wars) pull on the weapons that more VR games need that. From my experience there’s too few of those. Tabbing an NPC is satisfying, as is the whole blocking, and such. Character customizations is awesome that if it allowed for modding people will make crazy mature things there. High level of detailing, even if it may not look as such.

    My gripe with the game is how it fails to register some of your hits that things end up becoming awkward. You swing, poke, and such that it fails to register as a hit that things become clunky and awkward as you then fight to get loose to go in for another strike that it becomes a game of “hit & Miss”; Russian Roulette of hitboxes. Had some nice groin hits that it was fun. I’d laugh if people made lewd mods… There’s that potential.

    Game is young, yet has strong potential I’ll be supporting this. Gets a nice 7/10 from me. Would be nice if we could take things back from the world to display as collectables. It has that kind of RPG looting vibe to things :)