Joy Way’s New Roguelike Shooter Looks Like Spider-Man Meets ‘DOOM’, Coming to Quest May 18th


Joy Way, the studio behind STRIDE and AGAINST, revealed a new VR game which seems to combine the web-slinging action of Spider-Man with the demon-slaying melee carnage of DOOM.

Called Dead Hook, the studio calls the upcoming Quest title an “explosive mix of roguelike and shooter genre with brutal combat and captivating storytelling.”

Prior to Dead Hook, Joy Way released a game called Outlier on Steam Early Access for PC VR, which was then cancelled shortly thereafter. At the time, the studio cited “overestimated demand” as a reason for pulling the plug on the alien-centric roguelike. Joy Way says it has since reworked the mechanics, storyline, and overall gameplay of Outlier to create Dead Hook.

In Dead Hook, you take on the role of Adam Stone, a mercenary, smuggler, and thief. In it, you explore the elder planet Resaract, collect legendary weapons and customize your character with what the studio says is “100 buffs and permanent upgrades to make each run unique.”

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Enemies include regular and elite elders, which try to stop you in the air and on the ground as they defend their tombs, the studio says. Joy Way also says there’s bosses too which have “multiple phases, making each encounter feel tense and exciting.”

The roguelike shooter is also set to have a story. In it, you’ll “uncover the secrets of Resaract and AI duality, facing tough choices and unexpected twists along the way,” the studio says.

Joy Way, which late last year also released two games on Quest’s App Lab—RED FLOWERS and STACK—is slated to launch Dead Hook on the main store on May 18th.

Additionally, the studio confirmed with Road to VR that it’s still actively developing RED FLOWERS and STACK.

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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 4,000 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Obviously at this point we all know how Joy Way works, but dang, if that’s not some amazing looking gameplay I don’t know what is

    • Yup — which guarantees that they’ll cancel the game once we’ve all played the beta. Or they’ll release it half-baked and never really finish it.

      • Jonathan Winters III

        Been burned by them, can attest to that. Russian dev that wows you with tech demos, asks to you to pay for it, then drops development and on to the next scam.

        • At this point I just take them with a grain of salt and consider that I’m paying for a tech demo, then if the game gets updates, great, if not, at least I knew what I was in for. Also, sidenote, on JoyWay’s youtube channel they say they’ve double the studio’s staff since the cancellation of Outlier so they have a whole team to devote to this current title or something like that. Don’t have any evidence to back that up, but who knows :D

          • Jonathan Winters III

            Good approach.

      • Apparently on the youtube page they responded to a comment which harped on them about Dead Hook basically looking like a reskin of Outlier to look more like DOOM and adding in the grappling hook tech from STRIDE, and they basically confirmed the dude’s comment (although might be a translation issue cause the grammar wasn’t very good)

        • Joy Way — VR Games Devs

          Hello! Dead Hook isn’t called Outlier because it’s a different game with a different gameplay and feel from it. After thoroughly re-evaluating and revamping all game mechanics and content, the main thing these games still have in common is the genre (rogue-like shooter).

          The movements system may also look familiar – because the high-speed and smooth run-and-gun action is what we are particularly good at (judging by the reviews of the players).

          Some of the previously created enemies and weapons were suitable for reworking, but most of the content was removed and replaced to fit the new vision.

          In the announcement trailer, we haven’t yet touched on the story and rogue-like aspects of the game, as well as some other cool features, which we will tease later. You can expect more details on this later this month :)

          • Thanks for the explanation JW, nice to hear you guys explain the difference in a little more detail, putting in the work to hone in better on what people liked from Outlier while trimming the fat and delivering what will ultimately probably be a much better experience is great! I loved Outlier but it was at times extremely janky (common for an early access title but still) and so hoping to see this reworked title shine in the future!

        • Everything they do is a reskin of their previous games. If you are part of their early alpha or beta builds they even use the same tutorial system. It’s really quite frustrating.

  • JanO

    A question for Scott and/or roadtoVR:

    Why give visibility to these thiefs. In doing so you become their accomplice and this site should remain above that. You guys do a great job with super if not the best VR journalism on the net. Please don’t turn into another Upload…

    • Jonathan Winters III


    • Joy Way — VR Games Devs

      Hello Jan, you’re free to have your own opinion. The only thing we would like to mention is that we offered all players a refund for Outlier after the game was closed. Despite how long they played it.

      This can be found in all our communications, including the comments under the Road To VR’s article about the game’s closure, the link to which is given above.

      • Looking forward to seeing this game (and hopefully stride) get some enemies that can actually, you know, fight back and chase you. STRIDE gets a little boring when all the enemies just stand still all the time. Best of luck Joy Way!

      • JanO

        Hello Joy Way, you’re free to try and justify your actions, but what I’m actually referring to is the single player campaign that was promised for STRIDE, which to this day remains only a tech demo.

        You guys should just finish what you started. Wasting your time replying to this is useless… should have used it on finishing STRIDE…

        At this point we all know you never will.

      • JanO

        Actually, I don’t care much about what Joy Way has to say, but I’m troubled by the radio silence of RTVR…

        C’mon guys… How can you justify giving visibility to a repeat offender, when there are so many other Devs that are way more deserving of your coverage?

    • another juan

      can’t blame a dev for abandoning a sinking ship. what else could they do but refund if there was no demand for their pcvr title?

  • Jonathan Winters III

    This Russian dev has lied and lied and lied consistently over the years, simply to get money from people who purchase, then cancel their beautiful tech demos disguised as early access games. Roadtovr should NOT be supporting this dev by advertising their latest scam!

  • ApocalypseShadow

    Looks decent. But does everything with swinging have to be called Spider-Man like? It’s not Spider-Man like. Character doesn’t even stick to walls in this games video. Please don’t BS us with these descriptions. Ghost of Tsushima has swinging in it. Is it Spider-Man like? No. Beat Saber isn’t Star Wars like. Getting out of a car in a game isn’t GTA like.

    It’s a shooter with grappling hook swinging. Leave it at that.

  • No offense to the developers, because this is just an issue with Quest 2 in general, but I really hate how flat everything looks in most of these Quest 2 VR games because the lighting in the world is just crap. I mean, we don’t even have shadows on the characters most of the time. The much better lighting across the board is something I sorely miss from PC VR gaming when playing on my Quest 2. Almost everything I play on Quest 2 feels soulless and completely bland as a result. VR has lost its magic on this device for me.