Out on Oculus Quest 2, The Climb 2 is one of the most exciting offerings to have been released on Facebook’s stand-alone VR platform. Crytek’s second go at opening up the world of solo climbing to the masses is a marked improvement over what was an already splendid gaming experience – apart from a few hiccups here and there.
The Climb 2 does not stray from the original formula used in the first edition of the game with the added benefit of full motion control, making the second edition a significantly more enthralling experience – the way it ought to have been from the very beginning.
That said, The Climb 2 , taken at first glance, may not seem to have changed very much – but I assure you, the “devil” is in the details. There are more possibilities when it comes to climbing to the to of, and leaping across vertical surfaces. Though there still is a bit of room for improvement in this regard, it is still a noticeable step up from The Climb.
This is clearly an aspect of the game that the development team paid a lot of attention to, and it paid off. From high risk short cuts, to a selection of easier or harder routes, the game lets players choose the intensity of their virtual climbing experience. Other new features to the game include zip lines, elements of the environment that respond to your momentum, hanging ropes, and climber tents that you use to help get across the map.
Though the number of levels to play remains the same – with 15 levels all together, however, the developers were thoughtful enough to add a wide variation of areas to climb. As for the maps, the game pays homage to its predecessor by revisiting three maps from the original game – all doll up with better graphics and the like, of course. The Climb 2 also comes with two new areas – One being a city that is a little reminiscent of Mirror’s Edge, and the other bearring a close resemblance to the more rural parts of iceland.
The Controls & Gameplay
Well, climbing in VR is a relatively simple process – or The Climb 2 has done a good job of making sure it is. What you do is look for a place to hold onto, these usually stand out from the rest of your surroundings, from there it’s a pretty straightforward, step by step process.
As you perform the process of moving forward – making a point of keeping one hand firmly gripping the handheld – players will have to keep a close eye on their stamina bar, which is depleted as you hang on with one hand. To regain your stamina, you’ll have to hold on with both hand or, you’ll need to apply chalk to your hands – by shaking the controller. Alternatively, you could also try to master the art of only applying about 50% pressure on the grip button.
When playing The Climb 2, finding and maintaining a steady rhythm is the key to success. This game rewards players for being decisive, but at the same time, punishes them for trying to scurry through a climb recklessly. Making sure that your choices are well calculated while maintaining your stamina are what give The Climb 2 it’s enjoyable flow.
First off, it is a little strange, and others might agree, that Crytek opted to exclude a multiplayer mode for a game that seems like it could have been built specifically for multiplayer VR experiences. Players have to make due with chasing leaderboard high scores instead.
Overall, this is a well put together product that makes good use of the Quest 2’s capabilities from a display and standalone headsets perspective. It inspires a sense of adventure, and might genuinely freak you out if you’re scared of heights.