If the pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that there is nothing better then having a VR world to escape to. In early 2020 VR became my refuge where I found an appreciation for VR rhythm and workout titles that not only afforded me a virtual location to disappear to but allowed me to shed a lot of my pandemic pounds in the process. I lived daily in my Valve Index headset swiping at cubes with my laser swords in Beat Sabre and Punching my way to victory in BoxVR. To say that I was hooked would be a complete understatement.
Ragnarock, a new rock / metal multiplayer VR rhythm game by the fine folks at Wanadev studios released on Steam July 15th. The game is set in a Viking universe and lands you on the helm of a Viking Longship. With hammers in hand you must beat runes as they approach your drums. The more accurate you are with your swings, the more power your hammers gain. The more powerful your hammers the larger combos you will acquire, and by hitting the large shields on either your left or right side, the more you encourage your crew to row faster. The faster you are to complete each song, the longer the distance your crew will row, and the greater the score you will acquire.
Unlike the likes of Beat Sabre and BoxVR, most folks likely won’t be immediately familiar with the Celtic / Folk metal music that players can choose from. As you scroll through the available song titles, you will be granted a snippet of the song and each title also has three difficulties to choose from. With bands such as Alestorm, Gloryhammer and Wind Rose to choose from you may not recognize the titles, but the music is easily the greatest strength of the game. I found myself gleefully going from one title to the next just to hear what would be coming up next. Initially the idea of playing a rhythm game with unfamiliar artists concerned me, it’s always easier to rock out to a title you know. I was completely blown away however with each and every title I played through. If for some reason the 30 some titles aren’t enough to keep you moving, there is of course a way to import your own favorite music.
Graphically the game takes advantage of its VR roots. Whether your crew is rowing through molten lava or outer space, the scenery is something to behold. Too bad you will be spending the bulk of your journey pounding on the drums to really appreciate the detail that went into each and every environment. For folks who typically get motion sickness in games that involve movement, rest assured that this one is particularly easy on the senses. You are always focus forward, with your attention on the runes coming towards you. You can look around if you choose (at the expense of your score), but none of this resulted in any sort of dizziness. I’m not one who typically has any reaction to VR, so take my assessment with a grain of salt, but there is no reason that even the weakest of stomachs can’t enjoy this wild experience.
Those looking for a more social experience will be happy to know that Ragnarock comes complete with a competitive multiplayer mode that allows you to race up to 6 players in a battle to see who can go the farthest the fastest. There is also a “ghost” mode that allows you to race yourself in an attempt to beat your best score.
For the cost of only $24.99, this is a title that I can easily recommend and would so at even double this price. Don’t believe me? All you have to do is take a look at the Steam user reviews which was sitting at 96% with over 1100 reviews as of the writing of this. If you are someone who enjoys a good rhythm game, or are looking to get your heart rate up, this is a title you should certainly check out.
What I liked: Awesome heart pounding soundtrack, Stylistically beautiful, takes full advantage of VR
What I liked less: That I didn’t get into this game sooner (yes it’s that good)
4.5 out of 5 stars
Played on a Valve Index / AMD 5950X / Nvidia Geforce RTX 3090