Have you noticed that most VR games aren’t really that hard. This could be said not just for VR, however, since the market is quite smaller here it’s harder to find something good and challenging compared to other platforms. That doesn’t mean such games don’t exist though. One such title is In Death, a roguelite VR archery game.
The game takes place in heaven, which most likely isn’t the first place you think about when you hear “dark, brutal and punishing”. You’d be surprised when you see what mess it has become since God disappeared and there was no one to do the upkeep. Now there are only ruins, forsaken souls, pissed angels and demons. So, it’s basically slowly becoming hell. But don’t worry, there is salvation. If a courageous hero dares to venture deep into the Afterlife harmony will be restored. That’s where you come in, equipped with nothing but a shield and bow.
As for the gameplay, you get dropped off in procedurally generated levels with a surreal medieval style to them. You have to scour the environment in search for mysteries and loot. It’s a roguelite so once you die so does your current run. And let me tell you, die you shall, the inhabitants of Heaven are not as nice as you’d expect. You’ll be fighting a variety of murder happy souls that you’d question what they’re doing here in the first place, angelic beings that are acting like demons and demons that are acting like, well, demons.
To fight and travers this environment you have your bow to rely on it’s a VR archery game after all. It’s equipped with two types of arrows. The run-of-the-mill pointy murder arrow, and the more unique, but less deadly teleportation arrow, both equally important. There’s nothing much I can say about the first one, but the second one is an interesting take on movement in VR. The teleportation arrow is your main mode of transportation. You move to whichever place you hit with it. This makes for some interesting strategies as there’s a short time between shooting the arrow and it landing.
During that time you can try to adjust your aim for a point blank headshot after the teleportation, or trying to get a hit or two before. The other item you have equipped is your shield. It works how you might expect a shield to work, it blocks things from both melee attacks and projectiles, and can be used to bash enemies that don’t understand the concept of a personal space.
Most progression you make during a run is gone the moment you die. It’s a roguelite after all. There is, however, a progression system and things to work towards. While playing you can unlock achievements which will add special arrows and other boons for future playthroughs. But having more achievements also spawns more powerful enemies so don’t expect the game to get more merciful
You might have noticed some similarities between In Death and Darks Souls, namely the aesthetic, grim enemy design and brutal gameplay. That’s what first caught my eye when finding about it, and it set some high expectations. Let me tell you, this archery game delivers. If you own a VR headset and are in a search for a challenge then In Death is for you. You can check out the Steam store page here.