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July 2024

Metal: Hellsinger

Platform(s): Meta Quest 2, Meta Quest 3, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Publisher: Funcom
Developer: Lab42 Games
Release Date: 2024

About Tony "OUberLord" Mitera

I've been entrenched in the world of game reviews for almost a decade, and I've been playing them for even longer. I'm primarily a PC gamer, though I own and play pretty much all modern platforms. When I'm not shooting up the place in the online arena, I can be found working in the IT field, which has just as many computers but far less shooting. Usually.


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Quest3/Quest2/PSVR2/PC Preview - 'Metal: Hellsinger VR'

by Tony "OUberLord" Mitera on July 10, 2024 @ 12:25 a.m. PDT

Metal: Hellsinger VR is a rhythm FPS, brimming with diabolical enemies, powerful weapons, and metal music. Set out on an infernal journey in order to achieve the purest of goals: Vengeance.

When I heard that there was going to be a VR version of Metal: Hellsinger, I kind of gave it a shrug. I absolutely love the flatscreen version of the game, but I didn't think virtual reality would add much to the experience. As it turns out, Metal: Hellsinger VR might just be a way to fall in love with the game all over again.

Metal: Hellsinger VR has truly been "reforged for VR." The UI is completely reconfigured, with hit streak and score info presented lower and centered in your vision. The trademark beat pips still sweep in from the sides toward the crosshair, but you can also enable additional ones along the ground in front of you. Nearby enemies get an arrow that appears in your peripheral vision, as do incoming projectiles. I ended up turning off the latter option, as it can get a bit "noisy" with all of the potential arrows, but that speaks to how customizable the experience is.

You can play seated or standing with full height calibration either way, and several comfort options are available and tunable. Varying levels of comfort vignette can be used, you can set turning to snap or continuous, and a whole lot of UI elements can be turned on or off to tweak the experience to what you prefer. You can change the color of what different things mean, their opacity, or if you even want them displayed at all.

Everything is to the beat of the music, but in VR, the gameplay has been expanded more in that direction. Reloading on the beat still is a perfect reload and happens much more quickly, but to do so, you have to perform a different action depending on the weapon. For the shotgun, it's a flick of the wrist to snap the breach shut, while the dual revolvers require you to flick both outward to slam the cylinders back into place. You can also use both hands to hold onto the sword or the shotgun, but other than "because it's cool," it's unclear what benefit it brings.

The left stick controls movement, and pressing it in causes you to dash. On the left controller, you can also press the Y button to immediately turn around, and on the right controller, the A button jumps and the B button reloads. If you've played pretty much any other VR first-person game, you'll feel at home with the standard control scheme.

Switching weapons is done by holding in the right controller thumbstick button and then moving your right hand in one of the four primary directions to select that weapon. You can also click the stick to switch to your previously used weapon. To attack with Paz or the shotgun, you pull the right trigger; you swing the sword; and for the revolvers, the trigger in each hand fires the respective gun.

It's at this point that I realized that the VR version of Metal Hellsinger shines. If you have the coordination, you can independently aim each revolver at a different enemy. It never gets old to leap through the air, dash around incoming projectiles, and blast two different marionettes as you fly. The game doesn't seem to have been dumbed down at all, so it can be a challenge to dodge attacks while dishing out the damage in VR. It never feels needlessly overwhelming, and similar to how it is in the original version of the game, once you get used to it, you really fall into a flow.

The game follows the same storyline and levels as the original, so being able to play in VR is really the only draw of Metal: Hellsinger VR. The preview version of the game was extremely fun, and it's clear the developer nailed the VR aspect. Much of the game is missing from the build I played, and there were a couple of rougher edges, but I'm eagerly anticipating the full version of the game.

Previewed on: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D, 32 GB RAM, NVidia RTX 4070 Ti, Meta Quest 3

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