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Preview: Metal Hellsinger VR

I have always liked the look of Metal: Hellsinger but with it not being Virtual Reality, I have never really found the time to even think about playing it on flatscreen. So, when the VR version of the game was announced I was very excited – and I have now had the chance to play two realms ahead of release later this year.

Release Date: 2024
Developer: Lab42, The Outsiders
Publisher: Funcom
Previewed On: DPVR E4 Black
*Access Provided for Preview *

If you are for any reason not sure what Metal: Hellsinger is, this a rhythm shooter, which will place you into eight-different hells, that you must make your way through killing the enemies to the beat of the Metal soundtrack.

As aforementioned for this preview they gave me access to two realms these were Voke and Stygia. With Voke featuring two songs by Mikael Stanne of Dark Tranquility and Stygia having one song by Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy, and another from Mikael Stanne. Within these levels I got to use a sword known as Terminus (The Unknown’s Blade), Paz (The Pulse of the Universe) a sentient skull, Persephone (The Queen Death) which is a shotgun and double handguns called The Hounds (Cerberus and Orthrus).

The songs included in the preview work perfectly for getting in the swing of killing to each beat. Of course killing to the beat is going to do more damage and also give you a score multiplier, which when it hits a set level it will add the vocals to the song. With this system it very easy to hit each level again and again trying to score more points. With the final release of the game, it will come with all the features added to the original game post launch. Meaning VR players will get the full campaign straight away, Archdevil difficulty, Torment Challenges and Beat Assist mode.

With needing to kill the beat it is essential that there is no audio lag between the game and your device, so the team have included an audio and video sync calibrator – which I needed to configure to get it right for me but. it only takes around a minute, so this was not any real issue.

Mixing these Metal songs (which are right down my ally music wise) with movement and combat that reminds me of Doom (2016) works perfectly in Virtual Reality – and brings something that feels a lot more visceral to chopping blocks or even what is offered by Pistol Whip. Which is perfect for me because I much prefer the free movement while taking on enemies off all different sizes and designs and not only killing but jumping, dashing and reloading to the beat of the songs. With each of weapons I got to use all coming with their own advantages, disadvantages and reload mechanics for the gun. With swapping between them not only being a good way to boost your combo score but, also can be useful depending on enemy types.

Outside of the realms I got to play, I also got the chance to check out the unique lobby they have built for the VR version of the game, and I was even impressed with how this looked and the ease of the layout. With parts of the story in the campaign playing out on a big screen within the lobby worked really well than, rather  just being on a black background.

From my time playing through the two hell’s made available in the preview I have had so much fun with Metal: Hellsinger VR. It’s very clear that they have made the VR version from the ground up with how the lobby works and how smooth it all works in game. After very little time you are soon getting used to killing to beat with some indicators given on the hub and haptic pulses in your controllers – with the later making me want bHaptics support for the game, as another way of transmitting the beat. I am really looking forward to the full game even more than I have been since the announcement after this preview. The music, movement and visceral action makes for a fantastic mix to make a rhythm shooter come together perfectly.