Amid Evil VR Review – Feel the Power of the Heretic in Your Own Hands!
Developed by Indefatigable, Elijah Immersive
Published by New Blood
Available on PC, Quest 2
Look at you, dear reader, trapped by the mortal coil to forever spend your days in a degrading flesh vessel, limited to the archaic laws of our reality. What if I told you that for only 19.99, plus the cost of an appropriate VR device, you could wield the axe of the Black Labyrinth, and traverse the harrowing world of AMID EVIL in Virtual Reality? While I have doted over VR shooters in the past, my experience with AMID EVIL VR has been something truly fantastic. As I said when I previewed the game at PAX, the team at Elijah Immersive has gone above and beyond in exceeding the expectations of a traditional port to deliver a fully-fledged remake that gives the player new ways to interact with the already-stellar combat.
From experience, when porting a game to VR, it seems as though accommodations are often made in favor of a smooth transition to VR, typically at the expense of the gameplay. It is a reasonable choice to make in some cases to ensure that the experience is comfortable for the majority of players. This is simply not the case for AMID EVIL VR. The team, being zealous fans of the original, were dead set on ensuring that the fast-paced and furious combat of the original title remained entirely intact. This game manages to bring speed and precision to VR gaming which is rarely seen and is extremely impressive. Although those who are not VR veterans should not fear, for despite the team’s steadfast determination to retain the core gameplay of the original, there are still many considerations made to ensure that all can enjoy AMID EVIL VR. From the get-go, the player will have access to a lengthy list of cheats to assist them on their quest of carnage and ensure that if they need to play with teleportation on, they can still kick ass. And aside from the moment-to-moment gameplay, the fluidity of the game on the considerably under-powered Quest 2 is a testament to the technical know-how of the team behind this remake.
But all of that would mean nothing if the original game in itself wasn’t one of the best boomer shooters of the past half-decade. If you are unfamiliar with the original, to summarize, The protagonist was branded a heretic, but after besting the challenges of the Black Labyrinth, the hero is gifted with an absolutely metal axe, and is sent out as the new champion to drive the evil force from the six separate worlds, each broken up into 3 levels and a boss. Once the worlds are cleansed of the darkness, a final seventh world sees the fight brought into the void, to fight the evil face to face. On top of the campaign, which is worlds bigger than most other similarly priced single-player campaigns, the devs have also indicated that they will be bringing the prequel DLC The Black Labyrinth to the VR remake as well, but, as with the horde mode, that should not be expected until further down the line.
I would truly recommend this to anyone, whether or not they had played the original, but for those who have, I would recommend it to see how they elevated the gameplay with VR. Things like the ability to chuck the axe, or grab a planet from the celestial Claw and throw it like a grenade let players find new ways to interact with the combat. Because being a powerful champion with cool weapons is great by itself, but jumping up into the air and slam-dunking an exploding miniaturized planet onto an enemy’s dome is extremely satisfying. And in the moments where you manage to kill all the enemies and take in the sights for a second, I find that the almost alien design of the architecture and arcane armaments can be much more greatly appreciated when viewed through the lens of VR. Being able to take a very close look at these weapons, and rubberneck around the amazing interiors definitely helps to bring this title to the top of my must-play VR for 2023.
To wrap up my thoughts on AMID EVIL VR, and the work that Elijah Immersive have done transforming this title into a visceral VR experience. I can only hope that this project sees success, and that other New Blood titles are given a similar treatment. While I think the over-the-top action of ULTRAKILL might be too much for VR at this time, I think that games like DUSK and GLOOMWOOD both have excellent foundations that can be built upon when making the switch over to the virtual reality. Because as I said before, some of the best parts about this game are not just getting to play AMID EVIL in VR, but seeing the changes that they made to ensure that I felt like I was in the world. Things like raising your hand to the sky, He-Man style, to summon your soul power go a lot farther than just mapping that action to a button. All in all a great remake, made by fans of the original, with an excellent understanding about what makes VR great.
If this sounds like exactly what you axe-d for, then be sure to pick up AMID EVIL VR on either Steam or the Quest 2 store. And as always, if you are looking for the latest and greatest in ghoulish, gruesome gaming, then be sure to head back to DreadXP and read more of our eerie reviews!