Review and gameplay video created by Ryan Pijai
The Climb is a first person virtual reality climbing game for the Oculus Rift. Players must climb to the top of beautiful outdoor environments. The game is played with a virtual reality headset and a controller. The game tracks your head motion and position, so you can look around corners and plan out your climbing strategy before taking action.
If you are looking for an experience that can only be found on virtual reality, this is a great game to try. The visuals are top notch and make you feel like you are there. I have been indoor rock climbing before and there are moments in the game that feel real to me. My only concern is whether or not the game has longevity. The game mechanics related to maintaining hand stamina are interesting at first, but without progression in the mechanics, there doesn’t feel like there is enough in the game to sustain long-term player interest.
But despite those flaws, it is still quite a unique experience to play this game. If you aren’t terribly afraid of heights and you are curious about what the most realistic rock-climbing game ever made feels like, I would recommend you get this.
The game is currently played with a game controller. In the future, the game controller will be replaced with Oculus Touch which will make the game feel even more real. For now, you need to use your head to look at and be positioned close enough to each ledge to get your free climbing hand in the game to move towards it. Pressing the trigger button grabs the closest ledge with the available hand.
Each hand has a separate stamina meter. When stamina runs out, you lose your grip on that hand. When your hands are close together and gripping a ledge, stamina on both hands replenish over time. When one hand is on a ledge, that hand loses stamina but the other hand replenishes stamina. If you chalk a hand, it will drain stamina more slowly for a period of time until the chalk runs out. Just like in real rock climbing, players should alternate between resting and moving at a brisk pace to manage stamina.
There are special obstacles: crumbling ledges and ledges that need to be cleaned off before grabbing on to them. There are also situations where you need to jump and position your head properly so you can grab onto a ledge before you fall to your death.
I had my first virtual reality accident while playing this game! Make sure you have lots of space around you. The game requires you to move your head forward sometimes in different directions to see around corners, etc. I was a bit disoriented and didn’t realize I had moved so far away from the safe space I had setup for playing the game. I ended up banging the Oculus Rift right into one of my side walls. (I didn’t hit it too hard, but still, be careful!) Nothing breaks virtual reality immersion faster than a wall to your head. =p