Swords of Gargantua – sword play just doesn’t feel accurate enough
Swords of Gargantua is a dull affair overall. Sure, when it’s working flawlessly it can be enjoyable, but the sword play just doesn’t feel accurate enough overall to make it stand out among the great VR wave combat games like Space Pirate Trainer, Raw Data and others. There are plenty of things to unlock in Gargantua, and if you have a friend who owns both the game and a VR set up it can be fun to fight alongside them. However, in the end, the core hook of Swords of Gargantua the sword play just doesn’t feel up to snuff.
When I first strapped on my Oculus Rift S to give this a go, I was quickly enthralled by the opening moments. Surrounding me were still images of a world ravaged by war, with you being pitted in the arena against the minions of the Gargantua. It’s actually a little hard to follow, but it the gist is humans are being used as fodder to fight the wars of the Gods. While the intro stills were at times breathtaking – standing in a desert surrounded by the graves of those humans who have fallen before you were a sight to behold – Swords of Gargantua’s story simply feels tacked on to give some sort of structure to the arena combat. In fact, other than the occasional voice-over there doesn’t seem to be an indication you’re part of something larger than yourself. Sure, fighting giant monsters and ax-wielding demons kind of leaves something of an impression, but it feels like those opening moments of the story could have been done away with and simply put you in an arena instead.
Combat itself is surprisingly straightforward. You’ll hack, slash, parry and stab your way through enemies until each wave is complete. Some waves you’ll simply take out the monsters around you. Other waves will have you defending a Mana tower, much like the core from a game such as Raw Data or a tower defense game. Enemies vary as well, with some only taking one well-timed hit to deal with, while others such as the major bosses every few waves require much more strategy and maneuvering to take down. Your sword overtime will take damage, requiring you to sheathe it every so often in order to recharge (which is why those pillars with weapons on the become so handy). String together enough hits and parries and you can power up your weapon, making it stronger for a certain length of time as well. I actually found this rather difficult to do as it requires you to hold your weapon out in front of you and take your other hand and run it along the blade. This didn’t always register with the game, and by the time it was starting to I’d be staring down another wave of enemies and be forced to abandon enchanting for the time being.
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