Swarm 2 will make you feel like Spider-Man…with guns

Virtual Reality is without a doubt the best way to feel like a superhero without having to actually leave the comfort of your own home and do something dangerous. I’ve featured a couple of offical titles on VR Corner in the past, like Iron Man VR which nails the feeling of being Iron Man way better than it nailed giving us some varied missions.

Then there was the free movie tie-in Spider-Man: Far From Home which a lot of people enjoyed, but I found to be a broken mess. Thankfully, excellent adventure/puzzle game Yupitergrad came along a year later to give helmet-heads some much more stable swinging, but it still wasn’t the true Spider-Man experience everyone wanted.

So, step in Swarm 2, which released this week for Quests 2,3 and Pro. Swarm 2 obviously isn’t an offical Spider-Man game but, by giving the player a pair of easy to use grapplehooks, it does allow you to feel the thrills of flinging yourself around gigantic structures at high speed. And you can watch me do just that as I experience the game for the first time in this week’s VR Corner!

Cover image for YouTube videoSwarm 2 Gameplay Will Turn You Into Spider-Man WITH GUNS!!! – Ian’s VR Corner

This is Ian’s VR Corner right here! Why dontcha Peter Parker yourself down and give it a watch?

I wasn’t able to spend a huge amount of time with Swarm 2 for this week’s VR Corner but the hour that I did play gave me a pretty good understanding of what the game has to offer. And that offering is a fairly simple roguelike arcade shooter that trades on fluidity of movement and ‘just one more go’ arcade action rather than a deep progression system or a fleshed out story mode.

The grapple-based movement in Swarm 2 takes a little while to get used to so I’d throughly suggest starting the game on ‘casual’ mode to learn the ropes as ‘normal’ and ‘extreme’ send the difficulty levels flying through the roof. All you need to do is point at an object with either controller – and yes that even means enemies – and press the grip button to grapple onto it. From there you can swing your way around the level and even launch yourself upwards at the top of a swing with a careful tension building downwards tug.

Changing directions mid-swing can be tricky but a direction press on the left thumbstick will give you a little dash boost to help with that, plus you can ‘zip’ towards enemies and melee hit them with a quick button press. This zip move can be chained up to three times before it needs to recharge, but I found it was an excellent tool for changing course mid-swing to avoid incoming rockets that were hot on my heels.

I hate capturing gameplay on the Quest because the video it outputs loses so much in terms of field of view. You can hardly see the health and shield UI at all in my video because of this, but at least you can see how colourful the arenas are.

The other aspect of Swarm 2 is of course the gun-play, which is also a lot of fun. Once again, it’s arcadified so your main weapons, fast-firing twin pistols, will never need to be reloaded. You can pick up other weapons like grenade launchers and mini-guns as you slowly unlock them but they are limited use and only appear as power-ups in the game’s colourful, proceedurally generated arenas.

Learning how to combine the two so you can swing and shoot simultaneously while using both arms will take a while I expect, but in the video above you can see this movement scheme slowly click into place for me. I’m still nowhere near as good as the ‘high level Swarm 2 player’ who’s impressive gameplay was shown off in the game’s review guide but I can imagine getting there is all part of the fun.

If you’re after a VR game that offers short, bite-sized roguelike action then Swarm 2 is definitely worth a look. The basic progression system and the brutal difficulty curve means that the locomotion is the main selling point here though so, if you’re prone to motion sickness or want something with a bit more depth, it might take you a while to swarm up to this one.

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