Warhamer Age of Sigmar: Tempestfall Gameplay Preview (VR)

Developed and published by Carbon Studio – November 17, 2021 (Steam)
*MSRP: $29.99 – https://store.steampowered.com/app/1337100/Warhammer_Age_of_Sigmar_Tempestfall/

Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Tempestfall is a VR hack and slash dungeon crawler. You play as a Lord-Arcanum fighting the forces of Nighthaunt.

Tempestfall is a simple dungeon crawler. The levels are fairly linear in design with some very minor side areas holding treasure, usually crafting materials used in upgrading your weapons. As you explore the dungeons, you will run into enemy encounters. You use one of three weapons to vanquish your foes.

The weapons break down into the basic sword, halberd, and wand categories. Each weapon also has a gesture based spell. By holding down the trigger buttons and thrusting your arms upwards, forwards, or horizontally, you can cast different spells. Each spell either does powerful single target damage or lesser damage in an area of effect. Each weapon’s spell has a cooldown period shown by the glowing glyphs on the weapons.

You can upgrade each weapon and their spells if you have the necessary materials. It’ll increase damage, casting speed, or decrease cooldowns.

Each weapon, as well as their spell, can be upgraded at the forge if you have the required materials. The materials are collected in the dungeons, usually hidden in a side area. They are usually very easy to spot since they project a small glowing beacon of light. The upgrades increase damage and reduce cooldowns.

Using spells with one hand while attacking with the other feels great when it works.

The game has voice acted narration and dialogue. I personally enjoyed it. It had a certain level of ham necessary for the Warhammer universe. The combat was enjoyable when the controls worked and the hits were detected properly. You feel like an overpowered warrior when casting spells while wielding weapons in both hands and demolishing foes. It is considerably less than enjoyable when the gesture based controls fail and you are left wondering why spells aren’t casting or why your attacks are not doing damage. Thankfully the controls work more often than not but it fails enough to create moments of frustration.

The voice acting has a certain level of ham and fits the Warhammer universe well.

The game’s RPG light mechanics work well to create a light sense of progression as well. Upgrading your weapons is simple but makes enough of a difference to incentivize you to explore the dungeons thoroughly. The voice acted dialogue provides enough of a narrative backdrop to fill in the moments between the exploration and combat sequences.

Overall, Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Tempestfall is a pretty solid VR dungeon crawler. It’s fun enough granted you don’t mind some frustrations once in a while. The game does work in Virtual Desktop for Oculus Quest 2 users, but you have to start the game from the Virtual Desktop app menu and not from Steam VR. You can access the Virtual Desktop menu by pressing the system button on the left controller. Not being able to use Steam VR is a minor inconvenience as you can not use apps like OVR Toolkit.

The game also requires you to have at least one arm’s length of space free in front of you. You’re going to be doing a lot of swinging and flailing around and you will be bound to hit something if the area in front of you is not clear (i.e. a small child or your desk). The game also requires you to move and the manual movement with the left joystick did create a light sense of motion sickness. You can teleport by using the right joystick instead.

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