Published on June 10th, 2023 | by Chris O'Connor
Crimen – Mercenary Tales VR Quest 2 Review
Summary: Take on various enemies as a daring swashbuckling hero. Or at least claim to do so?
I shall start this by pointing out that if you’ve played Gorn… you have some idea of the danger ahead.
Crimen – Mercenary Tales is actually kind of like a piratey (think Guybrush Threepwood here) alternative to Gorn. The visuals are very cartoonish, the action is arguably over the top and there’s a reasonable chance that if you aren’t careful you are going to cause damage to your controller/s, your surroundings and certainly anyone unfortunate enough to be near you while playing.
The game essentially sees you take main part in 8 different stories of derring-do. Your main action will be sword fighting but occasionally you will take hold of a different weapon (albeit briefly) for set tasks (such as grabbing a pistol to shoot an enemy high above you), or perhaps engage in a bit of climbing. But ultimately the main mechanic is pretty limited, so there is certainly a chance you might get bored. Having said that… it can also be fun.
The sword play is obviously the focus of the game and whilst you can slash and parry to your hearts content… there are some limitations. Early on (the tutorial in fact), there is a section in which you need to cut away some planks blocking your entry to an area… all good I thought to myself and started slashing away… then I noticed what I was being told which was that the planks had notches in them, implying they could be cut away. What it was really trying to tell me was that I had to make sure my slashing motion followed the notches in order to register as having slashed them apart. Ok… fine… I guess. But the actual combat… well there you don’t have to be as precise. Enemies do tend to make it pretty clear how they will attack, which is useful because that enables you to determine how to block… but it gives you plenty of time to do so. However, you can slash at them however you like and as long as you find an area they aren’t blocking… you land a strike. This is fun… but can indeed get a bit tiresome.
The climbing ends up being a nice little break from the sword play. As other VR games have done before hand, it’s a simple hand over hand style approach, grab one spot and pull yourself up, grab the next spot with your other hand and pull further up. It’s easy but I find it quite enjoyable and it can feel quite immersive. But before long you will find yourself back to sword fighting. That’s kind of it really… the difficulty tends to vary mostly by way of adding more enemies fighting you at any given time (unlike movies of old where there would be stacks of enemies all seemingly waiting in line to have a go at the hero… here they will actually team up somewhat). The enemies change a little in terms of being humans, werewolves or zombies (hey, you have to spice up your story somehow)… but essentially things end up being mostly the same.
Is it worth it? Well it’s not super expensive and it is a decent bit of fun. It can get repetitive but it’s decent as a jump in and play for a while sort of game (you do have to be mindful of where the checkpoints are though if you do plan to “jump in, jump out”). If you really want more sword fighting but want a bit more fantasy than Gorn… grab a copy and have some fun.