The Climb 2
Genre(s): Arcade, Exploration, Sports
Platform: Oculus Quest
Age Rating: Everyone
Release Date: 4/3/21
A code was provided for review purposes
Scaled Quality Surpassing the Original
The Climb 2 follows in the same steps, or ledges, of the previous title The Climb. The Climb was a great must-have title for the Quest platform, and The Climb 2 is no slouch either. There isn’t a story in The Climb 2 unless you count your own journey within each level. You climb up mountains, across rope ladders, hanging off skyscrapers, or jump from ledge to ledge, crafting your own story. The Climb 2 is focused on simulating heights and the gameplay mechanic of navigating through each of the five levels and the various paths within each that can vary in length, difficulty.
Getting a Grip
Each of your climbs starts you off at the lowest level of either a rock face, snowy mountain, or a new skyscraper within the city level. Along the face of your climbing surface, you will see white painted grips, suction grips, ropes, ladders, pipes, and more. There are rocks covered in sharp edges which deplete your stamina. Rocks that must be cleaned off so you can navigate past them and sometimes rocks, wooden planks, pipes, etc, that will bend or break even as you apply your body weight to them.
The Climb 2 has a sense of physics within each of the environments that the first game in the series only touched upon. There were times while playing through the game that I was physically startled as a ladder would shift, or a hanging tent I was climbing past would shake as I moved around it. The Climb 2 really captures the sense of motion and nauseating heights in Virtual Reality that you don’t get in flat-screen games of the same type.
Falling can be Fun
The Climb 2 uses the same control scheme as the first game, which makes jumping into the game easy for veterans. The game is by no means button intensive, as you mostly focus on the grip buttons for actually holding on to your surroundings. The Climb 2 does allow half grip button press which can lessen the amount of stamina used and allow for more precise scaling of the rock face or mountainside. As you navigate through each level of The Climb 2, there are checkpoints you will pass noted by colourful carabiners placed around the path. These act as save points where you will return to when you inevitably fall. Falling in The Climb 2 can be jarring for some. If you have played games like Richie’s Plank Experience you know the feeling of falling in VR can be a bit dizzying.
As you navigate around the levels you will need to chalk your hands by shaking your controllers. Chalking will allow you to restore stamina which runs out as you move through the levels. Your stamina can deplete faster based on how far you are moving your hands from one another. You can become exhausted as well when you take leaps of faith jumping to reach areas. Each level has multiple paths though you can see your direction you should go by clicking a button. There’s a quick rewind button if you want to head back to the latest checkpoint as well.
The Arcade-y Part of the Climb
Having played both The Climb 1 & 2, The Climb 2 has a stronger focus on the gamification of climbing with sequel coming off slightly more arcade-like in some areas. There are a few specific places where timing plays a key part in being able to progress further. Within the city level, you will be reaching or jumping horizontally as the billboard you are scaling rotates. This section was one of the most frustrating parts of the game, as it made me feel like my casual climb up the side of the skyscraper was turned into a fast-paced platform jumper like a level from Donkey Kong.
The Climb 2 offers a few different modes within its 15 base levels. The levels can be played at a more casual pace without the need to balance stamina and chalk. This allows you to explore more which may be good for the first time you enter a level. There is so much to see in each of the zones with waterfalls, large open seascapes, lush jungles, city skylines, and more. Once you are ready to jump in a match you can see your friends’ times, as well as race against their ghost within the level. This is fun and all, but I would like to see a future update that allows you to compete in real-time with your friends on the same maps.
A Handful of Unlockables
The Climb 2 awards your progress through navigating each level, beating certain scores, and finding hidden objects within each level. In-game unlockables include gloves, watches, and wristbands. While the incentive to get these items may not be for everyone, it’s a nice addition to the game. Once you equip new items you will see your new items on your hands and wrists.
For the first time in The Climb series, the developer Crytek has updated the game with bonus content. The new freestyle mode which was launched in April gave us a handful of new levels. Along with the level increase, a rhythm-based mode has you scaling walls while grips disappear. You need to learn the order of grips while staying one step ahead of the music to stay alive.
No Better Way to Climb
Climbing in VR is oftentimes a small gameplay piece in many of the games I have come across. Other VR games have climbing mechanics within them, but no other games make climbing their only mechanic. If you want to climb death-defying heights without fear of falling and dying, The Climb 2 has you covered. Are you ready to stand atop a mountain or a wind turbine? If so, The Climb 2 lets you do it.
Rapid Reviews Rating
4.5 out of 5
You can purchase The Climb 2 from the Oculus Store on the following link, https://www.oculus.com/experiences/quest/2617233878395214/
You can read our VR game reviews over at vrgamecritic.