Limp Bizkit’s ‘Break Stuff’ may have waxed lyrical way back in 2000 about venting anger by smashing stuff up but for musicians, that’s almost second nature. Not modern artists of course but back in the 70s and 80s it was almost a rite of passage for rock stars to destroy the hotel they were staying in. While they could afford the repair bills most normal folk probably haven’t thrown the TV off the balcony into the pool below. Which is where Hotel R’n’R comes into scratch that destructive itch.
The work of Wolf & Wood, the team behind epic horror series The Exorcist: Legion VR, the team have melded classic rock folklore with that urge to break stuff. Supposedly all the great stars of that era signed some sort of deal with the Devil to become rich and famous, and that just so happens to be where Hotel R’n’R kicks in with you playing a failed rock musician who just didn’t have the skills and ends up in Hell. One quick signature later and you’re back up top with one mission, break a lot of stuff.
Hotel R’n’R’s premise really is that simple. Grab a bottle, and smash it on the floor. Pick up a toaster and hurl it out of the window. Basically, take whatever you can find and make sure none of it looks like new when you leave. All so you can rack up as big a bill by the end as possible, which is the scoring gauge. Each level has several challenges to accomplish which will then unlock the next hotel, just be prepared for plenty of repetition.
The first couple of goes are great fun, working out what breaks and what you can actually achieve. That joy becomes a little dampened when trying to progress when you realise more tools are required to really up the score. Luckily, Hell has a handy Pawn Shop where you can spend your monies on useful items like boxing gloves, baseball bats and even C4. The better the item the more exorbitant the cost, so that first hotel room starts to become real familiar as you destroy it for the 50th time.
As Hotel R’n’R is still in Early Access there are still a few small issues to resolve. Tracking seems to be one. During the smashathon hotel management naturally come knocking, first a maid, then the manager and finally security – once security arrives it’s all over. When the maid and manager turn up you can stop them coming in by way of three locks on the door, requiring a quick bit of handy work to keep things sealed. This proved tricky at points – using an Oculus Rift – with hands either sticking or simply not moving at times, which isn’t ideal for this fast-paced section.
There also seemed to be some inconsistency when stuff breaks (or doesn’t break). Lobbing a vase across the room there’s a 50/50 chance of it breaking while ripping a clothes rail off worked but using it to damage other items didn’t. Which all got somewhat frustrating when trying to complete a challenge.
What’s good though is the attention to and level of detail in the hotel. Drawers can be ripped out, sinks smashed, fruit has a satisfying splat when connecting with a wall and the TV can be thrown! There are also several mini-games located in Hell should you want a break whilst still earning cash.
Hotel R’n’R is mindless virtual destruction at its most brazen and chaotic. Wolf & Wood offer players what every good VR title should, lots and lots of interactivity that gets you moving, immersing you in a digital world which almost seems real. It isn’t perfect by any means and certainly isn’t one for the puzzle aficionados out there but don’t discount Hotel R’n’R’s devilish gameplay too quickly.