Virtual reality (VR) has proven to be a technology which excels at plenty of videogame genre’s, especially when it comes to physical interaction. One of the best examples of this is melee combat, whether that’s hand to hand or using weapons. And who doesn’t love being embroiled in some fantasy adventure where survival comes down to how well you can swing a sword. So here is VRFocus’ favourite VR sword fighting examples.
This is a list all about bladed combat, going toe to toe with enemies in a battle of wits and endurance. So that means titles like Beat Saber will be excluded as while they do feature flashy swords you’re not dueling in any way.
Until You Fall
Offering a highly stylized experience that pulls no punches, Until You Fall arms you with a selection of weapons, from short swords to knives and axes. The aim is to get as far as possible without dying, death resetting the areas, enemy locations and more, for a different experience each time.
Schell Games might have added a storyline and magical qualities to enhance various character attributes but the main draw is still the combat. Most areas split enemies up so it’s mostly 1v1, allowing you to charge in and do some serious damage. Opponents attacks are indicated to aid blocking, whilst you can break their guard and unleash powerful specialised blows. One of the most visually arresting titles here.
Swords of Gargantua
While Until You Fall was purely single-player, Yomuneco Inc’s. Swords of Gargantua provides both solo and multiplayer gameplay to keep players entertained.
A fast-paced rogue-lite action experience, Swords of Gargantua focuses on realistic swordplay for one to four players, blocking, parrying, and attacking deadly foes with a mixture of over 30 weapons. You have to fight though101 floors of enemies to reach the colossal end-boss, Gargantua.
A pure PvP dueler, Ironlights by indie developer E McNeill is one of the more unusual combat titles on this list but shouldn’t be overlooked.
Supporting PC VR headsets as well as Oculus Quest, Ironlights is about thoughtful use of the weapons provided, rather than all-out action and flailing wildly. You can choose from a selection of characters each with a close combat weapon as well as a ranged attack.
The trick with Ironlights is that combat takes place in slow motion and weapons instantly break when they make contact, continually needing to be replenished by swinging them behind your back.
Ironlights is another title which offers both solo and online play, with the single-player campaign providing seven levels to unlock across Bronze, Silver and Gold leagues.
Blade & Sorcery
Another Early Access title which has built a loyal following thanks to its gameplay, Blade & Sorcery is a medieval fantasy sandbox for all your bladed combat needs.
Blade & Sorcery does feature ranged and magic combat but its the sheer selection of medieval weaponry, the full-body physics and the way you can be creative in combat that makes the experience so much fun.
Supporting PC headsets like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Valve Index, Blade & Sorcery is continually updated by developer WarpFrog so you can be sure there’s always something to do.
Probably the most ridiculous VR videogame on here, if you’re looking for anime levels of blood and gore then Gorn is it.
The opponents might be spongy, rag-doll gladiators but they can put up a fight and in the small arena you need to as well. Weapons wobble all over the place but this ain’t no cartoon, hack arms off, smash skulls in and paint the place red with claret, in this single-player hack ‘n’ slash.
Shadow Legend VR
Time for an actual story-driven VR adventure, with castles, knights, ancient evil and of course a sword in Shadow Legend VR.
As the Grand Master of the Knights Templar, it’s up to you to save your kingdom of Anaria from the destruction of Lord Adaroth. Shadow Legend VR is great for those who want more context to their battles, rather than pure brutish arena battles.
With interwoven RPG elements the videogame provides an entertaining medieval adventure across both PC and PlayStation VR headsets. The action isn’t quite as finessed as others on this list but there are still epic boos fights and hidden secrets to find.