Hands-on with VR dungeon crawler Preta: Vendetta Rising

I played a variety of VR games at E3, some that were amazing and some that need a little work, and unfortunately, Preta: Vendetta Rising falls into the latter.

Preta: Vendetta Rising is a multiplayer action-RPG set in Akirion, a fantasy world overrun by the titular, demonic Pretas. Players choose from different characters when they embark on missions, and each character touts unique cooldown abilities. One character’s ability could project giant, spiky ice balls at the Pretas, and another has a spin power that deals massive damage in an area around them.

Preta’s combat seems like a system I’d enjoy, but leaving the demo, I wasn’t convinced this title belongs on VR platforms. Fights became more frantic the longer I played, which I could have managed if it weren’t so frustrating to turn the camera. The game prevents motion sickness by changing your view between black screens, but rotating the camera takes so long, it was a more a hindrance than a help.

It looks good, but from what I played, this game lends itself better to traditional platforms.

The power of VR is in its ability to give you a sense of place only the platform could achieve, but in Preta, I felt as if I were playing a game that was meant for consoles, not headsets. According to developer Illion Corp, they’re even planning a non-VR release of the game sometime after launch. As the studio’s first game, Preta feels like it’s trying to validate the studio’s ability to make a game with VR support rather than using the medium to its fullest potential.

After my demo, I teamed up with two other players to complete a “raid.” These were nothing more than arenas occupied by giant, attack point-vacuum Pretas that dole out powerful hits. Taking them down didn’t require any strategy or coordination from my team, just time to knock their health bars to zero. We inevitably won, but I didn’t feel any sense of accomplishment — winning against these large creatures felt pretty mindless.

As a VR game, Preta: Vendetta Rising is pretty terrible from what I played. Perhaps it will be redeemed by its console or PC counterpart? I’m a sucker for fantasy worlds, and I want to dive more into Akirion’s lore, but with so many other good games on the horizon, it might be… awhile… until I’m inspired to play this one.

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