Windlands 2 review (PSVR)

Psytec sure took their time bringing Windlands 2 to PlayStation VR, because even though the sequel was released not too long after the well-received first game launched, it took over three years for the sequel to make the jump from PC-based VR to PlayStation. But, as news on PSVR 2 nears, it’s finally here – was it worth the wait?

One area where Windlands 2 improves a lot over the first game is in the role they’ve given to the narrative this time around. While it was extremely bare bones the first time around, your role as a guardian is much more fleshed out in the sequel, where you return to the Windlands and fight the titans that are threatening the world by trying to bring back the blood guardian – a story that’s backed up by a fully voiced narrative.

The gameplay itself largely stays faithful to the first Windlands though, letting you traverse the game world by swinging on your hooks that you attach to anchor points to avoid falling into the abyss below – though in other sections the gameplay feels more like a VR take on parkour, which is just as fun now as it was in the first Windlands.

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The gameplay has also been enriched with enemies, even though there aren’t a lot of them. Outside of boss fights, there are only two kinds of enemies, but they give the game more range in the objectives it throws at you. Luckily boss fights offer more diversity in their design, as even though every titan needs to be taken out by hitting vulnerable spots there are big differences in character design and in the environments you find them in.

Combat introduces a familiar VR staple to windlands – the bow and arrow, which is a mechanic that generally works well within the limitations of the Move controllers. That’s true here as well, though the free-flowing nature of the traversal means that you’ll sometimes want to track an enemy over your shoulder as well, and the headset can sometimes have a little trouble with that – losing sight of you or readjusting its view of you, briefly breaking immersion.

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The story campaign in Windlands 2 is about three times longer than the one in the first. Granted, that one was only about two hours long, but seeing a decently sized campaign in a VR game is always a plus. This particular one you can also tackle with other in an online co-op session though, which is a bonus. Add additional challenges, collectibles and a speed mode to the mix, and you’re looking at tons of content for the price.

Visually, the leap forward in Windlands 2 isn’t as big as it is for the amount of content and the gameplay mechanics. The game looks quite similar to the first game, although enemies and titans do add to a richer visual experience this time around. All in all, a very worthwhile sequel that improves on the first game in many ways – here’s hoping we haven’t seen the last of Windlands.

Score: 8.0/10

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