Punishing rougelite In Death is due for release on Oculus Quest next week, but this isn’t your bog-standard standalone port.
For starters, In Death: Unchained is helmed by a new studio named Superbright instead of original creator, Solfar. There’s also a lot of changes to the core game that make this more of an extended cut than a 1:1 port. Here’s four things to look out for when the game launched on July 23.
Wireless Rougelite Action
Obviously the biggest change with any Quest port is the ability to experience the game without a wire tugging at your neck. And it works wonders for In Death’s brand of arrow-dodging, fast-firing combat. In the original game, you could certainly duck an arrow when it comes your way, but here it’s a much more viable tactic, paired with your trusty shield for blocking anything more accurate.
Not to mention that this just helps you get immersed further in the action. It was already possible to lose hours in In Death’s procedurally generated dungeons, but on Quest this could be the rare title we come back to time and time again.
A New Level
The press preview for the game we tried this week grants access to a brand new level, The Abyss. This fiery hellscape won’t actually be available until later in the game when the full thing arrives but promises a more demonic variant on some of the environments already available in the base game. Though it’s ultimately not too different outside of the new color palette, it does make for a more fitting home for some of the game’s more disturbing enemies.
Scaled Back Visuals, But Not Too Much
As with any PC to Quest port, In Death’s visuals take a bit of a hit in the transition to the all-in-one. But, fortunately, it’s not by too much. Character models have that meshed effect to them, and environments don’t pack that impressive crisp punch they boasted on PC (which, we should point out, was visually ahead of its time even back at full launch in 2018). We’ll have a full graphics comparison when we can directly play levels side-by-side.
Fewer Enemies At Once (For Now)
Note: Superbright has been in touch to clarify that the enemy count in my demo had been tweaked. We’ll still need to play the full version to see for ourselves, but you can read what we originally wrote below.
Based on what I’ve played so far, the Quest version of the game doesn’t pile on enemies as much as you might be used to in the PC version. In the original, it wouldn’t be uncommon to have upwards of five or six archers and then several other monsters all rushing for a piece of you. In the Quest version, you’re more likely to encounter three or four enemies bunched together in small groups at a time, though some environments will still have a wide selection of foes spread out across different vantage points. It certainly makes the game a little more manageable from what we’ve played, but we’ll need to wait and see how this holds up in the full release.
In Death: Unchained hits Oculus Quest on July 23. Are you going to be picking up the game? Let us know in the comments below!