Dead Hook Review

Dead Hook has finally arrived on Quest, and it’s come for your lives! It’s coming for your souls! It’s come for your $19.99 bucks, and, to be fair, it goes all out. Click here to get it on the Meta Store.

When Joy Way announced Dead Hook, we became very interested. We have noticed that Joy Way has a good understanding of creating immersive virtual reality experiences since we played Stride. This was confirmed when we played Outlier on PCVR, a game that had a lot of potential but unfortunately did not succeed. A beta version of Outlier was briefly released on Quest, and from that project, Dead Hook emerged. It is similar to a phoenix rising from the ashes, but instead of being a mythical bird, it is a character equipped with futuristic weapons and blades fighting against demonic enemies.

I am captivated by you.

The standout feature in this game, like in other Joy Way titles, is the incredibly smooth way of moving around. You have two grappling hooks, one for each hand, which you can shoot out using the A and X buttons. You can use both hooks together or one at a time, and the physics behave just as you would expect, making the swinging and movement feel extremely natural. You will quickly get the hang of it, using the chains to propel yourself forward, swinging by releasing them, and anchoring one hook while letting go of the other to gracefully move through the arenas. The overall movement experience is absolutely fantastic.

dead hook meta quest 2 vr review

Call Me Akimbo

While the grapple hooks contribute to the unique aspect of Dead Hook, the game primarily revolves around shooting. It can be said that Dead Hook combines elements of Swarm and Doom, resulting in a blend of a roguelike game fueled by vengeance and mechanical power. The game offers a decent selection of weapons, such as semi-automatic pistols, rocket launchers, shotguns, and plasma guns, all of which can be upgraded. Although these weapons lack alternative firing options and the upgrades mainly enhance their power rather than fundamentally changing them, the weapon designs are impressive, the shooting mechanics are satisfying, and each weapon packs its own impactful punch.

dead hook meta quest 2 vr review

After finishing a level, you will receive a chest in the middle which will contain a weapon, perk, or buff. However, Dead Hook can be a bit cruel as some levels only offer buffs, forcing you to choose the one that will cause the least harm.

The details are where the problem lies.

The mechanics for killing in Dead Hook have been adjusted to create a smooth and satisfying combat experience. When you have weakened an enemy enough, they will start glowing white to indicate their vulnerability. This is your opportunity to swiftly attack and tear them apart. The action also slows down, allowing you to switch your focus to the next target, causing them to glow and enabling you to engage in a chain of shooting, grappling, shattering, shooting, grappling, shooting, grappling, and destroying. Eventually, you can move around the arena with agility, leaving behind dismembered enemies as you go.

dead hook meta quest 2 vr review

You also have blades that are set into your arms, and once you’ve built up enough kills, those can be unleashed, allowing you to cross your arms while targeting enemies and sending you flying and slashing into them. Again, this allows for a chain of kills and always feels rewarding.

Dressed for Death

The visuals of Dead Hook are not extraordinary, but they are attractive. It has a graphical style that matches the theme, works effectively on Quest, and most importantly, enables the game to run smoothly and quickly without any interruptions or jerking movements during intense action. The environments are visually pleasing and improve as you progress further in the game. However, their design is more significant than their appearance as it allows for genuine three-dimensional movement, traversal, and combat.

Bang Your Head

If the advance copy of Dead Hook that we received before it was released did not have a glitch that caused the audio to stop during a specific level, I may not have fully realized the importance of the game’s music in driving the action and motivating the player. However, Joy Way has assured me that they are aware of the glitch and will fix it in a patch that will be available on the game’s first day. So, it is unlikely that you will encounter this issue. The overall sound design of the game is impressive, but it is the energetic soundtrack that accompanies the action that really sets the mood and keeps you engaged.

Trouble in Hell

Now, let’s move on to the complaints.

Despite the incredible attention paid to the core mechanics, Dead Hook has some minor UI and UX issues that make it feel a bit unpolished. A typo here and there that I’m assured will be fixed, poor weapon upgrade animations, and text that sometimes overflows past the box it’s set in. None of these issues impact the gameplay at all, and all of them can easily be patched if they haven’t been already by the time you see this review.

dead hook meta quest 2 vr review

The game’s main weaknesses are its limited enemy variety and unsatisfying boss battles. The enemies remain largely unchanged in the first ten levels, and even after defeating the first boss, they only have a few minor additions and different colors to indicate increased strength. While it would have been preferable to have more diverse enemies, the fast-paced action of shooting and slashing keeps players engaged enough to overlook this drawback.

dead hook meta quest 2 vr review

However, the initial encounter with the boss is uninteresting. The boss lacks agility and lacks any significant attacks, and although the game claims to have multiple phases, they do not have a significant impact. The first boss is a massive health pool that takes a long time to defeat, making the battle tedious rather than thrilling. Additionally, the victory feels unrewarding and unsatisfying.

Hell Blast

However, although I would like improved boss battles, a wider range of enemies, and better user interface design, I can still highly recommend Dead Hook to action enthusiasts who have a strong tolerance for virtual reality and enjoy chaotic gameplay with some interesting surprises. It is filled with intense excitement and is available at a reasonable price. If this type of game appeals to you, you will definitely have a great time.

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