Ragnarock – SteamVR Review

Do you love metal? Do you love rhythm games? Do you love Vikings? Then look no further, this is the game for you. Even if the tracklist leaves a lot to be desired. Let’s dive into Ragnarock!

Gameplay/Music

Ragnarock’s rhythm gameplay relies on you beating 4 drums in perfect rhythm with the runes that come flying at you as the music plays, every note you hit keeps your band of rowers speed up, hit a perfect note and you build a meter. There are 2 stages of the meter, once you hit one of the stages you can hit one of the shields and give your rowers a big speed boost, making you travel further.

That there is the goal in Ragnarock, the medals are based on how far you end up rowing, so it is absolutely vital that you hit as many perfect notes as possible a possible and utilize every boost.  Each Song has 3 difficulty levels, the higher the difficulty the higher the speed you will have to beat those drums at. How fast each difficulty is depends on the track. The game is very fun to play when you find your Jam, Hootsforce by Gloryhammer is my personal favourite.

The customisation options are fantastic, you can place the shields were you are, centre the drums, adjust their height and even edit your hammers angle and so on, allowing you to get things just right.  

There are online leader boards and a PVP race option, where you can rhythm battle someone else and see who travels the furthest. There are also additional hammers you can unlock to customise their look. The multiplayer does not seem to be cross-platform at the moment, which is disappointing.

The selection of tracks is somewhat good, it has bands I absolute adore like Gloryhammer, it also has bands such as Alestorm, Wind Rose, Nanowar, in fact here is a full track list below.

  • Alestorm – Chomp chomp
  • Alestorm – No grave but the sea
  • Alestorm – Mexico
  • Alestorm – Tortuga
  • Celkilt – Dewey
  • Celkilt – Next One Down
  • Celkilt – Whaole
  • Feuerschwanz – Metfest
  • Feuerschwanz – Kampfzwerg
  • GloryHammer – Hootsforce
  • GloryHammer – Masters of the galaxy
  • GloryHammer – Universe on Fire
  • Manaberry – Welcome to asgard (an exclusive creation for Ragnarock!)
  • Nanowar of Steel – Valhalleluja
  • Niklas Johansson – Call of the North
  • Paddy and the Rats – Join the Riot
  • Sabordage – Au petit matin (an exclusive creation for Ragnarock!)
  • Sabordage – The Great Pirate Bottle (an exclusive creation for Ragnarock!)
  • Saltatio Mortis – Loki
  • Saltatio Mortis – Löwenherz
  • Sons Of O’Flaherty – Dead and Gone
  • Sons Of O’Flaherty – Red Wine Teeth
  • The SIDH – Heroes
  • The SIDH – Iridium
  • The SIDH – Nitro
  • Ultra Vomit – Evier Metal
  • Ultra Vomit – Kammthaar
  • Wind Rose – Drunken Dwarves
  • Wind Rose – Mine Mine Mine!
  • Wind Rose – To Erebor

Now there are some songs on here, that in my opinion should just not be here, there are also some absurd misses, such as Brothers of Metal… An 8 piece Viking metal band who even have a song called Prophecy of Ragnarock. It is very odd to me there’s pirate metal in a Viking VR Rhythm game but is missing any actual Viking metal bands. There’s also simply not enough tracks by the likes of Gloryhammer and I hope for full album DLC to be purchasable in the future, as I feel that is what can really elevate the game to something truly special.

The game does have custom track support, however this require a lot of skill as seen here in the guide https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2322810263 Multiple tools are required to make custom tracks, making this a borderline non-existent feature. The game is already extremely niche and the complexity of making a custom rack makes it even more niche. Sure, I could input all the songs I want and play them but it would take me multiple days if not weeks to do so.

This is why I am hoping for full album DLC. Hopefully the developers WanadevStudio can sort out the license issues and so on, frankly I don’t care if the price is high, being able to choose the songs you want to play rather than the underwhelming track list would make the game infinitely superior. I still find it significantly better than beat saber as quite frankly the music in that game make me feel like I am killing brain cells.

Visuals

Naturally this game does not have to do anything complex as it is not required and it is also on the Quest. I will say however the incredibly basic visuals do the jib perfectly well and the courses are great.

Performance

This has massively improved in the final release on my end. however, I have also updated my GPU Driver to the latest for my RTX 3080 TUF, so while the release update did optimize the game how much of it is optimisation and how much is driver related given the 3000 series has had a bumpy VR road in drivers is unknown to me. As you would expect the game runs no problem at 120fps on an 8700K and 3080 TUF OC, with high super sampling on a Valve Index. The game should run fine on an average VR rig.

Conclusion

Ragnarock VR is a solid Rhythm VR game with a decent enough track list that could really do with some DLC. It is by no means lacking content in terms of the number of songs and the MP, but again there will likely be quite a few songs you are not hot on and will never play, in addition to the lack of a Viking metal band it feels like it lacks some clout.

The custom track solution is too complex will be a borderline non-existent scene because of that.  All that being said, once you find tracks you really enjoy, the game is incredibly fun, exhilarating and a great ride. There is a Solid foundation here, but it really feels like the games journey is far from over and I hope the devs do not leave it here.

7/10

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