It was Thanksgiving 2007 when my older brother handed me the first Assassin’s Creed as an early Christmas gift. I still remember putting the disc into my Xbox 360 and having that first experience of scaling buildings and fighting templars. My brother turned to me as I was consumed by the game and said “See this game right here, this is gonna be a massive franchise, you’re gonna be playing these games for years to come.” As I was playing, I truly believed his words, I mean, the combination of historical settings and parkour sounded wild at the time.
As the games evolved, so did the stories, and the heart of each title. New things were added over the years, and there may have been some hits and misses, but Assassin’s Creed has always had a place in the hearts of many. Now in 2023, and after so many various titles in the series, we now have our hands on something truly unique. A VR Assassin’s Creed game where you play as three of the most popular Assassins. A game where you can be and feel like the character, climb buildings, eagle dive, and even use your hidden blade on command. If you are an Assassin’s Creed fan and you have a Meta Quest 2, 3, or pro, then this is the game you’ve been dreaming about.
Developed by Ubisoft, Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR follows the story of an unnamed hacker who is tasked with infiltrating Abstergo and accessing the memories of Ezio, Kassandra, and Connor. The hacker enters the secret Abstergo project called the “Nexus Eye” and is tasked with finding fragments of the Isu Machine that can be combined with the Animus. Once combined, the fragments will allow the possibility for a computer to be made that can predict human behavior. The hacker has to relive the memories of the Assassins but also has to secretly plant logic bombs that will destroy the memories and keep the fragments from Abstergo.
The game starts with you speaking with Rebecca Crane and Shaun Hastings, both familiar characters in the series. It was very cool to be in my living room and see it while wearing the headset, but also interact with holographic puzzles. I felt like a hacker or a spy with how cool it felt to walk around a 3D hologram in my living room. After that sequence, you get to play as Ezio in Venice. This part is the tutorial and it will help you get a feel for how the game is played. You can walk anywhere, grab and throw objects, access your hidden blade, crouch, or press a button to crouch, climb, run, jump, and stealth kill. Everything you would need and expect from an Assassin’s Creed game is here.
Parkour is super fun, but it takes a little getting used to. Scaling the environments and running from spot to spot is pretty smooth, but if you feel dizzy or find that it’s a little difficult, you can modify and adjust your preferences in the settings. For me, jumping from high places made me feel off for a bit, but I quickly got used to it and had to convince myself that I wasn’t falling. There was also so much freedom that I didn’t expect, especially with exploring before main missions. I think some people are going to have more fun running around and just feeling like their favorite Assassin. There are so many things to do in the game as well, including parkour time trials, archery practice, and even some historical trivia. The story will also flip between the Assassins a bunch, so it may get a little confusing on the narrative at times, but I think it gives it way more variety.
Some of the downsides for me were how many times the game would freeze on me and I had to restart things. That took time away from the experience but I was wondering if playing on the Meta Quest 2 influenced that at all. I also was not a big fan of the one-on-one combat. Each enemy will take their time to attack you, and you have to wait on the block and parry system before you’re able to attack. A lot of it felt very slow and super easy. I think if they were to expand on this game in any way, the one thing they need to work on is the combat. Other than fighting at times, the game is incredibly true to the source material and it truly felt like I was in that world at times. Even putting on the Meta Quest oddly felt like I was entering the Animus and that was great.
The game is about 15 hours and I think that is more than enough for a VR game. I could only play for so long until I got a little thrown off, so use some caution when playing this game for long amounts of time.
This game is an experience I never knew I needed, but I am so happy to have it. When my friends come over I have them try it, and it’s made some of them want to buy a Meta Quest just so they can go home and play this game.
I was quite surprised by the story and the gameplay. In all honesty, I thought the game would just be an Assassin’s Creed VR simulator, but it’s so much more. I put on the Meta Quest 2 and I was transported to those familiar places from the games. It felt nostalgic but also fresh and fun. There was an early mission where you play as Ezio returning home and it made me feel like I was him coming back.
There is a known familiarity with this game, even though it’s different. If you know enough about the series, you know how to approach every situation and the game allows you to reenact those movements physically. The game keeps you active, engaged, and entertained. If you have a Meta Quest and have absolutely no idea what to play, do yourself a favor and get Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR right now.
This review was written based on a digital review copy of Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR for Meta Quest provided by Ubisoft.