SWARM 2 – The Review

April 20, 2024 ·

What if your calling leads you to some challenging obstacles? Would you still attempt to fulfill what you were meant to do, or would you hesitate in the moment? But what if after becoming the hero and saving Earth, what do you think you would do then? Maybe you will start a new career. Or maybe you would still train in case anything were to happen.. It is interesting to think about what we think we would do versus what we may be doing. But if it came down to it, we would all do the right thing. But does the developer, Greensky Games, improve on its predecessor? Let’s find out with SWARM 2 for the Quest 2, 3, & Pro.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59_HeIgRPh4

SWARM 2 is the highly anticipated sequel to Greensky Games’SWARM and is an electrifying rogue-like shooter. Where every mission brings unexpected challenges as you navigate through the neon-lit ruins of Earth, now a constantly changing battleground. Each encounter with the Swarm is a unique experience, with tactics and strategies evolving to match your growing skills along with epic new environments, intoxicating rogue-like progression, and globally competitive leaderboards.

Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s going to be a piece of cake; there are some key points you should be aware of before getting started. First, decide if you are going to play standing or sitting, as either way will work. But if you think that swinging through the air as you twist and turn while standing may result in something you will get yelled at for doing, you might want to find that comfortable chair. Secondly, ensure that you fully charge those Touch Plus controllers and your headset. One of the biggest confidence killers is when you realize that you forgot to charge the controllers or ensure that the rechargeable batteries are fully charged. Thirdly, I am not going to spoil anything for anyone. And finally, have some fun. With all that said, let’s continue…

When you first start the game, you do have a couple of options. Before starting a new game, you will want to go into Settings. First, you need to decide your comfort fade. You will be swinging and turning, but the way Greensky Games has this setup, you should be okay with the default comfort grade. But at any time, if you feel the need to change it, you can. By default, everything plays as it should. One of the settings you might want to check if you are planning on standing while you play is the box for Guardian Pause. If you get out of your set Guardian space, the game will pause. Another thing to check is the type of Thumbstick Turning you would prefer. The default is set on Snap, but I changed it to smooth for me. Again, set it up as you see fit and whatever makes you comfortable in playing. Once you are all set, click on Training as you want to get the swing of things.

If this is your first time in the SWARM universe or it’s been a little while since you played SWARM, the training gets you up to speed. In each hand, you have your pistol and a grappling hook that allows you to hook onto things and move around, all while still being able to shoot at the enemies. So once you hook onto something, just pull your Grip Triggers towards you to start moving around.

I will say this about being able to swing around. Never once did I feel sick and that’s thanks to Greensky Games’ Signature Smooth Grappling System. Being able to hook onto an enemy and shoot it to only then free fall and still be part of the action while I found something else to use my grapple hook on. But it’s not just the swinging you have to get accustomed to, you also have to be able to shoot the Swarm of enemies that are all around, but you will want to collect the different power-ups, shards that are used as currency so you can purchase upgrades, and health all while trying to avoid the enemies firing at you which will turn into some crazy chaos.

Each “mission” structures itself as a run, and you measure your success by how far you get each time, where you hopefully can take down the powerful bosses, and see how many points you earn. In between each run, you unlock new perks that subtly alter your style, which keeps things unique. You also have the option to upgrade things such as your health and shield powers. But you also will see on the right side, the leaderboard for that level and you will get to see where you place within the global, friends, and those close to you. There is also the Arcade Mode where you are trying to get the highest score within a set time limit. The enemies are in predetermined locations (unlike the main game), and online leaderboards for each stage. And if you find yourself where it seems the difficulty may be a little too challenging, you can always change the difficulty level.

Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. With the graphics, the developer again went with the cell shading art style as they did with the first, but made it much better. While I was swinging around and trying to dodge enemy fire, I looked at how each level felt new, was bright when it needed to be, which again, looks very good when you add Hons VR lenses and the Quest 3. With the sound, hearing Auggie’s voice added this sense that I wasn’t alone in this fight and I had support. I enjoyed the soundtrack as it just had enough in the background while also being able to hear the weapon fire being used to get me in the zone to take on the Swarm.

There are a few things that I would love to see. First, more maps. You can never go wrong with more maps. The good thing is that is part of the SWARM 2 roadmap and it’s coming this May. Second, as nice as the visuals are, we always want to see things pushed to their limits while still operating smoothly. Well, that is also coming with 90/120Hz support this July. Third, more enemy varieties, along with them appearing at any time just to add to the challenges and the leaderboards. But that looks like that is coming this fall, with new maps as part of the Halloween Horrors part of the roadmap. Fourth, I would love to see new weapons, bosses, items to upgrade, and just the ability to do flips with the touch of a button or by moving in a certain motion. I mean, let’s push this to the limits. Fifth, more of the story element. In SWARM, in between missions, there was the comic book story element and it would be a bonus to have a new story in the same style in SWARM 2. And finally, more of the SWARM Universe.

SWARM 2 took what was fun from its predecessor, and turned up the attitude and competition of the online leaderboards, all while making swinging into action better for it. Life isn’t about existing on a calm sea. It’s about learning to navigate the currents, using our emotional intelligence to grapple with what needs to be addressed and to swing past what doesn’t. It’s in this dance with our emotions that we find balance, a lightness of being that allows us to truly appreciate the journey, however short it may be.

SWARM 2 is out now for the Quest 2, 3, & Pro on the Meta Store. A review code was provided.

To know more about the game, follow them on Twitter.

To learn more about Greensky Games, please visit their site and subscribe to their YouTube channel.

In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have more weekly challenges to try and complete along with claiming some leaderboards.

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