The Climb is a virtual reality game by Crytek for the Oculus Quest. It’s also available on PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4, but only the Oculus Quest version is reviewed here.
Players are challenged to scale an ever-growing mountain as high as they can go without falling off. The mountain has three parts: rocks, ice walls, and sheer cliffs. For each part of the mountain, there are two main modes: climbing solo or multiplayer (co-op). The solo mode features many routes up the mountain that increase in difficulty over time; co-op mode has fewer routes but allows players to work together to reach new heights faster than either could alone.
At first glance, it appears that this game offers little more than a simple climbing simulator, but that’s too superficial of an assessment. The Climb offers all the thrills of rock-climbing without any of the danger thanks to the safety harness worn by every player. This means everything from shaky hands caused by fear, to wind buffeting your body, to sharp rocks ripping holes in your clothes are all represented in-game with realistic simulations.
Crytek did not only work on presenting a realistic climbing experience; they also spent time making sure that players would learn how to climb best under their own power. Top climbers will still be able to use shortcuts unspotted by beginners while playing solo mode, for example. Even more casual gamers can benefit from simply trying new routes and seeing what works for them instead of always using the same strategy.
Although the game is already released, it’s still receiving regular updates with new content like new routes and character skins that are free for anyone who already owns the game. To earn these rewards players simply need to log in each week and climb at least 5k meters to “unlock” their next item. This makes getting all previous costumes entirely possible without spending any extra money.
The Climb may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but if you find climbing interesting or even just tolerable then The Climb offers enough options for everyone to play at their own pace and enjoy the experience as much as they want to. For $20 USD it’s an excellent value for newcomers and VR veterans alike.