Hands-on: Ruins Magus isn’t the game I thought it was

I had a hard time deciphering what exactly Ruins Magus is he is over the past few months.

Primary Trailers From 2021 it has been suggested that this fantastic adventure might be a text-packed visual novel experience similar to Tokyo Chronos. Then, at the Upload VR Showcase in December last year, we saw a file The first signs of fightingand wondered if the game might feature some kind of Japanese RPG battle system. Now that I’ve played it, I can actually tell you what Ruins Magus is: it’s a VR dungeon crawler. And very good at it.

Perhaps the best I can say about Ruins Magus now is that, from its incredible artistic direction to its fanciful premise, Feel As if you were inside an anime. You play as the newest member of the Honorary Guild, a group of warriors, magicians, and engineers who explore a deep set of ancient caves carved into the belly of a gigantic mountain. Just outside the entrance, Grand Amnis is a thriving city that scrambles for gold and lives on from the results of your excursions. It’s also where you’ll get new quests, shop for items and talk to NPCs to learn more about the world.

Everything from traditional characters and set designs to impressive Japanese voice acting is here. Merchants sit in tents full of trinkets and vigilantes patrol the streets with exotic weapons in a costume that could perfectly match the classic Final Fantasy game. Specifically in Quest, there’s none of those ugly textures that tell you you’re playing a massively mini PC port of VR. Sure, it might not have the technical sophistication of some of the more realistic headphone titles, but it’s no exaggeration to say that this is one of the best looking games on the system.

If there’s one thing that’s elusive it’s oddly enough NPCs, which either hide their sights with armor or, even more worrisome, long fringes. It unintentionally gives some characters a creepy look, as if you were in a town inhabited by an extended family from The Ring’s vengeful spirit.

When you’re not exploring the city, you’ll take part in one of the more than 25 missions in the game, and you’ll encounter enemies in the ruins. This is where Ruins Magus reveals itself as a surprisingly solid action game. In the beginning, players can access a simple fireball spell that is summoned with the right trigger, as well as two special transferable skills used with the right fist. One is another fireball that creates area-of-impact damage, while the other is a charged lightning attack that covers a larger area the longer you hold it down. Meanwhile, on your left hand there is a shield used to block incoming projectiles, and at the right timing, you can even dodge them with a press of the left trigger.

Smooth navigation blends with a dash mechanic in a flash-style, and you can also snatch grenades and health potions purchased from the Item Shop off your chest. In other words, there’s a lot to consider here, and balancing the different attack types with fast-paced movement can be overwhelming at first. Ruins Magus’ heavy button control system left me tying my fingers in knots as I tried to remember which combination of inputs did what, although I hope the learning curve of the full game will be tamed.

I certainly hope that’s the case since in moments of clarity, this is a really exciting physical combat system. Enemy attacks are large, bright projectiles that are easy to spot but tricky to time, which means you’ll need to be ready to throw your shield or dash forward at any moment. I especially like how some of the attacks wind their way towards you in a zigzag way, which makes it hard to judge when they arrive and from what angle.

I played the first few intro quests, which took at least ten minutes or so when you include story sequences etc. There is definitely a lot of potential to fight to get deeper and more demanding as you journey into the ruins – I unlock more attacks at the end of the second mission and new enemy types threaten to hit harder and harder to hit. If the game can maintain this pace throughout its entire campaign, it should be a truly dynamic and engaging experience.

Lon Lee surprised, then. Ruins Magus isn’t the game I thought it would be, but based on what I’ve played, it’s also a bit better than I expected too. I’ll be waiting to play the full game later this year to make final impressions. For now, Ruins Magus is slated to release sometime this summer, with a demo Steam Next Fest in June.