Review – Amid Evil VR

We don’t exactly live in a time where retro-styled shooters are rare, and New Blood Interactive is one of the reasons for that. The publisher is basically focused on delivering games that look, feel and play like natural evolutions of the franchises released by iD Software in the mid-90s. Dusk was their take on Quake, while Dusk ’82 was them paying homage to old school Castle Wolfenstein (as in, the ones before the Wolfenstein everyone knows). Amid Evil was their take on Hexen and Heretic, released a few years ago to wide acclaim. I hadn’t reviewed it back then, but I picked it up a while back and loved it. To make things even better, New Blood decided to transform said game into a fully-fledged VR title. Needless to say, Amid Evil VR is a must-have for Quest owners.

Amid Evil VR Graphics

So immersive, it really feels like I was transported into a VoodooFX commercial from 1997.

Some of you younger readers may be wondering what the hell Hexen and Heretic even are. Well, back in the day, there was this up and coming studio called Raven Software, later known for games like Soldier of Fortune, Star Wars: Jedi Outcast and the freaking phenomenal X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Well, one of the first games by these lads was the iD-published Heretic, which was basically a medieval take on old-school DOOM. It looked like DOOM, it played like DOOM, but the difference is that I wasn’t wielding a shotgun or a doomsday machine gun; I was wielding swords, staves, and magic rods. Hexen and Hexen II were its sequels, but afterwards, Raven never looked back at the franchise that put it on the map.

Amid Evil is the love letter, the soft unofficial reboot to those games. While being, at its core, a shooter running on Unreal 4, it was as retro as a retro shooter could be, with visuals taken straight from the dawn of graphics accelerator cards and gameplay stuck in 1997. Before you ask, no, this ain’t a complaint. On the contrary. The game is fast-paced, well-designed, gory as hell, and above all, fun. It was a perfect candidate for a fully-fledged VR transition. New Blood went out of their way to completely remake the game in VR, with brand new controls and interface, all while retaining everything that made Amid Evil fun in the first place. The results? Excellence.

Amid Evil VR Blade

Oh, you beauty.

Sure, at its core, the game looks and sounds the same, which in the case of the former, isn’t particularly exciting. It was designed to look as old-school as possible, with some enemies purposefully featuring few frames of animation in order to emulate the look and feel of how they used to behave in Quake and Hexen. When you’re strapping a big fat visor in front of your face, these janky animations can occasionally ruin immersion. Not that I was expected to feel like I was inside a magic world, or that I would be able to LARP as a magic knight with floating limbs, but yeah, a bit weird at first. Thankfully, the somewhat limited visuals did not hinder the game from running at the sexiest and fastest of framerates. What really makes Amid Evil VR so juicy is its gameplay.

Amid Evil VR features the best of what a VR device with two analog sticks can offer: freaking insanely, vomit-inducing, fast-paced shooting action. Upon turning off all comfort features, I was waltzing around like a lunatic, swinging my axe around as if my name was Gimli. The physics were sound enough; whenever I’d attack an enemy with my axe, I’d feel its body just shattering in front of me. Other weapons controlled naturally with this gameplay scheme, taking advantage of the Quest 2’s motion capabilities. My only gripe with the gameplay lied on the button placement of certain features. Changing weapons felt a bit glitchy, for instance.

Amid Evil VR Ranged Weapons

“Nah mate, I can wield swords, axes, AND magic rods! This ain’t no Final Fantasy!”

One thing I like about Amid Evil VR is the fact that this isn’t like, for instance, DOOM VFR. As much as I liked that game, it wasn’t the literally DOOM from 2016 in VR. Amid Evil VR is exactly the same game from 2019, transported into a new dimension. Not unlike Resident Evil 4 VR, but without any kind of cinematic interruptions to possibly ruin immersion. I honestly think Amid Evil VR showcased the Quest 2’s biggest strength like no other game in the system so far: it’s a perfect place for VR adaptations of older or arcade-like games released in the past. PCVR can keep the bulkier physics, and PS VR2 can have the more cinematic and graphically-intensive games from bigger publishers. This game is a surefire hit and a must-have for owners of this VR headset. Now, can we get Dusk in VR too?


Graphics: 7.0

The old-school visuals and occasionally glitchy enemy animations remove you from immersion, but the level design is top-notch. The performance is excellent as well.

Gameplay: 9.0

A perfect combination of motion-based melee attacks and ranged shooting. Not a single element of the gameplay was removed when porting Amid Evil to VR. I only have a few button placement and gameplay nitpicks, but nothing that can be called deal-breakers.

Sound: 8.0

While the sound effects aren’t anything special, the soundtrack is top tier.

Fun Factor: 9.0

A perfect port of a retro-styled shooter to a VR headset, with intact level design, great controls and lots of fun to be had. Also, a good showcase of what the Quest 2’s focus should be from now on.

Final Verdict: 8.5

Amid Evil VR is available now on PCVR and Meta Quest 2.

Reviewed on Quest 2.

A copy of Amid Evil VR was provided by the publisher.