SwordsmanVR Review: Two Years into a Solid VR Sword fighting Entry

Swordsman VR is a solid entry for fans of physical fighting games in VR that adds to previously established sword-fighting titles such as Blade and Sorcery, Hellsplit Arena, and Tales of Glory. The game offers a different approach to established titles, giving it a reason to be in your VR library alongside the aforementioned heavy-hitters.

SwordsmanVR Review: Two Years into a Solid VR Sword fighting Entry

Swordsman VR offers physics based combat, alongside a sharper skill curve in pursuit of more ‘realistic’ sword fighting. Newcomers will be surprised by the new demand on their reflexes and perception once they face off against the game’s enemies.

Once you load up the game on either quest 2 or PC, players will immediately be hit by the game’s sleek presentation: The unified UI is reminiscent of older RPGS like TES: IV and Mount & Blade. The enemies look well modeled, and the weapons have recently received a rework that complement the pseudo-realistic fantasy world. The main menu area is a small room with an armorer(to purchase armor) blacksmith(to purchase weapons)and a skill master(to spend skill points). These facets are what keep the gameplay loop moving forward — after surviving each round against the swordsmen of the ‘Jotuun’, the endgame boss.

Swordsman VR - Official Cinematic Trailer

Swordsman VR is Published by SinnStudios. Swordsman VR costs 19.99 is available on PC, Standalone, and PlayStation stores.

Story – Needs More Anvil Time

The Jotuun, a mythical boogieman, seems to have influenced swordsmen around the world of Swordsman VR for world domination. Players fight in six to seven locales, with more promised along the way. The current locales include a medieval great hall, in which you’ll find knights, the Gobi desert in which you’ll find Mongols, an eastern castle in which you’ll find samurai, and a wintery Viking village, in which you’ll find Vikings. These different settings and the few audio ques from the game’s bosses are all the story you’ll get, alongside a short intro cinematic if on PC. The story’s endgame bosses later present the issue of a feeling discontinuity in their design. In other words, there is a little feeling of ‘asset store’ use in their character models.

These different enemies have different animations for their attacks, which both add to the immersion and challenge. There are additional bonus stages as well — the deck of a ship for pirates, an arena in which you dictate the battle conditions, and boss stages in which you’ll fight Santa Claus and the queen of the underworld. For the queen of the underworld fight, there is a lack of difficulty and polish. I personally cleared the Queen in a far easier matter (compared to other enemies) due to her lack of armor. The following ‘puzzle’ that constitutes the unique encounter of the ogre was underwhelming.

A Weak Point Overall

In summary, Swordman VR‘s story is lacking, but there are also ‘locks’ on the main menu, indicating that there will be more area expansions in the games future. It would be nice to see some more cinematics to give a bit more substance to the world. As of now, the boss fights and their aesthetics can feel disconnected and ‘cheap’.

Swordsman VR‘s replay value doesn’t feel as great as other similar titles. Unfortunately, the game has both the lack of modding support and lack of variation in levels. Even if the locales look fairly different, all of them are flat levels — so the gameplay in that aspect does not change. The full content should take a new player around 5-8 hours to complete.

The challenge of swordsman VR comes from multiple enemy positioning and sharp actions.

The challenge of swordsman VR comes from multiple enemy positioning and sharp actions.

Gameplay – The Centerpiece

Swordsman VR consists of fighting the aforementioned enemies with increasing difficulty — on a scale from 1 – 10, in each of the locales. Upon level completion, the game rewards players with both skill points and gold, which one can use to buy new weapons and armor. 

Given that this is a sword-fighting game in VR, one cannot help but compare it to Blade and Sorcery, the established title on all current VR systems. The aforementioned level difficulty includes both the speed of animation of the enemies, aggressiveness and amount of enemies you face, with three being the maximum at one time. Strategically placing your character is part of the gameplay, as well as honing your reflexes to respond to the NPC’s animations — they are quite a bit faster than Blade and Sorcery’s NPCs. However, in comparison to the platform’s standard — Swordsman VR‘s actual swordplay can feel a little ‘floaty’ — and isn’t as grounded in Blade in Sorcery. The impact of the weapons is lacking the quest version as well. Alongside skill-based swordplay, there is also a mini-RPG progression system to keep you hooked.

One of the highlights of Swordsman VR are ways you can challenge yourself with the modifiers in the game’s menus. These gameplay modifiers include simple ones, such as “%200 enemy health” to more mechanically complicated ones such as turning armor physics on and off. I recommend players hitting the check for ‘Ultimate swordsman” at the beginning of a save game to get the experience recommended by the developers. The mode locks in several modifiers that will give both newcomers and veterans to the genre a more hearty gameplay experience.

Modes – A Highlight

Alongside the standard custom arena mode, there is also a undead horde mode. However, the zombies feel underdeveloped compared to the rest of the game. The zombies lack ‘impact’, as opposed to a title like TWDS&S. Sinn Studio has previously used the horde mode as a community event challenge. Given the engagement of the previous community event, hopefully more of these occur in the future.

Another optional mode involves an in-depth hand-to-hand combat system, if you’re up for a brawl. It’s a solid distraction and a rare opportunity to fight 3 on 1 battles with your fists. You can choose for all enemies to also be unarmed. They aren’t challenging opponents — don’t expect Thrill of the Fight medieval edition.

Mongols in Gobi Desert -- SwordsmanVR Review

Mongols in Gobi Desert — SwordsmanVR Review

Graphics + Sound – Polished and Detailed

The superior version of Swordsman VR is still the PC version. There is a large jump in graphics quality when downgrading to a standalone platform like the Quest 2. Regardless of the version, Sinn Studio modeled the enemies to be attractive and seem to take a historical approach to the various enemies.

Weapons are pretty to look at, especially the new boss models and feel dangerous to wield. For example, the poison katana received by defeating the boss of Setusuna drips a vicious green liquid when wielded, making it feel that much more dangerous.

The worlds are attractive across platforms, with a down point being the horde map on standalone VR. Still, the PC version is the definitive version to play here. The game, being designed for standalone as well, is well-optimized and does not struggle on VR-ready machines.

Swordsman VR‘s sound design has improved over time, with a recent update adding personalized sfx for the boss weapons players win in the endgame. Hearing the meaty swish of the hellfire blade doesn’t get old, and the pitch of the sound changes with weapon positioning. The soundtracks are good sword-fighting material. They are upbeat, drum-based tracks that get you in the mood for ‘dancing to the death’ with the NPCS. My personal favorite, Setsunna’s soundtrack — incorporates flutes as you would expect with eastern music. The tracks are split across the locales. As for the menu music — it is immersive and does its job.


Swordsman VR is a pretty game that offers a slightly different approach to sword fighting in VR. Among the current popular titles, Blade and Sorcery, Hellsplit Arena, Tales of Glory all fail to meet the physical challenge that Swordsman VR brings to the table. Its substantial progression system will keep many gamers engaged until completion. With the addition of personal modifiers and promise of new content and community events in the future, Swordsman VR makes a great addition to a VR library. The game is available on PSVR, PCVR, and the Meta VR store.
  • Graphics and Polish
  • Skill Based Combat
  • Promise of new content
  • RPG progression system
  • Weapons sometimes feel 'floaty'
  • lacking story
  • Two years into development, not fully released
  • 'flat' level design
Gameplay - 7.5
Graphics and Sound - 8
Story - 5

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