Since I first envisioned what VR would be like, before I even had my Vive, I would often picture a Devil May Cry type experience where I could dash and jump all over the place while stylishly shooting and slashing my enemies. Once I finally had the Vive, it was clear I’d have to wait for my DMC style VR dreams to come true considering VR is still in its infancy. I wasn’t even sure that my dream game was possible at this point. Thankfully Sairento VR proved me wrong and has allowed me to become the Cyber Samurai I’ve always dreamt of becoming.
Sairento VR has absolutely blown me away with its stylistic take on the traditional slasher/shooter gameplay and movement mechanics. The in-game locomotion brilliantly allows for some of the slickest, most bad-ass moments I’ve had in VR thus far. While it’s mainly just a dash mechanic, the subtle nuances allow for so much more, as either tilting your wrist up will allow you to jump to your location, or tilting and twisting your wrist will allow you to jump with a bit of an angle. This system allows you to make long, angled jumps, so you can glide past a row of baddies while keeping your blade out and slash through the lot of them! Then, when you add in the slow motion feature, which is activated by either squeezing the grip, or clicking the trackpad again mid-jump, you can really unleash some seriously slick and stylish cyber-samurai carnage.
The story puts you in a re-imagined Japan, in the not-too-distant future. You are a member of a righteous and covert organization known as “The Silent Ones.” The Silent Ones are seemingly ordinary people who practice the long forsaken code and martial arts of the ancient samurais and ninjas. Strangely, other members of The Silent Ones have started to transform into crazed, nano-infected shells of their former selves and have turned against the organization. Your mission is to uncover the secret reason behind your former comrades’ transformation while annihilating all that cross your path, leaving only a bloodbath in your wake.
You are equipped with an arsenal of modern weapons, such as handguns, SMGs, rifles, shotguns, and eventually, a Shuriken gun. And my favorite, a classic Katana also has the ability to generate blade beams essentially allowing you to throw your blade through your enemies. The best part is that all of the weapons, abilities, and other traits are upgradeable. After each mission, you are presented with all of the loot you acquired throughout the level and the mission reward, which come in the form of loot chests, weapons or ancient relics which can up your weapon stats. You also earn a form of currency and skill points after each mission that allow you to upgrade your skills, techniques, and unique abilities, keeping the gameplay fresh, fun and more engaging as your skill increases as a Silent One.
It is currently released as very early access, according to the developer, Mixed Realms. As it is currently, the mission format comes in the form of a mission map that is constantly changing and randomizing types of missions and 3 different environments. There are Assassinations, Wave Attacks, Eliminations and survive mission types currently implemented. When you start a game, you are in your dojo, with the mission map showing all currently open missions with different difficulties for you to choose from. Each mission will provide details on its reward and other information. Through this same interface, you can pull up your current load-out to change your equipped relics, as well as upgrade your special abilities, and unique skills. For instance, you can upgrade your ability to dual-wield katanas or handguns and really go to town slaughtering your enemies.
“We are very heartened with the positive response we are getting from the international gaming community. We’ve been communicating actively with our fans and know exactly what they love and dislike about our game. We are working hard to improve Sairento VR and add a lot more content to give the game great re-playability.” – Aldric Chang, CEO of Mixed Realms
Since Sairento’s initial release, we’ve already seen quite a few updates that have really fine-tuned the gameplay as some of the cool features of the game were somewhat rough when it first launched. The base was all there, just a bit rough around the edges. And as the community seemed to really like the game, as I do, it’s almost as though the developer even stepped up their own enthusiasm for the title after such a warm reception. The last update was more in-depth in terms of explaining the mechanics, digging into the details and further refining gameplay mechanics. Sairento is doing everything right, right now, and more and more people are starting to catch on and join the party.
There is a hefty amount of updates planned down the road, ranging from wall-running, grapple-hooks, slide-based movement, procedural levels, more skills and weapons and even the all important campaign mode.
The aim of Sairento is to be a non-stop, engaging and intense slash and shoot experience with intuitive controls, allowing for unheard of movement through beautiful environments while pulling off some truly awe-inspiring trick-kills, that are sure to put a smile across any samurai’s face.
Sairento VR has certainly satisfied my slash-and-shoot craving and even surpassed my initial expectation for what this genre of games could be like in VR. Every time I successfully block a few bullets with my Katana, then jump 40 feet across and over the enemies’ heads while beheading said enemies, performing a double jump then hurl a blade beam mid jump at an enemy in the distance and land in a glorious 360 spin as my blade decimates the last few enemies surrounding my selected landing spot, in slow motion, I smile and think “I am here, and this is real and I am a ninja.”