Articles

AMD & NVIDIA GPU VR Performance: Sword Master VR

Author:Kyle Bennett

Date: Tuesday , September 27, 2016

Do you want to fight the Black Knight in a sword fight? There is not exactly a "Black Knight" in Sword Master VR, but you can certainly get that feeling. In fact, you can fight him and a couple of his friends at the same time if you are up to the challenge. Just pull the sword from the stone for $10.

What is Sword Master VR?

Sword Master VR is now available on Steam and is a fully featured game although it is scheduled for updates as well, so you are likely to see it get only better and possibly expand the game a bit. SMVR is the fifth VR game that we have covered that uses the Unity Game Engine and requires use of an HTC Vive system. Here is how the game designer describes his title.

Enter the virtual reality sword fighting arena of Sword Master VR! Test your skills with the blade against smart and interactive AI enemies! Unlock new swords and game modes! Prove that you are the sword master!

When it comes to "indie games," Sword Master VR follows in the footsteps of Onward, in that Eric Tereshinski is the "company" behind this title. He pays a lot of attention to GPU efficiency since he is developing on an NVIDIA GTX 660 Ti. You can listen to his comments in this video. SMVR is not the pinnacle of VR Image Quality, in fact it is far from it, and since it is not such a GPU-intensive VR game, we will not be adding it the HardOCP VR Leaderboardآ™. That said, it is not a "bad" looking game at all.

Sword Master VR is a room scale game that uses the HTC Vive motion controllers. The game in itself is a simple concept to grasp. However mastering it is another thing altogether.

Your opponents come in several different sizes with different armor configurations that you have to find the weak spot in, in order to score a hit. You block incoming sword attacks with your own sword, which you have several of which to choose from. When the bad guys score a hit on you, your vision turns red alerting you to the damage. If another blow is struck while your vision is still in the red, you die. Again, simple in concept, but winning on the upper levels is anything but simple.

SMVR uses the size of the Vive room scale setup to determine the bounds of the area you fight in. This VR game requires a play area of at least 2m x 1.5m, as per the developer. I have read where others have used a smaller area, but if you have things on your boundaries that are tripping or collision hazards you might think again. Things can get wild very quickly and I highly suggest you use the wriststrap on your motion controller. I have broken more than a few sweats playing SMVR since last week and it can surely leave you out of breath as you try your best to fend off attacks and slice your opponent to pieces.

A good video on gameplay will certainly give you an idea of what play is like, although this guy is a bit more subdued than me on some of the novice levels.

I have had a lot of fun playing Sword Master VR and have even used it a couple of mornings for a good workout. The game's polish is sure to get better with in-bound updates and is very much worth the $10 price tag.