Skydance's Behemoth is 2024’s biggest VR game in more ways than one

It’s “something you can't do anywhere but in VR”
Skydance's Behemoth
Skydance's Behemoth / Skydance Games

Skydance's Behemoth’s first boss rivals the Statue of Liberty for size. It’s also the smallest boss in the game. Across this 12-hour VR fantasy adventure, they scale up to the heights of skyscrapers. So, how exactly do you fight them? That’s for you to work out.

After cutting its teeth on The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners, Skydance Games is pouring everything into Behemoth. “We're hoping this is a marquee title for PlayStation VR2, for Meta Quest 2 and 3,” says Shawn Kittelsen, vice president of creative on the game. “It's also going to be out on Steam on PC. So yeah, we hope this is one of, if not the biggest title in VR this year.”

Skydance's Behemoth, as I discover during my hands-on demo, couldn’t be more different from The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners. Where that 2020 title is an intimate VR experience about creeping under floorboards and sneaking into houses mercilessly lacking escape routes, here you play a hardened warrior plucking weapons off their belt to battle swordsmen, archers, and the occasional undead. Skirmishes in wide open areas are linked by plentiful platforming and environmental puzzles. You’ll even brew your own potions at alchemy tables by dropping herbs into a sack and shaking it around. 

While swinging across monkey bars and mantling up ledges feels clumsy at times, combat sections shine. In fact, often this messiness contributes to the feeling of desperate duels to the death. You can draw swords, daggers, axes, shields, and bows, and customize how you hold them. Double-hand a claymore for slower stamina loss, or dual-wield short blades for speed. At the press of a button, you can even flip your blade to plunge it downwards into someone’s cranium, leaving a bloody streak. 

Combat screenshot from Skydance's Behemoth VR game
Combat is where Skydance's Behemoth shines. / Skydance Games

Since you stow weapons by attaching them to your waist and back, it can be difficult to keep track of exactly what you’ve got equipped. Juggling your arsenal can also feel clumsy. At one point I try slicing someone with an axe before realizing I’m holding it upside down. 

The game gradually introduces more concepts, such as latching onto enemies with your grappling hook and jerking them off balance. Later on, I use it to target a rotten tree and collapse it onto a screaming soldier. You also have supercharged fists triggered with circle and triangle to knock people off ledges in fits of rage. New skills come thick and fast.

The grappling hook in Skydance's Behemoth
The game gradually introduces new uses for your grappling hook. / Skydance Games

Defense-wise you’ll need to be on your game - Doom this isn’t. Blocking requires raising your sword at the right angle, whether fending off overhead slashes or horizontal swipes. You can parry attacks, although I never quite manage to nail the timing, and dodge using the X button. Wading in with arms flailing in full-on attack mode is the quickest route to an early grave.

“We wanted to see like, OK, what's the opposite of [Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners]?” says Kittelsen. “How big could we go? How epic could we go? And that's what led toward the behemoths. It's like, what is something you can't do anywhere but in VR?”

Behemoths are end-level bosses. The one I fight is about 50 meters high, with the head of an elephant and the body of a bipedal hippo. It swings a giant wrecking ball on a chain that’s like if the Las Vegas Orb was built for destruction rather than advertising. Looking up at the gargantuan beast armed only with a sword and two health potions is almost comical, but there’s a way to bring it down to size methodically, and with a tool you’ve recently acquired -  although developer Skydance has asked me not to give it away.

Seal Behemoth boss in Skydance's Behemoth VR game
The boss fights in Behemoth are massive. / Skydance Games

After that, I have to physically mount it, climbing up its body hand over hand to get a better angle and holding on for dear life when it starts to shake. With a few more pinpoint hits it collapses in a ground-shaking slump. These encounters are what Skydance's Behemoth is built around.

“I think there was sort of an initial playing it almost too safe, thinking like, ‘OK, what's the thing that we know we can build, that we know will work, that we know won't mess up the performance?’ And then there came a point where it was like, let's really just push it and go for broke. So that's when that felt like the moment where the game really opened up to us.”

Kittelsen tells me how his team rigged up a test where the player enters an arena and presses a button to see the behemoth at 1x scale. And then they press the button and see it at 1.5x scale, and again to see it at 2x. “It was just kind of like the opposite of Goldilocks. It wasn't like the one in the middle was right – the biggest one is always better.”

Environment screnshot from Behemoth VR
Skydance's Behemoth features quite impressive environments,too. / Skydance Games

Bosses are the culmination of everything you learn in each level. So for instance, that stage taught me climbing, dodging, and wrenching metal caps off using the grappling hook, all of which feature in the fight.

Both visuals and scale far exceed Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners. What’s more impressive, though, is the smooth performance. Apparently, the game on PlayStation VR2 is equivalent to a PC on ultra settings. There’s scaling though, so apparently it’ll run fine on medium settings, as well as on both Meta Quest 2 and 3.

Smooth performance, of course, is how you beat the nausea problem. “One of the things that we really pay attention to is how do we keep players comfortable?” Kittelsen says. “Like you were getting yeeted around by the behemoth, but hopefully you didn't feel sick.” There are numerous accessibility options, from an optional vignette around the screen, to both snap turning and free turning.

Weapon in Skydance's Behemoth VR game
Skydance's Behemoth / Skydance Games

Behemoth features a 12-hour campaign playable on various difficulties, plus a wave-based arena mode where you fend off endless enemies using environmental traps, gadgets, and a table buckling with all the sharp-edged weaponry you could wish for. 

There’s no release date yet, but when Skydance's Behemoth nears launch you’re bound to hear it coming.

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Griff Griffin


Griff Griffin is a writer and YouTube content creator based in London, UK.