Review Virtual Reality

The Climb 2 – VR Review | Falling To My Doom

Back in the day, when VR motion controllers were just becoming available to the public, demo stations were set up all over. It is one of those technologies that you need to experience to truly understand and a lot of people made an instant purchase after trying it. And a lot of people’s first VR experience was with The Climb. It’s what convinced them to buy into this once expensive equipment. And now, a few years later on, we have The Climb 2.

This game explains itself by its name really. The Climb 2 has you scale all sorts of environments. From jagged mountains to sleek skyscrapers, you climb to the top and get a good workout at the same time.

The Climb 2 - Basics

My Hands Are Bleeding!

The basic idea is pretty simple. Grab ledges or other types of holds and pull yourself up to the next one. Try not to miss one and fall – you’ll not look great splattered over the bottom of the mountain! There’s really quite a lot more to it though.

Starting off, there’s a casual and professional mode. The casual mode has everything, except for stamina and chalk. This makes life easier, but you also can’t get achievements. So, what are stamina and chalk and why do they make things challenging? 

Each hand has a set amount of stamina. Holding yourself up by one hand depletes this and if it runs out, you let go. This is most often where the falling and dying part come in, at least on easier levels. Stamina is replenished whenever you’re gripping a hold with both hands at the same time. Managing your stamina is one of the most important things while playing. You need to keep a close eye on the gauges on your wrists.

Chalking your hands reduces your stamina depletion. It runs out as you play, so you need to stop, twist your wrists a few times and then it’ll be reapplied. This is another one to manage. Go for long enough without chalking and not only will your stamina run out quickly, but your hands seem to start bleeding.

Of course, there’s a lot more that will reduce your stamina. You can throw yourself, either physically or with the press of a button. This is useful to save time and sometimes needed to proceed, but it does consume a lot of stamina. Certain holds are sharp and will attack your stamina directly when you touch them too. On the other side, using a half-squeeze will save stamina but come with a risk of not gripping tightly enough and falling.

While climbing casually is fun, I preferred the professional mode. It makes it feel more of a game and less of a simulator.

The Climb 2 - City

Climb Everything, Everywhere

There are five environments, with three levels each. An easy, a medium, and a difficult one for each environment. All of the environments look different from each other, which is a positive but did bring about a bit of confusion at first. The different types of holds can be unique to the environment, so I do admit that there were more than a few occasions where I grabbed something thinking it was a solid hold. I soon found out it wasn’t. Luckily there are checkpoints in this game.

Beyond the normal holds, there’s plenty of variation. I’ve already mentioned the holds that harm stamina, but some more examples are ones that fall and ones that need you to clean debris off first. There are all sorts of other things too. Overhead bars, ropes, and ladders are common. Ziplines pop up frequently. One example which was great, but caused me no end of frustration was a wall that has holds on one side, but quickly flips around certain panels in a pattern and hides them. It involved jumping, grabbing, then immediately jumping again. Those old platformer games came to mind when I was stuck there.

The Climb 2 - Spinning Wall

One thing that I particularly liked in The Climb 2 was how interactive everything felt. Not just the holds that fell off, or the moving walls but little things. Grabbing onto an overhead ladder in one instance had it slide, making it feel unstable until it caught on the next piece of equipment. Climbing up you might find animals in some environments – hearing a wolf suddenly growl at you while barely hanging onto a mountain was shocking the first time. 

Keeping things even more interesting is that you have options. The most notable is that there are often multiple paths. Do you want to climb up which involves a lot of stretching and throwing yourself? Or take the easier but less direct path around and up? There are times where you could slowly edge your way across, use some dangerous holds to go there faster, or even just make a leap of faith and try to grab the other side. With so many ways, it is easy to get lost. Luckily there’s a built-in feature to show you the closest way to proceed.

The Climb 2 - Zipline

Peak of the Mountain

Your goal is to reach the top. That’s enough of a challenge as it is on some of the more difficult levels, but there’s also a time factor. You can take it slow and safe, but the aim is to get there as fast as you can. There are leaderboards so you can compete for the best time. Beyond that, there are seventy achievements to unlock like reaching the peak within five minutes. These let you challenge yourself even further.

As I played the levels more, I got to know the best ways. I cut my time down by knowing ahead of time what I’d be facing. That and practice at the more difficult parts. It was satisfying to see my time going down each attempt. Though as fast as I could take some of the ledges, my physical ability was still a factor. Making climbing motions quickly for five minutes is more tiring than taking it slow over ten.

As well as achievements and the leaderboard, you can earn cosmetics too. New gloves, wristbands, and watches can be unlocked. Levels need to be unlocked too, but this doesn’t take too long. Each easy level unlocks the medium of the same environment and then that unlocks the hard level. None of them are too hard to complete. They’re just difficult to complete without falling half a dozen times or to complete quickly.

All this adds replayability and kept me interested. If I’d only played each level once, it would’ve only taken two or three hours, so it’s definitely good that they motivated me to keep playing. Though it would have been nice to see more environments and levels within them.

Falling Down

I’ve been quite positive so far and I have enjoyed The Climb 2. There are some issues though. Mostly on the technical side.

The thing that bothered me the most was that my head often intersected with a ladder, a rope, or something along those lines. When hanging onto something above to climb across it, my head sometimes came into contact with it. That caused everything to blackout and did ruin immersion. Luckily it only happened during certain parts of levels and not most of the time. It’s possible to avoid it too, but only if trying to.

Another immersion breaker; more than once I managed to see ‘inside’ the mountain, building, or another environment. This isn’t an uncommon issue in VR games, but shouldn’t be happening still. I didn’t experience this too often at least.

Personally, I don’t find this following one an issue, but it is something that people should be aware of. I suspect this game will cause motion sickness for people susceptible to it. You can free fall quickly which won’t be pleasant to some. There’s also a loss of control of the view when turning corners sometimes too. Considering that one of the common factors in VR sickness is a disconnect between the view moving and your control over it, it could cause problems.


The Climb 2 is as much of a challenge as you want it to be, which I appreciated a lot. Whether playing around in casual mode or going for achievements on professional mode, I had a good time. While there were some issues and I’d like to see more content, it kept me playing until I got tired and then I dove back in for more. I especially liked the variety in each level.


Platforms: Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift

Why not check out our Virtual Reality reviews? We have a review of In Death: Unchained, which can also be played on the Oculus Quest, with a separate version for the Oculus Rift.

Many thanks go to the PR company on behalf of Oculus/Crytek for a review copy. This was played on Oculus Quest 2.

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