Schell Games' Until You Fall is a fantastic example of what VR can and should be going into the next generation of video game consoles. As a roguelike sword-fighting game players will die repeatedly on their attempts to make it through to the end, but every single run provides new upgrades and more powerful weapons to use and grow accustomed to. Until You Fall is not an easy experience, but it is one that is immensely satisfying.

Until You Fall was originally an Early Access game that was released last year for only Steam and Oculus Rift, but with the full release it is now available on PSVR and the Oculus Quest. This review was done on the PlayStation VR, and the only downside to playing on that platform and Oculus Rift is that the cords can be a little bit of a hassle when fighting against several enemies at once. However, this is something that the majority of VR users are probably used to by now, and is by no means a deal-breaker.

Until You Fall is a purely physics-based VR roguelike, and it has done something that almost seemed impossible with current hardware: virtual objects have "weight." In almost all VR games, weapons and objects can be moved and manipulated in the exact same way, regardless of their size. In Until You Fall larger weapons are slower and more difficult to swing at enemies, and it's more of a process to manipulate them delicately to block attacks. Smaller weapons, like daggers, can be swung at the same speed that the player can move their arms. These weapons may not actually weigh anything, but combining this with haptic feedback tricks a player's brain into feeling each weapon's weight as though it were naturally there.

Combat in Until You Fall is pretty simple, but can become hectic at a moment's notice. Players are able to swing their weapons in whatever direction they wish to attack their enemies, and must block whenever enemies attack back. When an enemy attacks, an indicator appears onscreen and players must align their weapon with it in order to prevent damage. Some of the stronger enemies in the game can't be blocked, so instead players will need to move their head in the direction of those indicators to dodge the attacks completely.

To complicate things a little more, there is also a dashing mechanic in Until You Fall alongside special attacks for each weapon. Dashing can be used both offensively and defensively by either quickly getting in an enemies face or dashing out of the way to regroup. Special abilities slowly charge upon dealing and receiving damage, and can be activated to deal health damage, drop an enemy's shields, stun them, or an assortment of other effects. It can be a lot to get used to at first, but all of Until You Fall's mechanics can combine for some glorious results once some familiarity with them is establish. For example, faster players can dash in to eliminate weaker enemies to build up their special abilities and then release them on the stronger foes of each level.

Until You Fall has a progression system that carries over between each run, ensuring no session feels wasted. After death, players can use currency earned during a run to either purchase new weapons or level up the ones they already have. Each weapon has a unique special ability, and leveling them up will increase that ability's potency as well as the base damage output of that weapon. There are also upgrades that players can acquire during a run that last until they die. These typically grant more health or upgrade points, but some of them will boost a weapon's abilities, like one upgrade that boosts an attack's damage by a certain percentage as long as players alternate their strikes between their left and right hands.

Until You Fall has all the cornerstones of a great VR game. It combines excellent gameplay with smart physics systems on top of a killer video game soundtrack. There isn't really a story to Until You Fall other than "kill everything in your path," but that is perfectly fine. Without a storyline, players instead get to focus on and become engrossed in one of the strongest VR games available on any platform.

Until You Fall is available on PlayStation 4 and PC.