When Innersloth’s murder mystery game came out in 2018, Among Us VR understood why it was so special. The game put 10 people in a spaceship with two Impostors trying to kill everyone. This brand-new VR remake is a refreshing approach to the concept because it brings back the suspense and introduces exciting new dynamics. Even though some of its features are missing, this is a great time. It is currently one of the best VR games of the year.
The polished experience of playing Among Us VR cannot be overstated. It has been well adapted for virtual reality by Schell Games: The cel-shaded, 3D art style is very effective, and switching to first-person gameplay is easy. Using motion controls to perform tasks and walking around a replica of the Skeld spaceship map feels much more immersive. Touching the screen to prime shields and fuel engines is more intuitive than using a gamepad or mouse and keyboard. Because movement is completely smooth and controlled by the thumbsticks, you can play comfortably standing or sitting down. There is no teleportation, but if you’re worried about getting motion sickness, you can snap turn for the camera and wear optional blinders to reduce the risk of nausea.
The design of the original Among Us VR is faithfully replicated, and we are once more divided into Crewmates and Impostors. Crewmates must complete several tasks across The Skeld that have been given to them at random during a four-to-10-player online match. Waiting for a data transfer, for instance, isn’t particularly exciting, but the social gameplay that surrounds it is the real joy. Nevertheless, there are a few novel VR-based tasks: Although MedBay’s whack-a-mole mini-game is entertaining, the new retinal scanner in the Admin room requires you to stand still for a few seconds isn’t very exciting.
However, even though you are subtly killing other crew members and attempting to get away with it, your sole objective as an Impostor is to persuade everyone that you are just another Crewmate. Because imposters can see in the dark, there are a lot of creative ways to commit murder, such as locking doors or creating a blackout. Alternately, you can go big and sabotage the ship by depleting oxygen or causing a reactor meltdown, both of which are instant wins if Crewmates leave them unfixed for an excessive amount of time. During blackouts, I felt more scared, and during sabotage, the blaring red lights made me feel more scared.
An emergency meeting is called after a body is found, and the real game of trickery and investigation begins. Using any suspicious activities you may have witnessed, you must determine who the Imposters are and who can be trusted if you are a genuine Crewmate. If you are an imposter, you claim to be innocent, assign blame to others, and attempt to persuade others to vote with you to purchase a one-way ticket to space for someone else. Keeping your story straight and successfully pinning the kill on someone else still feels great after years of playing, and VR only makes it better. Even though it can be frustrating to be falsely kicked out of the game due to no fault of your own, the fun of this game of cat and mouse is in picking up on subtle clues or fooling everyone with clever hints and insinuations. A skilled Imposter won’t be able to run amok because there is a cool down before you can strike again. As always, how well a social game like this works depends on the people you play with, but in virtual reality, you feel more in control when everyone is looking at you.
That is all valid for the ordinary adaptation of Among Us, however basically having in-fabricated voice visit in everyone’s headset tackles one of that variant’s most serious issues: Dead people can still talk and use that to cheat if you use an external voice client like Discord; however, when they die here, they become mute ghosts. Additionally, Among Us, VR’s emergency meetings are a highlight due to everyone being able to speak immediately. Using proximity increases tension: Realizing that somebody’s voice draws stronger as you get nearer is one more method for social occasion proof and acquaints a new unique with matches whether you’re hunting or being pursued. In addition, if you want to demonstrate your innocence without necessarily letting an Impostor know where you are, you can ask someone to watch you get scanned in MedBay. You can try eavesdropping on conversations with other crew members by hiding in vents if you are an Impostor. Voice chat also makes it more satisfying to call someone out while they are telling a lie and watch that so-called “Crewmate” fall apart under pressure. There is also a text chat system that uses predetermined quick-chat messages if voice chat isn’t for you for any reason.
Although there are many good things about Among Us VR, the biggest problem with this version is that it does not have all of the same content and features as the standard version. That makes sense in some places because changing gameplay settings like allowing yourself to walk faster would be a terrible mistake for many people. However, it would be nice to be able to change things like the number of tasks. Cosmetics are also limited at launch, and even though the beanie looks like Steve Zissou, it is not a double-top hat.
The absence of additional maps in Among Us VR is even more irritating. At launch, we only have The Skeld to play with; there is no Mira HQ, Polus, or Airship. Fair enough, this was also the case when Among Us first launched, but many people might not be aware of it because those maps arrived before the game took off. As a result, compared to the current state of Among Us, what is presented here feels disappointingly reduced. The XP system, anonymous voting, and expanded roles like Scientists and Shapeshifters are also absent. Schell Games claims that new content will be added, but we do not yet know when or what. However, the real longevity of Among Us VR depends on the people you play with. During this review, I was unable to play with friends, but I had a great time even in a lobby full of strangers. The good news is that Quest 2 and PC have crossplay multiplayer, which a comforting option is given VR’s smaller audience.
Among Us, VR is an excellent new take on an old social game that works well in virtual reality. It stays true to Innersloth’s hit while looking new from a new angle and employing a few clever new strategies. This feels like the same game that many of us loved years ago, but Among Us, VR brings the action back to The Skeld thanks to new features like proximity voice chat and motion-controlled minigames. The arrival of additional cosmetics and maps cannot come soon enough; however, if they live up to the high standards that Schell Games has established with the one that is currently available, they will be well worth the wait. This is effectively one of the most mind-blowing VR variations of a current game yet.