Image via Ubisoft

Assassin’s Creed Nexus Hands-On Preview – Taking a Leap of Faith In VR

Assassin's Creed Nexus VR lets you experience the acclaimed series in a virtual world. Hopefully, you're not afraid of heights.

My favorite gaming experiences over the past few years have been with VR titles. They present an exciting and unique way to interact with the worlds they’re attached to.

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Also, the sense of scale they provide is fantastic and, at times, can be mindblowing. These highly impactful elements are hard to convey to someone who has had no exposure to the technology, and it is the type of thing where you just need to try it first to get an understanding. Unfortunately, we’ve seen a high asking price attached to this technology, and some companies investing in it are making it increasingly difficult for consumers to use VR headsets on other platforms – or sometimes, even on their own.

Despite these ordeals, developers have continued to produce some excellent titles in VR, and we’re starting to see a lot more mainstream and recognizable brands dip into the virtual world. I recently got the opportunity to check out Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR – which nicely complemented all of the hours I put into Assassin’s Creed Mirage over the last month. I was curious how exactly Ubisoft would pull off a franchise that heavily relied on stealth and parkour but doing that in a VR environment.

After an hour of running along rooftops, picking pockets, and sticking hidden blades in people’s backs, I removed the headset and returned to the real world. I had a lot of fun, though; Ubisoft has captured that feeling of being an assassin in this fan-favorite world.

Related: 10 of the Best Assassin’s Creed Villains & Antagonists

Assassin’s Creed Goes First Person

Image via Ubisoft

Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR will feature three characters from previous Assassin’s Creed titles that you can play as Ezio, Kassandra, and Connor. Each one will have different skill sets you’ll need to master while also taking you to various locations such as Italy, Greece, and America. For my session, I got to play as Ezio, which took me on a mission as I ran around the streets and on top of houses in Italy.

For this particular mission, I was sneaking around a market while following my main target of interest. As I followed closely behind, I ducked in and out of bushes and blended into conversations that were happening around to avoid any suspicions from them. There was a task that involved me breaking into a chest containing an item I needed to steal, but the area was also heavily guarded.

As I ducked my way under tables and peered out from behind walls, I threw items around the environment and used them to distract the guards to investigate a different area. Finally, after carefully weaving my way past a handful of people protecting this chest, it turns out that one solution for opening it is with a key. Thankfully, it was on the belt of a nearby guard, so I snuck up and pickpocketed it from their side and quickly hurried back to the chest.

I delicately moved some bottles out of the way of the chest, being mindful not to knock them over and cause any noise to alert those nearby. This needed to be done promptly, though, as the patrol would probably be back any moment. At this stage, I also decided to check out the lock-picking mini-game despite having the key. It was fairly straightforward but required some slight movements as I worked through the circular puzzle on the screen. After grabbing the item inside the box, I attempted to head back to the entrance stealthily, but the patrol noticed the chest had been raided. The guards quickly locked down the area and forced all of the civilians out.

At this point, it was time to test some of the combat skills I’d learned earlier in a tutorial. I reached behind my back with one hand and grabbed the crossbow, then pulled out an arrow with the other hand. I loaded the sharp bolt into the bow, pulled back the string, and fired it masterfully into someone’s head who was pacing back and forth on top of a catwalk. As I was most of the way out, I caught the attention of a guard, who alerted another two colleagues nearby to help him out in what was still not a fair fight.

Image via Ubisoft

The sword combat works well for the most part. Enemies swing with their attacks, and you need to try and block those while countering with a few hits of your own. However, those attacks from the enemies were heavily telegraphed. I’m hoping there is a way to change the difficulty to shorten that time because I did feel it to be a little bit trivial.

Once I dealt with the remaining guards, I needed to head to my next objective. So I decided to take to the roofs and see a different side of Italy. The parkour in Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR seemed very smooth, and I never felt lost or like the game was pulling me in another direction to where I intended to go. There are multiple accessibility options that players can choose from depending on their VR expertise and comfort level. For me, it was doing all of the right things.

Hope You’re Not Afraid of Heights

As I got to the next location, I needed to get to the top of a huge tower. So, I started to climb it. There was scaffolding and wooden support beams throughout the exterior, and I used my arms and hands to reach out and grab onto different bricks or wooden pillars along the walls. I never once tried to grab onto something that didn’t work; it all felt very natural. And it’s a good sign that I didn’t go plummeting to the ground at all during any of the climbing sequences.

When I reached the top, I needed to solve a basic puzzle involving fireworks. I had to search the area and inside of crates for some missing fireworks devices. Then, once they were all in my possession, I lined them up in their correct positions along the launcher. Lastly, I picked up a nearby lighter and set the fuses alight as the fireworks exploded in the sky one by one.

Related: Review: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla carves out its place as the best revamped AC entry yet


I wasn’t sure what to expect before I put on the headset in Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR. But I walked away having a lot of fun and was super impressed by how well the parkour works in a VR environment. If you have been hanging out for a new VR title to play, then Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR is definitely a game to keep in mind when it comes out this November. I don’t necessarily think you need to be a fan of the Assassin’s Creed series to get invested in Nexus, but if you are, you’ll take pleasure in all of the returning characters and finally get the opportunity to experience this world in first-person.

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Luke Lawrie
Luke Lawrie is the Australian Editor of Gamepur and has been covering video games for over 13 years. When not playing games he spends his spare time watching movies, tv, or basketball. Luke's previous work can be seen at over a dozen publications including Stevivor, Red Bull, AusGamers, and more.