Resolution Games released another potential sleeper hit with Demeo in VR, and it's got players talking. About in-game concerns, spells, tactics, personal lives—any table-top conversations you'd have with an ordinary D&D night is fair game. And in VR, the tabletop concept is fantastic. As for Demeo's current execution, and 30 dollar price tag? Even its more enthusiastic players agree that this game is due for more.
The idea behind Demeo is simple: you're slogging through a Gauntlet-like setting, but through a tabletop-styled session in VR. Players can pick the 4 archetypical classes of armored warrior, stabby assassin, tactical mage, or bow-slinging hunter. A party of four can have multiples of each, and classes are balanced very well with the game's ability system. A good composition seems to be more about players finding their competent preference, over having one of each class or everyone picking the one that's overpowered.
As for the monsters working against you, that brings tons of good stuff too. If you're exploring a level, turn a corner, then see a Giant Slime that's now aware of your character, it's a major "Oh shi-" that's going to be shared with the whole group. The fact that something like a Rats Nest wouldn't get the same reaction is a real sign that monsters carry flavor. And it's very easy to praise Demeo, because Resolution Games' attention to detail is there.
However, Demeo is also one of those titles where the ski instructor from South Park is going to have way too much to say. If you don't want to be a little social, but keep choosing to play in team modes, you're going to have a bad time. If you don't understand that AOE is something that can affect your allies too, you're going to have a bad time. If you don't have the basic knowledge gleaned from playing that six-minute tutorial, you're going to have a bad match for at least 6 minutes. This doesn't mean that Demeo requires too much to be a good time, but in its current state, this title requires a few things from its players. This includes some competence, personality, and availability. Which winds down to Demeo's strongest negative.
Demeo is a hellishly short commitment. Mistakes and meandering can make a session a fun slog that lasts hours, but with no way to save matches, that carries real risk too. If your headset dies, or is off for too long, you're dropped. If disconnected after three hours, or one bug is encountered, the session is done. On the same hand, a good party can beat the game in less than 90 minutes. That's it. You can do it again and again, but that replay value is similar to replaying the same few levels of X-com with a group.
To be fair, judging by Resolution Games' history, Demeo is going to release much more, including more modules with more future content. Ideally, that'll happen soon because the current iteration feel like a demo upon winning. And currently, that's a 30 dollar Demeo. Coming from the same company that released another great game, Blaston, for 10 dollars, that disparity in value is easy to take note of. If players are supposed to regularly play and follow this game for updates, Resolution Games might be wise to incentivize its earliest adopters with more.
So as someone who paid full price for their copy, do I regret mine? Heck no, but I also especially love these sorts of tabletops and tactics, and I also trust Resolution Games to release more. Some other folks will be better off waiting for future content, or at least a sale. However, if you're in a rush to scratch a tabletop itch — especially if you've got a capable group of friends — Demeo in VR becomes a title that's worth its scratch.