From the very first second I landed in the game, already armed with 2 clubs to whack my way through the starting menu options with, I knew that I was in for a good time. And a brief look around me at the fairytale landscape, with it's stone towers, mountains and trees, also told me that the game had a good level of polish, and I was instantly charmed by the world that I found myself in. Even the birds were happily chirping in the trees, or from high up on the castle walls and I couldn't help but smile.
Stood just in front of me, down at my ankles and arranged in a semi-circle were the menu options in the form of 5 or so little knights looking up at me and holding stone tablets with the menu options on. These little men were probably no bigger than my yorkshire terrier, and actually looked just as mean, and it became instantly obvious what I had to do next - select my option by bashing down on the poor little guy with my club, which I did, and I must admit it felt bloody good as that stone crumbled under the weight of my studded club, and the poor little guy fell limp to the ground, his days of holding a stone tablet over forever. Perhaps I'd put the little guy out of his misery, and he was now up in the heavens raising a large jug of ale in my honor. I doubt it, but wherever he was, one thing was for sure, and that is that he was about to be joined by many many more of his brethren..
After I'd hit the option 'Sandbox' (and killed the knight holding it) a large scroll magically appeared in the air in front of me and then unfurled to reveal a few brief but useful instructions for the forthcoming mahem, such as avoid the bombs, and bang the gong to skip a task. Tasks, I soon discovered, were things such as 'Kill 10 knights with the spear' or more grisly ones such as 'Rip off limbs of 10 Knights', which made it much more than just a simple bash'em game, and as the knights began flying through the air towards me, no doubt fired from some huge unseen catapult down in the valley, I soon found myself killing the little guys in ways that I didn't know I could, such as biting their heads off, drowning them, burning them alive, and sticking them to the castle walls. It really was quite gruesome at times, but strangely therapeutic as well, and at one point I even found myself swinging my clubs rhythmically, like I was conducting an orchestra, bashing them in pairs, at different speeds, controlling the tempo up and down with my eviscerations, it really was, quite scarily, a thing to behold, and hugely entertaining.
There is an object to the game, and that is to protect Grace from the little knights, who seem intent on getting through the castle gates to have their wicked way with her, and if you do happen to let one pass, you'll hear her let out a moan, not a moan of complaint, but a moan of pure unadulterated sexual satisfaction as the little guy gets his wicked way with her. It is actually quite funny and bizarre to hear, and just one of the many quirks of the game that make it so damn good and unique.
There are currently I believe 4 different game modes to try: Sandbox, Rage, Survival, and Gore. They each have their own objectives, but most of my time was spent in the sandbox mode, which is where I came across the fantastic bonus level, which was a great surprise to me and one of my favourite moments in VR thus far. Without spelling it out completely, it was very reminiscent of a very famous early VR music game, and in this version you have colour-coded knights and clubs to hit them with. It was one of those random but joyous moments that really took me by surprise and added to my immense enjoyment of this wonderful quirky game.
I'm writing this review the day after playing it for the first time, and I am itching to get back into it and give it another try, for there are leaderboards to conquer as well as more weapon upgrades to unlock. However, I was slightly disappointed (after just checking) that after just 100 minutes of playtime I have unlocked all of the 9 achievements that there are in the game, so I feel it could do with a lot more of those added to help longevity. I will certainly be playing some more, but how much more remains to be seen. I also can't wait to put my 14 year old son in to the game as I know he will find it highly amusing and a lot of fun.
I'm going to rate Mace and Grace a very healthy 7 out of 10. It is certainly one of the most fun wave shooter type games I have played for a while, and certainly one of the most original, and right now I am thoroughly enjoying what it has to offer, however I do feel that it needs to offer a lot more to have any real lasting appeal. Time will tell.