In an age of eloquent philosophers, merciless gods, and death-promising oracles. Somewhere on the Peloponnese peninsula, in a vast Aegean coastal cave, an old artefact has been hidden. It could be the legendary ship of the Argonauts… Using the Animus simulation program and our database of recorded genetic memories, we will send you back to Greece. Find the ship, if it exists…
Completion Time: 50:02
Date Played: 3rd June 2021
Party Size: 4
Recommended For: Fans of Assassin’s Creed, Ancient Greece, and VR
So if you remember back to my 30 Before 30 post:
16. Introduce ALL my closest friends to the joys of escape rooms!
It took me exactly 2 days from writing that to booking Beyond Medusa’s Gate at clueQuest for 2 of my best friends (who have never done an escape room) to experience. I think Ubisoft’s escape room games are ‘gateway escape rooms’, ideal for a team of experienced video game players to get into the vibe. And how was it? SO MUCH FUN!
*excited screaming in Ancient Greek*
About the Game
Beyond Medusa’s Gate is part of the Ubisoft Escape Games series. They’re all short (around 1 hour) VR escape room experiences set in the worlds of Assassin’s Creed. Unlike Assassin’s Creed, you can’t play these at home so you’ll have to find an escape room near you to play them at. In my opinion, the best place in London is clueQuest, but if that’s a little far to travel you should check and see if there’s anywhere closer.
The other games in the series are:
- The Dagger of Time (based on Prince of Persia)
- Escape the Lost Pyramid (based on AC: Origins)
I’m quietly hoping they make an escape room on my favourite in the series, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla so that I can live out my Viking fantasy life and scale some cool mountains whilst solving puzzles. But a girl can dream!
Beyond Medusa’s Gate takes you, in a team of 2 or 4 players, back to Ancient Greece via the Animus (a device from the video game franchise which allows you to simulate the lives of adventurers past through their DNA). This time you’re in search of a mysterious and long lost artefact – a ship! Rumour has it the ship is buried somewhere inside a vast cave… Beyond (you guessed it) Medusa’s Gate.
Even though this location is lost to time, stepping into the shoes of puzzle solvers from thousands of years ago enabled us to seek out this treasure. So who were our Animus counterparts? We emerged in the bodies of…
3 bald old men and one strapping young lad.
This is entirely by choice, of course. How could we possibly resist going for the ‘old man’ in the character selection!? To me, it just makes the story even more immersive. Perhaps we are three gay dads taking our son on an outing? Or perhaps it’s a day trip from the old folks home? The story is whatever you make of it!
Any VR game is really hard to get into it if you’re not used to it, and one of our team had never played any VR before. Thankfully the introductory part of your quest is all about communication and finding your feet. The team were also super patient with us past any technical hitches.
Once we’d found our feet, we were off to a flying start through the game and it is a LOT of fun. Having now played all three VR experiences at clueQuest I would rank this one as probably the best for beginners as it’s got a great story, not too difficult puzzles, and some great game mechanics (what can I say, I love a bow and arrow).
Beyond Medusa’s Gate can be played in a team of 2 or a team of 4 as you’ll have split into two groups at various points throughout the game and complete tasks on opposite sides of the cave in tandem. The game begins, after a brief customisation area, alone inside a dark room. This is a kind of ‘demo’ area which helps you get to grips with the controls – teleporting, grabbing, sliding, pushing,
setting fire to yourself. You know, typical VR game stuff. Once you’ve cracked the first area, you’re reunited with your teammates and the journey toward Medusa’s Gate begins.
Less the puzzles, the real stand out is the mechanics of this game. VR allows you to do things not possible in a physical space. For starters, the area is HUGE. You can clime to incredibly high locations and fire bows and arrows at moving targets and even interact with magic. Most of the puzzles you’ll encounter are literally impossible in real life, unless you have a billion pound budget and a set the size of my entire block of apartments.
In terms of difficulty, Beyond Medusa’s Gate isn’t terribly hard. Again, this makes it great for a beginner team, or a team more accustomed to playing video games than escape rooms (though now I’m quietly hoping a ‘real life’ escape room won’t be a letdown for my friends when they ask “Where’s the waterfall and 100 ft drop?”).
It’s a very linear room with one puzzle needing to be completed before your team can move to the next area, with many mechanics relying on a little trial and error before figuring out how to do them. Between each puzzle area is at least one or two action scenes where you’ll find yourself doing other things – jumping from platforms, firing arrows, doing battle with monsters, or crowding round at the front of the boat pretending to be in Titanic.
For a casual Wednesday evening before a pub trip, the difficulty was just right!
Since Beyond Medusa’s Gate is available at lots of escape rooms and VR cafes, I’ll take a moment to also mention our experience specifically at cluequest! We were hosted by Games Master Josiah *cough* I mean our Agent Handler was Josiah. Despite some technical issues with the VR halfway through, he was super professional and helpful in both keeping us on track and reassuring members of our team less familiar with VR.
I always have a fantastic time at clueQuest, from the moment you spot the sign as you walk down the road, to waiting in the bright lobby, to interacting with the team – I love it! Today was no different and a huge thank you to them for making us feel so welcome.
Beyond Medusa’s Gate can be booked at clueQuest for £25 – £30 pp on their website here.
Mairi is the editor-in-chief of The Escape Roomer and writes about news, and reviews covering London and UK south.