VR has already proven itself to be a wonderful technology. Advancing immersion, whether by surrounding you with the world, and blocking out distractions, or by literally putting you in the place of the character.
Apex Construct uses the later to make an interesting story, that can’t help but pull you in.
Apex Construct puts you in the body of a person who has woken up in a digital environment where Fathr, an AI in your head, begins explaining the situation. Upon waking in the real world Fathr explains that you have been hurt and had parts reconstructed, explaining a robotic hand. He then proceeds to encourage you outside.
You are immediately faced with some spider robots walking around searching, though far enough away from you, and you are told they are looking for you. Mothr, who has had conflict with Fathr, is sending her machines looking for you. Exploring for a moment discovers a handy energy bow, that will allow you to take the fight to your enemies.
The story does start to get more suspicious as you find recordings, indicating history with other humans and Fathr. But I don’t want to give too much away as the game isn’t overly long. Though long for a VR game, it can still be beaten in a few nights.
The game does incorporate other weaponry such as grades, but most of your time will be spent using this bow. It gives you the option of putting up a shield, or firing, and doing so takes a bit of time to adjust. The reason for this is you must use PS Move controls in the game, and firing the bow is exactly how you would expect in VR. One hand holding the bow and the other with the arrow, this takes time, and switching between that and the shield when opposing multiple enemies can be difficult.
The firing of the bow itself though is satisfying. Seeing the arrow appear in the bow, pulling back as you do, and firing is fun, and exactly the kind of experience I have been waiting for in VR. Because the PS Move controls aren’t perfect for tracking, though they are very good, it takes a while to adjust to how they will respond in the moment. But I am nit-picking because rarely did I find it to be a major issue.
Moving around the environment is a big issue with a lot of VR games, as too much, and moving in the wrong way can make you feel awfully sick. Apex Construct goes for the phasing in and out way of moving, with you being able to turn to face other directions, and your head for closer inspections. Physical movement has you using one controller to aim where you want to go, and you appear there. This cuts down time faffing about trying to move a short space but doing so slowly, or being sick.
The world is beautiful as well. It has been built showing a place people used to inhabit and is now abandoned. The style itself uses realistic proportions, but bold simple colours makes the world much more beautiful and allows for more immersion than expected. It’s detailed enough to warrant being impressed, but stylised enough to mean it won’t age as quickly.
Apex Construct is an excellent addition to the PSVR library, and well worth checking out for anybody interested. The story is interesting, the action fun and engaging, and it’s starting to demonstrate where we can expect VR to take us in gaming.
Released: February 2018
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PSVR
Genre: Virtual Reality, Simulator
Developer: Fast Travel Games
Publisher: Fast Travel Games