Take a look at our Apex Construct review to see if this VR action adventure game is worth checking out if you own a PSVR, Vive or Oculus Rift. We sampled the game using the Rift with Touch controllers.
Apex Construct from Fast Travel Games tells a post apocalyptic story where two AIs (Mothr and Fathr) face off against each other, with you the last human stuck in the middle. Fathr is on you side and from the opening moment in a lift it becomes apparent that he has helped you having given you a new robotic hand. The job is fairly straight forwards, do as your told and eventually battle the opposing AI and its army of robots.
Interestingly, Fast Travel Games has recently updated the game which now allows for free movement and turning options alongside the original teleport. You can actually use both which is neat, but this is because part of the gameplay requires it (for reaching higher ground and such like). Controlling the character is pretty fluid making for an easy game to play. So, what do you do in this sci-fi adventure? Well, aside from following orders there are a number of interactive elements which makes for an involving experience. You’re free to open and close doors, push buttons, open cupboards and drawers and even enter commands into computer terminals for information. There is a slight puzzle format here with clues from clipboards and terminals but this works really well in terms of feeling quite natural rather than thrown in for the sake of it. In a way you could argue that the narrated adventure parts of the game are in walking sim territory. However, rather than simply offer the dilapidated world to traverse filled with locked doors and keycards, there is nice dose of combat against the rogue AI.
Pretty much as soon as the adventure begins, you’re handed a bow which fires three different types of ammo (standard, electrified and explosive). You’re also presented with the game’s main enemy which are various forms of robotic spiders which fire projectiles at you. Combat plays very well when using the Touch controllers and feels pretty accurate to boot. The more energetic players should be able to fire arrows fairly fast which comes in handy during some sections where you’re tasked with defense. The only gripes with the combat is the fiddly nature of switching ammo types on the fly, and the hit detection can sometimes be a little off. It would have been a neat feature being able to one hit kill the enemy with carefully placed shots into their robotic eyes.
The game’s progress has you take on missions from within your home safe area. It is here where you can replay completed missions to hunt down more secrets. You can also upgrade your bow, arrows and health with points collected from the field giving you a greater chance of survival. Sometimes, the robotic forces can overwhelm especially if playing seated, so leveling up your weapons is a must.
In terms of visuals, there is an interesting assortment of locations which although lacking in overall detail put you into the role with relative ease. The game’s colourful visuals provide enough reason to keep exploring without being too much on the eyes. If one was to complain here would be a lack of presence from other humans, but the fact you’re the last in keeping with the story means the complaint is fairly redundant. Apex Construct offers a pleasant playground to explore making the journey and investigation feel worthwhile. Audio is pretty standard with the robotic AI voices being the only thing you will hear in game, however some audio files provide a little more variety when discovered or replayed back at home.
Gamers will find around 5-7 hours worth of playtime here using the default difficulty although you are encouraged to replay levels to hunt for secrets and perhaps shoot up some more enemies to get additional points for upgrades. There is the chance to up the difficulty for a more challenging adventure which helps prolong the experience if playing for a second time, however, once the puzzle solutions or direction is known then a second play-through is going to be much quicker.
Apex construct is an interesting and totally engrossing game with its excellent fusion of adventuring , bow combat and despite of a few niggles here and there. As mentioned, poor hit detection and a playground devoid of human life and some fiddly menu options when in the thick of battle dampen the overall experience, but these are elements which can easily be ignored. The addition of free-movement is well respected here which means the developers are listening to the wants of those playing which is always a good sign. With its relatively low asking price (under £20) Apex Construct comes well recommended for adventure fans. Its charms certainly outweigh any negatives leveled against it.