Developer / Publisher – Fast Travel Games
Price – US $29.99 / EU €29.99 / UK £24.99
Release Date – March 20th, 2018
Input – Tracked Motion Controllers
Play Area – Sitting, Standing, Roomscale
Store – Steam
Reviewed on – Oculus Rift
Walking through the apocalyptic yet colorful settings in Apex Construct I was struck by how much care and detail went in to the making of this world. A fully fleshed out story had me looking in every crevice and search every room to make sure I didn’t miss any small nugget of information I could get my hands on. The desire to push forward is very present, and the nagging suspicion you are about to face danger never lets you linger in an area for too long.
In Apex Construct, you are the last human tasked with figuring out what is happening around you and possibly save the planet from whatever happened to it in the first place. Aided by an AI who clearly has many of the answers you seek, but keeps it to himself, it doesn’t take too long before you begin question his motives. You are constantly hunted by Mothr (yes, I spelled that right), another AI who wants to kill you and destroy any chance at humanity returning to the earth. In this regard, Apex Construct has vibes of Portal and System Shock, developing the AI enemy very well and keeping them menacing throughout the game. The story has twists and turns, and plays out to a satisfying conclusion. Apex Construct is a slow burn, so people looking for non-stop action all the time should look elsewhere, but don’t let that turn you off, this game is very polished.
Gameplay wise, you travel through the world either via teleport, or free locomotion using trackpad/thumbstick. Expect to enter codes in computers, search for hidden items and buttons, and encounter enemies who you must destroy with your only weapon, a fancy looking bow. The archery in this game is excellent, and I would easily put it on par with The Lab. There is no hand holding here so you need to learn to aim. It isn’t too difficult however, and you will soon be switching between your different types of arrow with ease and killing enemies left and right. Your bow can also switch to a shield which is vital in tough battles when the enemy is trying to take you out, though it can only take a few hits.
With different types of arrows and items to carry, you are going to need an inventory sysytem. Simple, holographic screens appear out of your hand when a button is pressed and store any items you have picked up. To take them out or equip them you just grab the item and pull it out of the inventory. It’s super simple and keeps from breaking the immersion in game. Back at your home base, where you choose the next mission or any of the previous ones, there is also an upgrade station where you can spend RP, the games pseudo currency dropped after dispatching enemies or hidden around each stage, to give allow you to take more damage to shoot more powerful arrows.
The visuals are wonderful. Enemies look stunning yet simple, though there are only a handful of different enemy types, and the world around you is decaying at just the right rate to be derelict yet beautiful. The effects that take place when you shoot different arrow types look good. There is a less cartoony Borderlands feeling going on, but one that fits the world and the action well. The audio is great too. Music swells when you complete the goal of the current level, and when the music changes up, you know to expect and incoming battle.
Overall Apex Construct is a game I think everyone who is a VR lover should play. The bow work is tight, the graphics are polished, and the story kept me wanting more.
What would I pay? I would happily pay $15-20 for Apex Construct. The 4-5 hour long campaign has replayability, and going through the first time I had a blast. My only real complaint is that in between objectives I would have liked to see a little more movement in the world. Everything is so still, which is fitting, but a little off putting.
Fast Travel Games provided The VR Grid with a review code for this title and, regardless of this review, we thank them for that!