Apex Construct Review (VR) - Brave New World

Apex Construct

One of the largest complaints we’ve seen since the release of PlayStation VR is a lack of full-length games. It’s true that VR development is complicated and the technology is still coming into its own, so many smaller studios released “experiences” that were only an hour or two long.

For me personally, quality always wins over quantity, but I still wanted to see more full-length VR titles. Apex Construct is here to fill that gap with the promise of a post-apocalyptic science fiction adventure that doesn’t cut any corners. Should you grab your headset and dive in? Read on to find out!

A Strange and Unique World

The world of Apex Construct is a unique twist on the post-apocalyptic scenarios we’re used to seeing. While you would expect a lot of broken environments and a lack of color, the game instead opts for a broken world full of color.

While it’s still clear that some kind of destruction has run rampant through the world, you still see nature taking back certain areas with trees and grass. You also see waterways running through the streets, and strange blue energy emerging from cracks in the environments.

It’s quite beautiful, especially in VR. The game’s story relies on the mystery of everything, which keeps the intrigue high from the moment you start. You are the last human alive. You are guided forwarded by an artificial intelligence that helps you fight against the artificial enemies created by the antagonist, Mothr.

As I explored the game’s sprawling environments and claustrophobic underground facilities, I found myself craving more of the backstory. You can find clues and explanations in the form of documents you find on computers and chunks of narration that explain how the world reached this place.

It’s a cautionary tale of what happens when we recklessly pursue technology and power without stopping to think about the consequences. This may sound like the standard theme behind most science fiction, but Apex Construct paints a fresh picture with the same colors we’re used to seeing in this genre.

The war between two A.I entities in the wake of an apocalyptic extinction, combined with the uncertainty of the event that caused it, makes for an exciting and interesting world that I was eager to explore in VR. While I would have liked some elements of the story to be more forthcoming in terms of backstory, it was overall a very refreshing approach to the genre.

In-Depth Gameplay and Combat For PSVR

Apex Construct

Apex Construct goes a long way towards welcoming players of all levels into the game. There are options for both standing and seated calibration, teleportation, and full locomotion, and other comfort options as well.

I personally opted for full locomotion and seated gameplay as it was the most comfortable for long-term play sessions. Using two PlayStation Move controllers, Apex Construct adopts a similar control scheme to other titles, and it works very well for movement.

The option to teleport is still there, so I was able to quickly navigate areas when I wanted, but also casually walk through them. Your main weapon is a bow and arrow that feels great to use, and the included shield is helpful, but they both become cumbersome in close quarters combat.

Enemies tend to rush you and get in close, which made some encounters feel awkward as I tried to hit them at close range with a long range weapon. My frustration further increased when I lost all of my accumulated XP upon death.

While this mechanic keeps the stakes high, it was really frustrating when I felt like my death had been a result of the enemies parading through my personal space. You do have the option of banking your XP at the game’s hub, but when I returned to the level, I had to walk through everything I completed again, which wasn’t ideal.

Puzzles are present in the form of additional arrow types that can be used to trigger switches and looking for codes that open doors and new areas. When interacting with computer terminals, you use your hands to type on keyboards one letter at a time.

I really enjoyed this at first, but eventually, I found myself hitting wrong keys and just wishing I could enter the letters a different way, perhaps with a radial wheel or cursor. Beyond these small complaints, I also had a few times where glitches caused me to lose some progress.

One example was when I had to carry an item across an area to complete an objective. At a certain point, when I set the item down, it glitched through the floor and fell to a place where I couldn’t get it. The item eventually respawned, but in its original place. I had to return to the original area to get it again as a result.

Things like this added to my frustration, but I always wanted to keep moving forward with Apex Construct. Since the launch, the developers have been incredibly responsive with patches and improvements to some of these issues, so I imagine that some of these things may not be a problem at all when other people purchase and play the game.

As a full VR experience, Apex Construct delivers what it set out to do. While it has some flaws and some repetition to the combat, the game’s world and immersion are excellent in virtual reality.

Beautifully Realized Virtual Environments

Apex Construct

Apex Construct wisely chooses a varied color palette for its art, despite being post-apocalyptic in nature. The environments are all bursting with vibrant hues that are a treat to behold in VR on PS4 Pro. The futuristic technology also adds visual flair to the enemies, your bow, and the technology you interact with throughout the adventure.

The voice acting is great across the board. I love the gravelly voice of Fathr and the ominous tones of Mothr. As a full package, Apex Construct is well worth your time and money. It has some kinks in its armor, but the promise of a full-length and realized PSVR title is kept here, and it’s a solid sci-fi adventure to boot.

Final Score: 8.5/10

Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert date - 5/7/18

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