I played a really brief demo for this game last year and it definitely had me interested at the time, when I only thought it was a space horror game. I read more in to it and discovered it was a rogue like survival game, where each time you die you clone yourself with a slightly better version of yourself and start again at the beginning of the ship. When i found this out I had to play it, and I’ve got to say it doesn’t disappoint.
The idea of the game is to repair the ship so you can escape, but between you and the objective there are loads of space zombie clones, obviously! Every time you die a clone version of yourself becomes available to go back into, you lose any weapons you’ve found but keep stem cells and fabrication tokens that you’ve collected….. Stem cells upgrade your body and enhancements whereas the fab tokens enable you to buy weapons and upgrade them. There are many play styles available to you, you can choose to create invisibility devices and one kill knifes or choose to have a grenade and gun (and even within that there’s lots of choice), oh and you have a shield the whole time. So you can often you can block the attack and smack the zombie clone in the head, although i’m yet to really perfect this. There seem to different forms of enemies too, there are simple zombies who are pretty easy to kill, some have guns and are a bit tougher and there are also more advanced, capable versions who are sneaky and even hulk like ones who are very hard to kill. Oh and there are turret guns!
I found that when doing Stealth you can harvest a lot of stem cells, as you can harvest them straight from their necks. When killing recklessly you have more chance of unlocking a modification for your armour and guns etc. – these can upgrade your shield, cloaking device and even add electric to certain items. When loading up with the right gear you can feel like a proper badass, just smashing enemies aside and taking them out with overloaded grenades, it was interesting trying each play through slightly differently depending on what i fabricated. It’s worth noting that when playing stealthily it’s a lot scarier as you’re pretty much in darkness (the torch isn’t that powerful and the enemy get alerted by it) and you’re just listening for a heavy pant of a zombie, that you can only hope you find before it finds you. However you are helped with a ‘sense’ mode which is essentially the same as batman’s predator mode, just click triangle to get a brief heat map of the room to hopefully spot any enemies.
Another exciting aspect of the game is the ever changing ship, although you may have been in a certain room before it will never be in the same place twice. The rooms shift around every time you get cloned after a death (or respawned) so you have to find a slightly new path to your objective and tackle potentially new obstacles. Within the map and environment you’re playing there are ducts which can be used to get around an obstacle or sneak around an enemy and teleporters which generally take you up or down a level, problem is the enemy can also use these. It’s an especially a problem with the teleporters as you can hear them but won’t know which way they’re approaching from. As well as this you’ll find secret rooms with hidden prizes and other side objectives in rooms if you find them. – And this is just the first floor. When going up to the 2nd floor the action and enemies ramp up as does the intensity and you really have to plan your game out a lot more, there’s a fair bit of second floor action here.
It’s not a constant horror like resident evil is, but there are definite scary moments. Especially when they set it up, towards the end of this video below you’ll see a ramp up in the terrifying aspect of the game as i’m forced to go down some very dark corridors.
The game looks really good as well, it’s still got the typical low res areas due to the VR capabilities but the whole look and feel is very suffocating and claustrophobic, which it wants to be. I love that you have to look at things to pick them up or open, and there’s never a dull moment in this well crafted virtual space ship. -FYI screen shots are even more low res than actual game.
What works very well about this game is that it does not rely on just the horror aspect or the novelty in VR, I actually think this would be a great ‘normal’ game it just happens to work very very well in VR. It has a great choice of either being a stealthy badass or an attacking tank but both methods never go that smoothly. There’s a hell of a lot of intensity and nothing about the game is boring. The gameplay is fun and really smooth for a VR game and i’ve experienced no glitches so far.
There really isn’t a great deal I can put this game down for, i’m not sure how long it is but I’ve been playing for just under 4 hours and there seems to be a lot more to it. Plus there’s almost an endless feel to it as you can just keep playing the same rooms over and over to harvest stem cells and collect fab tokens to improve your build. It’s the first VR game since Resident Evil that’s made me want to keep coming back for more and has put a little more faith in virtual reality format, i can only hope for more of the same.
This game is definitely worth the price tag and is a must for any PSVR user.