If humanity as you know it changed, how easily could you adapt to it if it was like nothing you were prepared for? Would you adjust and exceed where it counts or would you fall victim to it and become its prey? Change can be a difficult and challenging thing when it interrupts the flow of humanity. But does developer Vertigo Games bring us the fear of change and allow those to help make it adaptable? Let’s find out with After the Fall – Complete Edition for the PlayStation VR2.
After the Fall combines a living, breathing VR world shared with players from all over the world, a cinematic and atmospheric campaign, action-packed solo and multiplayer gameplay, and an endgame built from the ground up for VR. Venture out into the remains of post-apocalyptic L.A., wield deadly weapons and devastating powers with real-life movements as you develop your combat style, and join forces with players worldwide as you go head to head with hordes and towering bosses in a bid to leave the city in a better place than your predecessors. So before going in to make the world a better place, there are a few things that you will want to do first. For starters, decide if you want to play standing or sitting as either way works. Second, this is a co-op experience and you might just be surprised how much fun you might have. So turn on your mic as you never know who will join the party and give some helpful advice and make that shot that can save your life. Third, make sure those Sense controllers are fully charged as you don’t want to face a boss that is about to destroy you and have your controllers go out just because you forgot to charge them. And finally, don’t be shocked if you keep saying one more run, so just have fun. With all that said, let’s continue…
For those that may not be aware, After the Fall has been released on previous platforms including Quest, Steam VR, and even PlayStation VR back in 2021. Now that we are over the year and soon to be halfway mark, the PlayStation VR2 version has been released and you might be wondering if it is worth it spending your time fighting off the enemies with other players and what is in the PlayStation VR2 Complete Edition version. We will get into that soon enough.
Immediately starting, you start to hear the radio communication and I could see where the visuals would be a factor here from a simple thing like a cup to the duck with a beanie on the table. Everything looked great and I haven’t even made it into the actual main part of the game yet. But this is also where you will calibrate your ammo patch which you want to make sure is perfect for you. Picking up the gun, not only was the detail there but firing the gun felt so good with the adaptive triggers. You will also need to decide if you want your inventory mode to be Holsters or the Weapon Wheel. If you are not sure which one is best, the arcade machine gives you a glimpse of what each one does, so don’t rush through it. Once the calibration was complete, I had to just listen to the sounds of what was behind the door. The draw distance not only looked really good but made me want to see what was out there. Moving forward, you get your first, but not last, of the Snowbreed enemies that you will be facing and there is just something so satisfying about shooting body parts off of them.
Before you know it, you will be moving again, but this time inside a station with lots of arcade machines, other runners who are actual players, and, of course, you have your objectives throughout the game. You will be talking to Luna Gonzales, the Matriarch. She will tell you what is needed and once the objectives are complete, you could easily be returning back to her as you may start to receive payment for your very heroic services out there. Throughout the game, be on the lookout for floppy disks as they contain blueprints for gear. Before each run, you can elect to move on to the next or head to the back where you can buy and upgrade weapons as well as add to your inventory.
But the real fun is all those arcade machines allow you to start your runs, which you can go solo and have AI assist you or those other players that are here, send them an invite to join or you very well may receive an invite. Runners are always looking to collect so they can upgrade their equipment. At the machines, you have some options such as Harvest, Tundradome, Horde, Mutation, Quick Play, and Private Match. In Harvest, this is your main cooperative mode with up to three other players as you try to make it through to the end of the run. Tundradome is a player-versus-player arena that includes Free-for-All and Team Deathmatch. In Horde Mode, you and up to three other players go against an endless wave of Snowbreed which has more rewards for the longer that you can survive. The Mutation Mode is where you must complete a series of objectives while facing off various types of Snowbreed. Then you have Quick Play to jump right in or Private Match which are pretty self-explanatory.
I decided on Harvest Mode and you have a selection of difficulties that not only will be playing, but the other three players will be playing as well. You have a choice between Survivor, Veteran, Master, Nightmare, and Horror difficulty levels. So choose wisely. Once everyone I invited joined, which I found didn’t take that long for players to accept, it was time for that Harvest Run. In about 10 seconds, we were all synced and ready to play. Before actually starting the mission, make sure you buy at least a Juice Booster aka health, as things can and will get messy out there and you want to make sure you at least can heal yourself if not a teammate. Starting the match felt really good with that gloomy sky, and the snow as everything is pretty much frozen….well, except for us and the Snowbreed. They will come from everywhere including roofs, so shoot at everything except don’t shoot your own team as tempting as it may be. Plus there is something very artistic about Snowbreed blood on the snow. Just keep in mind that you do have the option to mute someone if things are said that do not make you feel uncomfortable, which I didn’t experience, but also if someone’s mic makes loud noises that hopefully will go away sooner than later.
After each run, you will be rewarded with Harvest, which is the currency used, and with that harvest, you can then exchange it for different parts to add to your gear. More powerful gear could help take out those Snowbreed from a distance or have a better grip for your weapon for example. But this is where those higher difficulty levels come into play as you will find different blueprints on those floppy disks that will lead to more powerful weapons.
Weapons will range from pistols to submachine guns to throwable weapons like Pipe Bombs, grenades, and Molotov Cocktails. Just make sure you actually throw them at the enemies and not make them go as far as your feet. For research purposes, please don’t do this. I will say that I do love the reloading style that is implemented here. You actually have two different ways. You can Advanced Reload where you have full control over your weapon as you grab and throw a magazine and slide back your weapon to manually reload it. But the much easier and more fun way is called Quick Reload which is where you are moving your weapon to your ammo belt and as long as you have the ammo, bam, instant reload.
When it comes to inventory, remember that each one of your wrists can carry one item. So if you find that disk that you need to bring back and you are holding a booster, you may need to do a quick boost or be nice, and boost up someone else including the AI just so you make sure you have enough room to carry whatever it is you would like. One of the things that you will find that makes After the Fall stand out is its focus on cooperative play with a variety of social features, such as voice chat which make it easy to communicate with your teammates and helps bring fun and excitement to the game. One of the modes I was excited to play was Free-For-All. Don’t get me wrong, making runs in Harvest Mode is a blast and that’s where I did spend the majority of my time, but it’s always good to test yourself against the other runners out there even if I died a lot.
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. The game looks good on the PlayStation VR2 from the different environments to the various enemies to even seeing the other players. Going through halls and seeing where paint used to be or being at a part that will lead to the outside and seeing the snow just fall to even the new levels that were added, really adds to the visual immersion here. From the sound, just listening to other players talking, the different sounds of the weapons, shooting the limbs and hearing them being shot off, to even the music just all sounded very good when using the Pulse 3D Audio headset that just seem to add the feeling of adrenaline to the experience.
There are a few things that I would love to see. First, more content. The PlayStation VR2 version is the Complete Edition with all the content updates that were released included. But I do hope that there is even more content planned for the future. Second, more modes. Yes, we do get Free-for-All and Team Deathmatch, but give us some Capture the Flag, a new version of Freeze Tag or even a Snow Ball fight. And finally, let’s have some festivities where special gear can only be obtained.
After the Fall – Complete Edition for PlayStation VR2 brings us the co-op fun that you can keep coming back to. It still shows us what can happen with the fear of change and forces us to work together instead of against each other. In life, we are too focused just on ourselves instead of helping our neighbors. If a life-changing threat were to impact us in such a way, it is better to get along and work together for the greater good. But why do we need to wait for such an event to happen when we have the opportunity today to make a better change not only for ourselves but for each other?
After the Fall – Complete Edition is out now digitally for PlayStation VR & PlayStation VR2 on the PlayStation Store and the physical PlayStation VR edition is available at a retailer near you. And remember, If you have the PlayStation VR version, you can upgrade to the PlayStation VR2 version for free. A review code was provided.
Also, check out the After the Fall – Complete Edition video review:
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have more runs to do.