After The Fall After The Fall: Complete Edition PSVR2 Review PSVR2 Review Vertigo Games

After The Fall: Complete Edition Review (PSVR2) – An Entertaining VR Co-Op Shooter Gets Its Definitive Outing On PSVR2

after the fall complete edition psvr2 review

After The Fall: Complete Edition PSVR2 review. From the developer of PSVR FPS effort Arizona Sunshine, After The Fall once more tackles the notion of a zombie-stuffed apocalypse in VR, albeit this time in a decidedly different setting that depicts 1980s Los Angeles in the grip of a second ice age (oh and the zombies aren’t called zombies here, but rather ‘Snowbreed’, which to be honest sounds pretty cool anyway).

Unlike Arizona Sunshine which was decidedly more linear and lower budget affair, After The Fall is more akin to something like Left 4 Dead in VR and not only boasts improved production values over the studio’s previous outing, but is also much more broadly entertaining thanks to its improved gunplay and focus on co-operative multiplayer shenanigans.

After The Fall: Complete Edition PSVR2 Review

An Entertaining VR Co-Op Shooter Gets Its Definitive Outing On PSVR2

The first thing to say is that this isn’t After The Fall’s first bite of the PlayStation VR apple. Originally released for the previous iteration of PSVR towards the end of 2021, After The Fall: Complete Edition on PSVR2 brings the original release and all of the DLC released since and sticks it in a blender with the added technical improvements made possible by PSVR2 to present us with the title we have today. The end result is a pleasing and roundly entertaining, if not an especially innovative VR post-apocalyptic shooter that should appeal to a broad swathe of players.

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After you’re thrust into a neon-lit bunker to pick up the basics of how After The Fall controls (the expected free moving and teleportation movement modes are available for players depending on their preference) and more importantly as this is still very much a zombie apocalypse, how to shoot and reload your gun. Certainly in regards to that, After The Fall presents players with two very different ways to reload your boomsticks after they’ve been emptied of ammunition.

The first of these – and by far the easiest of the two methods, allows players to reload their firearms simply by pressing a button on the PSVR2 Sense controller which automatically slots a new magazine into place. Though resolutely simple, this method of reloading your gun(s) would seem to undercut the immersion of After The Fall somewhat, since you’re not physically reloading your firearms in a way that feels natural, but rather you’re just pressing a button and letting the game do it for you in much the same way you might expect to reload ammo in a non-VR shooter.

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The other method, as you may have already very well inferred, is much more physical and dovetails well into the tactile immersion that VR affords, requiring players to physically load the clips into the gun from their jacket (you can even customise the height of the jacket depending for comfort), before pulling on the mechanism atop the gun to prime it for firing. I’m not going to sugarcoat it – attempting to reload your firearms the second way has a steep learning curve to say the least and even after spending hours nailing it down, you can still fumble your ammo clips during combat when you most need it and fail to reload your gun in the process. That said, it does feel satisfying when you pull it off and to its credit, After The Fall incentivises players to put the time in by providing a 50% bonus headshot damage buff for anyone who fancies reloading their weapons of destruction manually.

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Speaking of weapons, the core VR gunplay which sits at the heart of After The Fall is highly enjoyable as it turns out. Aiming and shooting the various weapons is a real treat thanks to the neat combination of PSVR2’s super high resolution display that lets you pick out details and targets from further out, and the haptic feedback capabilities of the PSVR2’s Sense controllers which make every round fired feel palpably in the hand(s). In addition to firearms, you’ll also be able to throw bombs at your enemies and use various stims on yourself and your undead smashing partners and much like the aiming, shooting and ‘hard mode’ reloading, it all feels impressively natural.

Likewise, the various frosty undead folks that you’ll be tangling with throughout your time with After The Fall are a scary, if fairly predictable bunch of baddies that hew closely to the sort of design we’ve all seen before in games such as Left 4 Dead and even more recent fare such as World War Z: The Game and Back 4 Blood. This means you’ve got your weaker Snowbreed, then your more stronger captains, Snowbreed that explode, giant Snowbreed and then finally massive screen-filling bosses that can absolutely decimate a group of survivors if you’re not careful. Again, the line-up of bad dudes that you’ll be wrecking is hardly anything innovative from a design point of view, but the sheer number of enemies on screen at any single time coupled with After The Fall’s palpably enjoyable gunplay, means that you don’t really mind how generic they are when you’re blasting them apart in the heat of the moment.

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When you’re rooting around the ruins of icy, post-apocalyptic Los Angeles you’ll soon discover that there are a number of juice boosters, bombs and floppy discs (more on those later) which can all be slotted into your handy wrist pack. The problem, however, is that the wrist pack is desperately small (it is, a ‘wrist’ pack, I guess, rather than a ‘backpack’, but don’t get me started). Anyway, the diminutive nature of the wrist pack’s storage means that you can only hold a certain number of stims, bombs and so on and this becomes a concern quickly since you’ll not only need stims for yourself, but also too heal and buff your undead smashing partners too.

Ironically, the real problem with the inventory system in After The Fall lay not with the inventory itself so much, but the permanence of objects in the world. You see, if you happen to leave any items in the world when you leave a mission or even just move to one of the four or so saferooms that help to breakup the various missions of After The Fall, that item is gone. There’s no accumulation of missed items at the end of a level or anything like that – items that aren’t in your possession and have been left in the world are gone forever (though floppy discs can be ‘banked’ by slotting them into the various computers that litter safe rooms dotted around each level.

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Sitting at the core of After The Fall’s progression are the various era appropriate floppy discs you can collect during the ‘harvest’ missions that serve as the backbone of After The Fall’s overall offering. Used for unlocking new weapon blueprints and picked up from fairly obvious places on the map (though the locations are randomised to an extent) and passed out to players at the end of each successful fifth horde mission level, there are four different grades of floppy disc that you can obtain with After The Fall’s different difficultly levels scaling up both the quality and the drop rates of these floppy discs that harder you play. It’s a well-designed system which keeps you playing After The Fall’s various harvest and horde modes frequently and does a good job of keeping you incentivised.

The problem with this though and it’s not a problem necessarily with the floppy upgrade system itself, is that it makes you retread many of After The Fall’s various level over and over in search of more floppies and of course, potentially better quality floppies when you replay those same levels at a higher level of difficulty. The issue though, is that even with this ‘complete’ edition of the game, there’s really not enough levels to keep proceedings varied – which is a shame because at its heart, After The Fall has some really enjoyable gunplay and what amounts to a fairly compelling progression system to boot, as well.

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As is always the case with games like this, After The Fall is best played with friends but especially in the case of After The Fall, playing with friends is absolutely something that you’ll want to pursue since the AI controlled bots that take the place of human players aren’t exactly the sharpest knives in the drawer. From just standing in front of horrendously damaging attacks from boss enemies to occasionally walking into walls and getting stuck on corners, After The Fall is certainly playable solo, but to do so arguably undercuts the experience significantly. So if you have friends, drag em’ in.

The definitive version of After The Fall thanks in no small part to the impressive capabilities leveraged by the PSVR2 hardware, After The Fall: Complete Edition still makes its mark as a roundly enjoyable VR shooter, albeit one that comes slightly unstuck thanks to some dodgy AI and not quite enough maps or unique modes for players to get their teeth into over the long-term.

After The Fall: Complete Edition is out now on PSVR and PSVR2.

Review code kindly provided by PR.



The Final Word

The definitive version of After The Fall thanks in no small part to the impressive capabilities leveraged by the PSVR2 hardware, After The Fall: Complete Edition still makes its mark as a roundly enjoyable VR shooter, albeit one that comes slightly unstuck thanks to some dodgy AI and not quite enough maps or unique modes for players to get their teeth into over the long-term.