Home Games ‘After the Fall’ Offers a John Carpenter-esque Immersive VR World That You Want to Get Lost In

‘After the Fall’ Offers a John Carpenter-esque Immersive VR World That You Want to Get Lost In

Frozen in Post Apocalyptic 1980's

by Trey Hilburn III
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Vertigo Games latest first-person-shooter is an experience that immediately begs to be immersed in. VR worlds have become more and more immersive and After the Fall pulls you in and doesn’t let go… in a good way. The sheer amount of fun, replayability and radness is worth the jump over into the spectrum of VR. If you have been on the fence about gaming on VR, jump on over. This is the game to start with, especially for horror fans.

After the Fall creates a world that could have easily been written by director, John Carpenter. It would have fit in well with his body of work.  The story follows humanity and pre-supposes a planet earth that went into its second ice age in the 1980’s. An ice age obviously spells out bad news for all of the folks on earth – added to that humans who were left out in the cold have come back as vicious monsters referred to as The Snowbred.

Humanity has taken shelter in bunkers and must go on Harvest runs in order to obtain supplies and to explore the post-apocalyptic wasteland. These runs are all that keeps humans in operation, making harvesters one of the apocalyptic wasteland’s most vital roles.

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The aesthetic of After the Fall is a fantastic cross-pollination of everything 80s. From the world’s décor to the arcade cabinets that have been repurposed to be used as computers and supply points is a fantastic addition to the game. The world created by Vertigo Games feels very lived-in and is one-hundred percent immersive.

The VR mechanics are pushing the limits of technology by truly making this a believable world within our own. A world that feels massive and complete. The attention to detail is wonderful as well. For example, once you empty a clip on your firearm, you have to eject the clip, reach to your bandolier, pop another clip and slide back the rail in order to chamber your next bullet for action. Health pickups must be pointed towards your chest and injected. The haptic feedback is well-designed to give all these little details a tactile and real feel. Even the games aiming mechanics are next level and ahead of their time.

When you begin a game, there is a bit of a tutorial to get you used to the games mechanics but it isn’t long before you are at the Harvester’s central hub. This repurposed arcade is where you will craft new parts for your weapons and receive Harvest run missions. In order to begin missions you must approach one of those aforementioned arcade cabinets to select, level of difficulty and the type of run you are going to go on. If you begin a mission solo, the three other players are going to be made up of bots. I do not suggest going at it with AI controlled bots. It is vital to team up with others while in the central Harvester hub. After selecting a party of four teammates who you can find in the hub, it is time to load up and head out to Havest and destroy some Snowbred.

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The immersivity gets deep when you are partied with a team. Heading out on these missions and blasting Snowbred as part of a team who communicates all while having a blast along the way gave me that childlike wonder feeling. The immense joy of playing a groundbreaking game and getting lost is immensely rewarding.

The variation of Snowbred monsters keep things interesting. Each sort comes at you at different speeds and by different means. For example some of these suckers climb on the ceiling and drop down on you. There are also enormous boss fights against gigantic Snowbred that it will take a well-organized team and a lot of firepower to bring down. Much like, Left 4 Dead the enemies come at you in mass hordes. You have to be quick on the trigger and quick on your feet in order to survive. I’m not going to lie this game gave me straight up adrenaline rushes at times during combat.

If player vs player is more your style, After the Fall also has a mode for that called Tundradome. This is where you will go to use all your skills and firepower against other players to gain victory in PVP modes.

Everything just feels right, as far as game play goes. The controls feel tight and don’t have that latency that a lot of VR shooters have. All the controls are quick and crisp. Added to that, all of the controls are backed by some great haptic feedback that just furthers the incredible immersive experience.

After the Fall also holds a lot of repeatability value. Replaying levels to gain more supplies or to beat your time or just to experience it with a new set of players is constantly fun. I feel like no two playtrough’s are the same.

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This 1980’s frozen Los Angeles is a world that could have easily been a John Carpenter film. There is a really cool story at work as the backing of After the Fall. I do like how the game just gives you the backstory and then leaves it up to you to get immersed and role play to come up with your own stories in frozen LA.

Vertigo Games created this VR experience from the ground up and surpassed any sort of expectations. After the Fall is an immersive, bloody good time. Every one of the mechanics at work, from the reloading a pistol to using a stem shot for health, just pulls you deeper in to a gaming experience that is hard to match. I’ve played a lot of VR games and After the Fall breaks the mold with a total blast of pure gaming fun.

After the Fall is out now on Oculus (Meta) Quest 2, Playstation VR and Steam.