After the Fall

Review: After The Fall

Do you know what we’ve been missing in recent years? A good co-op zombie shooter. Don’t get me wrong, I like Back 4 Blood but it never reached the same highs as Left 4 Dead and is to this day still unmatched in gameplay. Ironically, many games that came after owe themselves to the incredible legacy left behind by Valve’s iconic shooter. Vertigo Games’ After the Fall is available as a launch title for the PlayStation VR2 after launching for PC and Quest systems in 2021.

After the Fall places you in a desolate and frozen world, one on the brink of devastation. You’ll find yourself in the subway of a post-apocalyptic LA, where it is recommended that you find a few friends to ensure that you survive the challenges ahead of you. An ice age has decimated humanity and there’s a new zombie type thriving in the freezing temperatures called Snowbreeds who have all but driven the last of civilization underground.

After the Fall’s Got A New Type of Zombie

The core idea of After the Fall’s campaign is recruiting your team of Runners to head out and collect a resource called Harvest. Every time you head out and collect the resource, you then head to your safe house where you then use Harvest to upgrade your weapons, ammo, and explosives.

Harvest can be played on a few difficulty settings with modified parameters, and only five maps where you enter with three partners. These can be bots, who will automatically join in private mode if you don’t have friends, but live teammates are preferred. I wasn’t able to test out the online portion prior to release because I believe the servers were offline but the idea is you can team up with a squad to then head out into a series of levels.

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There isn’t much story to really plot out a campaign here and really, I don’t necessarily think it’s necessary given you’re dealing with zombies. In a series of several Harvest runs, you are also given the choice to adjust the difficulty level to tackle the onslaught of zombies ahead of you. This is where a solid team would be needed but the AI will fill in for whoever isn’t available. Like Left 4 Dead, I had more fun teaming up with a few friends and getting to the safehouses than I did sitting and waiting for a narrative drip to finish.

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Instead, you’ll continually be revisiting the same levels with the idea is to earn more Harvest and then gaining access to better weapons and items and upgrades before switching to the harder difficulty modes. That’s the gist of After the Fall and it’s more fun than I expected it to be when I sat down with it initially. If you find this loop appealing then you’re going to enjoy continually killing zombies over and over. If you don’t like this loop then there are tons of other VR titles well worth your time.

One of the ways After the Fall tasks players with returning to the fray is through the floppy disks spread across each area during your harvesting sessions. These floppy disks are used to unlock more powerful weapons through blueprints and are crucial to defending against the Snowbreeds. Floppy disks are colour-coded to the rarity with blue being the more common, then purple, gold, and lastly red serving as the rarest. Every Harvest runs two floppy disks are placed randomly and you’ll want to make sure you find them as the difficulty begins ramping up. It is an effective system that rewards exploration and ensures you continue to search thoroughly.

Given this isn’t a straight port of After the Fall, you can expect some great haptic feedback on the Sense controllers to make you feel immersed in the experience. The adaptive controllers all offer their own unique rumble for each of the guns you’ll find in-game and it always feels incredible in your hands. The same can be said for the haptics included within the headset itself as some enemies will damage you and you’ll get that holt signalling you need to be wary of what you’re doing or you won’t survive the enemy’s onslaught.

Verdict

If you’re looking for a fun Left 4 Dead alternative, there really isn’t anything as good as After the Fall. There’s a great level of replayability here and more often than not, this means you might not be having a lot of fun. That simply isn’t the case here as the gameplay loop encourages you to head out and gather Harvest to then return and up the difficulty for a tough challenge.

[A copy of the game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]

Reviewed on: PSVR2

Summary
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Liked
Decent variety of weapons and upgrades
Fun zombie mechanics make this an enjoyable squad shooter
Didn't Like
Gameplay might not be for everyone
Some difficulty spikes on harder levels