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October 3, 2018

Apex Construct PS4 Pro review: The battle to take back humanity

by John_A

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Up there as one of my favorite PSVR games ever

AC
Score
4.5


There’s a battle over a world humanity once inhabited before… well, something happened. This game takes place during the battle between Mother and Father, both sentient robots created by different companies. At the start of the game, you’re lead to believe the one known as Father is on your side to take back the planet. But, as you progress in the story, you’re left wondering just how true that is. Are any of them actually on your side? What started this whole fiasco in the first place?

Well, if we’ve sparked your interest then continue on to read our review on Apex Construct. This title finally released as a physical game disc for the PlayStation VR (PSVR) on August 31, 2018, and I was more than excited to get my grubby hands all over it. If you can’t either, you can find it on Amazon for $30!

See at Amazon

Everything is so highly immersive

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When it comes to immersion within a VR game, every little detail can make a world of a difference. Anything that makes us feel less like a person with a headset on, and more like the character we’re trying to portray, the better. This is why I am so head over heels for the instructions of Apex Construct being sprawled out across the maps like little treasure hunts for you to find. You find them in forms of clipboards from old employees, messages on the computers, hidden ciphers in the world, and so on. Not only was this incredibly immersive, but it made every new thing I learned to feel like a small victory.

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The only downside to using the computers was realizing how much it sucks to type in VR. I found myself slapping the virtual keyboard on more than one occasion when I realized I would have to erase almost everything I typed so far and start over. This always happened to due image shaking, or the keys of the board feeling just a little too small to navigate with ease.

Then there were the weapons. Archery as a form of combat is something you don’t see in too many titles, and it’s popping up more and more in VR. In this game not only is your bow a killing device, but it also serves as your shield too. That means you only need one hand to set your weapon or block an attack, forcing you to really strategize how you plan to jump into battle. Since the bow is attached to your brand new robot hand, you can upgrade the entire kit, including the arrows, at your home base.

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The only downside to both of these amazing features of the game is the shaking that is all too known on the PSVR. I can’t blame the developers for this, as it falls to the issues with the PSVR tracking. As someone who has been playing more and more Oculus Rift titles, I could clearly see the difference in smoother gaming and better hand controls. Despite all this, the combat system in Apex Construct was pretty great. It was fun holding up my shield and having a little panic while I tried to get a correctly aimed arrow out there before my enemies’ next strike.

Control options are a little bittersweet

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I will always be a huge fan of any VR game that allows the player to decide if they’re going to be standing up or sitting down. Not only does it make the games easier to play when you just want to relax, but it also makes them that much more inclusive for people who need that accessibility. That being said, I was kind of disappointed that it served as no real difference from standing up except for how tall your character appeared to be.

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For instance, when you play standing up you’re just above the computer screens. When you play sitting down you’re just below them. Despite being closer to the ground I was still unable to open doors and drawers that were at my feet.

Sure, when you want to pick up an item that is just out of your reach, you just have to point, push the button, and it will fly to your grasp. But, when it comes to opening drawers or doors, you actually have to grab the handle. When I play the sitting down option I glue myself to the chair to see how the game plays for someone who can’t just get out, bend down and attempt to interact with an item on the ground. So, when I did this there were a number of handles I simply couldn’t reach. While I’m sure there was nothing noteworthy within them, the whole experience left me feeling a little deflated and sad I couldn’t at least inspect.

I can’t get enough of this inventory system

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You can reach the inventory right from your robot hand, and the way that it’s set up is pretty dope. There are 6 slots to hold items you find in the world on the left screen, all of your weapons on the middle screen, and your personal stats on the final screen. What made the inventory so amazing to me was the fact there were 3D images available of what you had stored away.

What made the inventory a little frustrating was that it doesn’t tell you what the item in your inventory actually is. I would find myself testing the importance of items by seeing if I could put them in my inventory, and was sad to find that when the items could go in that I still had no idea what they were. “Oh hello, Mr. Weird Battery. I’m not sure what you’re supposed to do, but we’re friends now. Welcome to my wild ride.”

The final breakdown

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This game was entirely captivating to play. There was so much detail put into every aspect that you interacted with, and it really shows. Most of the time the enemies will spawn with noises to let you know they’re coming, but still, catch you off guard for a few scares. This is the perfect combination to keep your adrenaline rushing and your interest peaked. When I first booted up, I told myself that I was only going to play for an hour or two over the span of a few days. That absolutely never happened. Before I knew it about 6 hours had passed, I beat the game, and then missed dinner.

Pros:

  • Highly immersive story and gameplay
  • Compelling writing
  • Amazing combat system (archers, yes!)
  • Phenomenal graphics
  • Takes about 5 hours to complete the story

Cons:

  • Typing in this game is terrible
  • Needing to type to move onto the next level makes me sad (see reason above)
  • PSVR tracking issues

4.5
out of 5


Overall, I give this title a 4.5 out of 5 stars. It only lost a few points for the PlayStation VR version because I do so realize how much more I would enjoy this game on an Oculus Rift with better controls of my hands. That, and the tracking issues that come with PSVR that can’t be blamed on Apex Construct (but still affect gameplay) also influenced this rating.

See at Amazon

PlayStation 4

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  • PS4 vs. PS4 Slim vs. PS4 Pro: Which should you buy?
  • PlayStation VR Review
  • Playing PS4 games through your phone is awesome

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