When A-Tech Cybernetic released in Early Access back in May this year, I got to give the game a try and found it had great potential with polished gameplay mechanics and surprisingly detailed visuals, seeing as this is the first VR title from indie Xreal Games.
When I first played the game, using the Vive, it didn’t have a story mode yet and was little more than a wave shooter that trapped you in a room with lots of robot zombies. Yes, I said robot zombies. No, I’m not sure how that makes sense. Anyway, my first impression of the game reminded me a little of both Doom and the Nazi Zombie mode in Call of Duty. I know, that’s a strange combination. But the game takes elements from both of these and turns it into an exciting mash-up of buying guns from walls while running in circles trying to kill all of the oncoming horde. I won’t go too much into this or the game mechanics, though, since you can just read about it in my previous post.
What I really want to talk about here is the newly added story-mode which released in an update not to long ago. I tried the game again this week, using an HTC Vive as well, though the game also has Oculus Rift support. The mode only has two chapters at the moment, but even so it already packs quite a wallop. The developers have added an internal narrator of sorts, who was very put-out with me for inhabiting his body.
In fact, he was very vocal about it and other inconveniences the whole game through. No reason was given for why I was in there, but on I went through a facility full of dead bodies and carnivorous robots. The controls are pretty straight forward and didn’t take long to get used to (though the game does have a tutorial just in case) and soon I was having free reign of the blood-smeared facility.
Check out my gameplay video below:
A-Tech Cybernetic offers both smooth locomotion and teleportation, both of which work with the left and right trackpads respectively. So it’s quite easy to switch between the two movement options at will and I found that, while I preferred the smooth locomotion, switching to teleportation got me out of a close scrape more than once. Besides that, most of the interaction in the game involves picking up ammo, weapons, objective items, or health ‘pills’ and touching or opening things in the environment, like drawers or hand-scanners. But besides that, both the melee and ranged weapons I found in the game could be conveniently hung on my belt, and the rest of the stuff disappeared into what looked like little pouches. Everything felt very conveniently placed and I could easily interact with both the environment and the objects I stored on my person.
The Story Isn’t Riveting But I Was Still Entertained
As for the newly added storyline in A-Tech Cybernetic, it starts off at a slow pace, with only the disembodied voice really guiding you through what’s happening. The story wasn’t exactly riveting because you kind of get plopped in a facility full of dead bodies and no explanation is really given. So while I would say that the story wasn’t really driving me forward, I still enjoyed the experience and it added some much-needed flavor to the game.
Probably the best part of the whole thing, though, is the voice acting and the narrative the developers created for him. He was funny and distracting at times – a welcome reprieve from what would otherwise be mindlessly walking through rooms, killing robot zombies.
Plus the robot zombies weren’t exactly riveting, nor were they particularly hard to kill. I found that by simply moving and making sure I didn’t get cornered by too many of them, it wasn’t hard to stay alive. The game also made it quite predictable where they were going to be. Oh see that room with the closed door? Yeah there’s going to be a few of them behind it. However, I will say I still had a couple of hair raising moments, even though I wouldn’t call the game scary.
So I think the developers have made great strides with polishing the game even further and the addition of the story-mode is much needed and much appreciated. For now the game is still in Early Access and I’m sure there’s still a lot more content coming, but knew when playing it a few months ago that this game has potential. And it was firmly confirmed again now, that when looking a ways down the road, A-Tech Cybernetic could become one of the must-have titles for VR.
A-Tech Cybernetic is available now on Steam at a $14.99 price tag.