Updated: Jun 24
An imperfect but solid title that could become great with enough developer support.
When After the Fall is at its best, it delivers a fun and fresh VR experience akin to a virtual reality Left 4 Dead. Unfortunately, there are a few roadblocks which often stop the game from reaching its full potential. Ultimately, though, After the Fall delivers arcade light gun style thrills and is a good base which will improve with post-launch updates.
After the Fall is the newest title from Vertigo Games, a VR game development studio known for titles like Unplugged, A Fisherman’s Tale, and most notably, Arizona Sunshine. Arizona Sunshine was another VR zombie shooter that received generally favorable reviews, and was remarkable in that it was a legitimate game with a fleshed out campaign, unlike many other zombie shooters for VR.
Vertigo appears to have learned a lot from Arizona Sunshine, as After the Fall improves on the original in a variety of ways. After the Fall also sold a great deal more copies than its predecessor, achieving $1.4 million in sales in 24 hours, whereas Arizona Sunshine reached those numbers in its first month of release. Instead of the Arizona desert, After the Fall takes place in an alternate 1980s Los Angeles, where some apocalyptic event has iced over everything and brought about the “snowbreed,” the game’s zombies.
The short, roughly 2-3 hour campaign will have you scouring five different locations in search of harvest, the game’s currency. Runs consist of navigating through abandoned buildings and snowy open areas, in order to kill zombies, “specials,” and bosses for their harvest. This harvest can be used to buy new weapons, and upgrade these weapons with attachments that are randomly dropped after each mission.
The actual story in the game is pretty barebones. Missions are received from Luna, the character in charge of the main hub, and she briefly gives you background information before you set out. Another character will communicate with you over a walkie talkie during missions, giving you more story information and some jokes to fill in quieter moments.
The writing, story, and characters are all pretty forgettable, but the story is brief enough to do its job and not overstay its welcome. Unfortunately, replaying missions comes with the same dialogue and story every time. It would be nice to see more variety in the dialogue to keep the missions more fresh.
After the Fall’s visuals are a huge part of what keeps the game entertaining and satisfying. At a glance, the game does not look particularly great, especially when looking at screenshots or recorded footage. In game, however, the visuals are extremely impressive and really make you feel immersed.
Shooting zombies and watching them explode into bloody chunks is very cool, and zombie designs are stylized and interesting enough to warrant fighting huge waves of them over and over. The game’s six guns also look good, especially after customizing them with attachments.