After earning plenty of praise both developing and publishing top-tier virtual reality titles, it’s no surprise gamers have been eagerly anticipating Vertigo Games’ latest release After The Fall. It has wowed gamers over the last few years with its trailers that showcase the co-operative horror-shooting action, with the heavy focus on multiplayer looking to replicate an experience similar to Left 4 Dead. And let’s face it, the Quest library isn’t exactly packed with co-op shooters, so it’s certainly filling a gap there.
Well, After The Fall is finally out, giving gamers the chance to venture out into the cold and shoot down some baddies with friends, and you know what? It’s a heck of a lot of fun to play, even IF it could do with a bit more content to keep players invested for the long term.
Check out some screenshots down below:
After The Fall takes place in a desolate future where the Cold War ended a bit differently, leaving the world in a frozen state where fearsome creatures known as the Snow Breed roam around and cause chaos. Taking on the role of a Harvester, it’s up to you to gather resources, all whilst killing as many monsters as you can along the way to try and re-claim the city of Los Angeles. Luckily, you won’t be working alone, with up to three players or AI bots joining you on your mission, with teamwork key to your success.
It’s worth mentioning from the get-go that After The Fall is a million times better when played with friends. Whilst the gunplay and action of single player is fine, there’s something about working together with others that makes everything feel so much more satisfying. It alleviates some of the more repetitive aspects that come into the gameplay (more on that in a bit), whilst the intense action-packed showdowns with the Snow Breed feel a lot more strategic. It’s just one of the best co-op experiences that I’ve had in virtual reality and without a doubt the way that After The Fall is meant to be played.
The core gameplay loop of After The Fall revolves around its Harvest Runs, which see players working through a level, gathering loot and resources, and then trying to survive until the end to scavenge it all. There’ll be plenty of Snow Breed out to get you along the way, though they drop resources when defeated so are worth taking down – they attack in massive numbers though, so you’ll want to be prepared. Luckily, there are safe zones throughout levels that give players the opportunity to fix themselves up and grab some additional equipment (at a cost), whilst allies are also able to help out and revive others who die along the way.
“It’s just one of the best co-op experiences that I’ve had in virtual reality and without a doubt the way that After The Fall is meant to be played.”
There are five Harvest Runs to play through in total, with each taking around twenty minutes to beat. With that in mind, it can make the main experience of After The Fall feel a little bit short, especially when compared to Left 4 Dead which was fleshed out with multiple episodes. Thankfully, the action of the game makes clearing each Harvest Run multiple times feel satisfying, whilst the higher difficulty settings offer more of a challenge for players to tackle.
What’s most important though is the fact that you can earn more resources to buy additional weapons and upgrades, ensuring subsequent runs will be a lot easier for players. There’s a decent selection of weaponry for players to purchase and some are only available after finding floppy disks in levels too, which also incentivises going through them again. Admittedly, it can be a bit of a grind to get everything you want and finding the necessary floppy disk can come down to luck, but it was always nice when you could finally get that weapon attachment you’d been working towards.
“Each level is full of set pieces that will see a flood of enemies coming your way, and honestly, the moment-to-moment action is crammed with tension as you try to fight them off whilst working with your allies.”
Regardless of completing levels or earning loot, I’ve got to give a ton of praise to the action of After The Fall. Each level is full of set pieces that will see a flood of enemies coming your way, and honestly, the moment-to-moment action is crammed with tension as you try to fight them off whilst working with your allies. It feels good to evade their wrath and gun them down, whilst the variety of enemies and challenging boss encounters ensure that you’re always kept on your toes in each showdown. It’s all very atmospheric too, whether that’s when sneaking your way through a level and wondering when you’re going to confront the Snow Breed next, or when simply prepping for a fight when a ton of them start running your way from the distance. It ensured that replaying levels never felt like a chore, especially when playing with friends and simply soaking in all of the brilliantly brutal action of the game.
It has some cool little ideas that makes the action feel more accessible too, such as offering two types of weapon reload (using the more complicated Advanced Reloading offers a better rewards multiplier in-game) and the dual gripping which gives a better sense of control over your weapons. Whilst these may seem like ‘small’ features, they add to the immersion offered by virtual reality and make shootouts feel all the more intense.
Still, it will be nice to see more content come to the game in the future, especially since I’ve packed over ten hours into the available Harvest Runs at this point and seen just about everything that they have to offer. Vertigo Games have already promised new content that’s coming soon so that should keep players coming back for more, but I don’t think it’ll be too long before the player count starts dropping off. Luckily, there is cross-play on offer so it shouldn’t be too hard to find co-op partners right now, but here’s hoping that additional content comes to the game sooner rather than later.
“It will be nice to see more content come to the game in the future, especially since I’ve packed over ten hours into the available Harvest Runs at this point and seen just about everything that they have to offer.”
It’s worth mentioning that there is competitive multiplayer action on offer in the game’s cleverly titled ‘Tundradome’, though even that feels a bit more bare-boned when compared to other virtual reality multiplayer experiences. Whilst the shooting action is fun and well-designed, only having two maps to play across does make it feel more limited. Whilst the matches I’ve had have been enjoyable, I don’t think it offers the depth to see me spending too much time with the mode.
After The Fall Review
After The Fall is a satisfyingly intense shooting experience that’s a blast to play with friends – it just needs a bit more content to keep players coming back for more.
I’ve had a good time playing through the Harvest Runs, slaying the Snow Breed, and earning more resources and loot, whilst the level design and set-pieces are so action-packed that it’s hard not to get fully invested in each showdown. There’s plenty of tension to be felt too, whether that’s when facing off against one of the impressively large groups of enemies or waiting for them to strike from the shadows… honestly, it nails the atmosphere throughout.
There’s just not a whole lot of content available right now to keep players coming back for the long-term. More content is promised for the game in the future, so here’s hoping that it’s substantial and varied enough to keep the After The Fall community active, because honestly, what the game does offer is pretty special.
Developer: Vertigo Games
Publisher: Vertigo Games
Platform(s): Meta Quest 2 (Reviewed), Meta Quest, PlayStation VR, PC VR