Whether you’re into your sci-fi, or you just enjoy firing arrows into robots, there is plenty to enjoy in Apex Construct.
Set in a fractured world, you wonder what remains of city streets and buildings whilst facing hostile robotic machines that roam the land. You are the last human alive, and for the sake of mankind, you battle against and with two powerful AIs locked in conflict. Welcome to Apex Construct.
So not too much pressure then… As the last human alive, mankind awaits your success as you explore a fractured world, where houses are embedded inside rock faces and oddly positioned objects scatter throughout the land whilst waterfalls flow out of office buildings.
The thought of roaming a ‘fractured world’ paints a large-scale world of possibilities, whereas in reality, the world in Apex Construct is quite sparse and a little cramped in fact. You might find a giant rock face or waterfall in locations you wouldn’t expect. The world has been that torn, all thanks to mankind’s reckless experiments. But constrained worlds aside, this makes for some great level design, which keeps you second-guessing what you will next encounter when you visit the next zone in the game’s displaced world.
The world around you is locked down in a number of zones, each requiring certain access keycards to be collected before you can pass through them. This means various zones are revisited along your journey, but where they were previously empty, the second time around evil AI – Mother – has repopulated the land with new enemy robots to thwart your progress and make it that bit harder for you.
In each zone you search for security level keycards, recharge power pods to open doors and fend off droids with your weapons, all whilst you’re learning about the world around you and your place there. Stories unfold through audio recordings and as text in emails, both are located on company laptops and computer terminals near door entries and offices. Some providing clues to door codes into new sectors of the zone you’re in. Conflicting AIs, Mother and Father, also chime in from time to time to fill the gaps in the story and to lead you along your journey.
Your main weapon of choice is an upgradable bow and arrow with a handy shield to block incoming fire from the various robots you encounter. The weapon mechanics are on point in this game, as you fire your tech-enhanced arrows at your foe. It’s very satisfying when taking down robots and to also trigger puzzles that challenge you along the way.
Your left hand couldn’t be saved during the fallout, however, Father has replaced it with a mechanical one that has a few abilities too. Sadly these abilities are not in a BioShock ‘magical’ sense, but your hand has the ability to be upgraded to enhance your bow, it’s arrows and your shield. All of these are upgrade by simply placing your hand onto the upgrade terminal, that’s located in your central safe house location, and exchange some of the in-game energy currency that you discover around a zone or left after disposing of a droid.
After a few hours in, I am still having fun exploring the fractured world, looking for clues and gaining access to new zones that elevate the game’s rather interesting level design. Visually, the game looks great on the Oculus Quest and considering the game’s visuals I have not experienced any performance hits on the portable headset. The game does suffer from some stuck objects when it comes to interacting with them, but you can easily get yourself around this minor issue.
The audio in the game mirrors its visuals aesthetic and prowess, with some great voice acting and when the sounds of the droids appear, mixed with the uptempo musical score boosts, your adrenaline soon increases as you prepare yourself for what you know is an oncoming droid attack!
Whether you’re into your sci-fi, or you just enjoy firing arrows into robots, there is plenty to enjoy in Apex Construct. Considering the cost of entry is in the mid-tier region of games on the Oculus Quest, at $19.99 (£14.99) on the Oculus Store, Apex Construct becomes a no brainer. It is clearly a game that you must own in your Quest games collection.