Apex Construct

Apex Construct is a first person mystery thriller where the protagonist must navigate through an oddly corrupted world in search of their identity as well as identify an omniscent being.  With the addition of two motion controllers you will explore the world while interacting with objects, puzzles and clues.  To remain safe in the various dangerous environments you wield a bow and arrow to take down futuristic looking foes.  This game’s mysterious plot, puzzle-solving component and fun combat make for an uniquely fun experience on the PSVR.

 

Quick Facts

Game Style: First Person Puzzle Solver/Thriller

Controller: Motion Controllers

Game Length: ~5 hours

PlayPSVR Score: 8/10

 

Apex Construct is a unique game which incorporates a mystery heavy plot, fast action combat and puzzle components.  I love that a game incorporated all three of these together and it certainly isn’t easy to do so, let alone do it well.  Apex Construct does a very good job at this, but lacks a couple features that would put the game over the top.  This combination, however, sets it apart from any other game on the PSVR market.  

First, I love the plot.  I won’t spoil anything rather than what is on the basic introductions, but you are a being that ultimately has no idea where you came from, what you are or why you exist.  You initially follow an ally who you find has been a large machine, but has been destroyed by Mthr, another important character in the game.  But his consciousness still lives and helps guide you to reveal how to collect clues and stop Mthr.  I love the fact that throughout the game you slowly unravel the plot.  It reminds me of Stifled in that regard in that you simply have no real idea what is going on.  This makes the game so much more exciting and I can’t take the headset off because I can’t wait to find the next piece.  This plot is one of the most addictive in PSVR.  To me, this story is more involved and exciting than RE7, Farpoint or DOOM VFR.  Not saying the gameplay is better or that the game in general is better, but the plot is so much more intriguing and exciting than those games (again, in my opinion).   

Another thing I very much enjoy is the combat.  I’m not a huge fan of the move controllers, but this game uses them to perfection and led to a very enjoyable experience.  The bow and arrow mechanic is very fast and is simply a joy to use.  The bow provides a built in shield to block enemy projectiles which allows you to strategize before you execute your attack.  The combat feature is actually my favorite part of the game.  Unfortunately, of the three main components of the game (plot, combat and puzzles) it is the least utilized.  More on that later.

The last major part of the gameplay I want to discuss is the puzzles.  I really enjoy games (although there are very few of them) that utilize a puzzle component.  From the first 10 minutes you realize that you were going to have to solve riddles and find clues to progress in the game.  There were tons of objects to interact with and items to collect.  But you never had any idea whether they were meaningful or not.  This puzzle component added with the mysterious plot provided maximum enjoyment for the player.  Sadly, I started to feel that the puzzles were too simple and a little repetitive (once again, more on that later).

Graphically the game looked fantastic and I was very impressed with the presentation of the environment.  I am using an original PS4 and was worried about the possible blur, but there is little blur to take away from your experience.  I am certain the Pro is better so if you are using one prepare for a very good looking and crisp  game.  Apex Construct also allows you to alter your character movement so you can use smooth turning and full locomotion.  This is how every game should handle their controls.  I understand some people get sick from full locomotion, but when you can withstand the smooth turning and full movement the immersion is way better and frankly makes the experience 100% better.  The movement controls as well as the bow/arrow and object interaction controls are absolutely fantastic.

Now I want to discuss a few issues.  Before I start to rant, I want to make is very clear that Apex Construct is a very good game.  However, it had the potential to be great. RE7 level great.  But there are a few things that prevent it from being a next level game.  First, my (and many others) favorite component of the game (the combat) could be used more.  There just isn't enough combat for me.  It was so fun to pierce the enemies with the arrows, but it was so few and far between that it left me disappointed and wanting more.  Similarly, there were so many puzzles, but they were just too easy.  The puzzles reminded me of tedious tasks rather than difficult and engaging puzzles.  I love the idea they were trying to achieve with solving puzzles to unlock clues about your character, but the puzzles got dry after the first couple hours or so.  

One thing I really like about the game is that there are secrets hidden within the game.  This not only increases replay value but pushes the gamer to explore every single item, object and section of an area.  And when you spend a ton of time searching but finally find a secret, the sense of accomplishment and happiness you feel provides the player with a feeling that most games simply don't provide.  Another smaller thing about the game that I enjoy is the inventory system.  You can hold up to 6 items in your inventory and use it by looking at your left arm.  It is so easy to use items and quickly switch between them.  Forget the menu and inventory screens, this is the future.  It is small things like this that Apex Construct nail that makes it such a polished and enjoyable experience. 

All in all, Apex Construct is one of the better PSVR titles on the market and will be a top game for many gamers.  The mysterious plot-driven gameplay drives the player to want to dig deeper and deeper while investigating every nook and cranny to ensure no stone has gone unturned.  The combat, although lacking in quantity, is extremely fun and addicting.  If you are a puzzle hound, then this is right up your alley because there are puzzles galore.  Apex Construct should be on the radar of every PSVR owner. 

Score: 8/10