ARKTIKA.1, developed by 4A Games, is an action-packed first-person shooter designed for the Oculus Touch. It’s right up the alley of the post-apocalyptic Metro series that the developer has become known for. I had a chance to play the demo at E3 and see what it’s all about.

Set nearly a century in the future, ARKTIKA.1 puts you in the driver’s seat of it’s icy, apocalyptic world with a wide array of weapons to carry along at your side – and you’re going to need them. The tutorial sets the scene in a dystopian bunker where you find yourself tasked with choosing from a table of weapons that suits you best. You then get to test them out via target practice against a series of dummies in the armory. While this was still only the tutorial, the target practice was a small game in and of itself – it was as equally satisfying to hit a bull’s-eye in VR as it is in real life (insert blow-away-gun-smoke-from-barrel motion here). Players can choose from traditional hand cannons to more futuristic, sci-fi laser guns. This proceeds to a training simulation where you have the opportunity to get the hang of ducking, dodging and shooting with your newfound weapons of choice. The mechanics for moving involve teleporting around the map from anchor points identified as glowing balls of light. This makes going back and forth between cover quick and effortless, and something that you’ll need to do in order to get a clear shot of certain enemies from the best angles. Once you get the hang of things in the Tron-like simulator, it’s off to the races.

As my first experience with VR, I was blown away at how immersive and captivating it was, often catching myself looking straight up and down, or 180 degrees around just to see what was behind me. After the obligatory staring-at-my-VR-hands for what seemed like minutes on end as I became accustomed, it was time to get started. The controls were simple enough, holding small joysticks in each hand with one main trigger on each used for gripping objects and the other for shooting. The simple press of a button allowed me to teleport between destinations, and when I wasn’t shooting, I was either tapping on computer screens, pulling levers, or using other rudimentary actions to solve simple puzzles. The guns were holstered over my shoulders, so in the event one was dropped or needed to be brought out, a simple reach over the shoulder would wield it again. Each gun handled differently and even reloaded in their own unique way. For example, a flick of the wrist sideways would reload one, while a quick flip down and up would reload the second. The encounters consisted of progressing room to room, wiping out hordes of attacking enemy soldiers, then using environmental clues to access codes required to open up the next rooms. Some enemies were more aggressive than others, and a select few had much thicker armor. The game’s teleport system emphasized using the proper cover system and ducking around the right corners to strategically clear a room. Getting a headshot was a bit more difficult in VR, but dual wielding was more than enough to take care of it once I got the hang of shooting and reloading. The atmosphere in the rooms was often dark and dimly lit, adding to its intense gameplay and suspenseful narrative. After clearing a number of rooms, the demo ends suddenly, leaving me eagerly anticipating what was waiting behind the final doors. ARKTIKA.1 is slated for a Q3 2017 release, so until then, we’ll just have to wait and find out.

About The Author

Cody L
Jr. Community Developer