After The Fall Review: Leaves Other VR Shooters 4 Dead

User Rating: 8
After The Fall a snowy rooftop full of zombies

Vertigo Games latest VR shooter explodes into life here on Gamespace and on the Viveport storefront as we get our gear together and try to stay alive long enough to review After The Fall.

Zombies are almost a genre of the gaming industry all by themselves. Whether it’s gunning through Zombie Army 4 or avoiding the worst of Racoon City, this gnashing menace is part of our shared gaming experience. Now, Vertigo Games is out to keep Vive owners playing together with an immersive take on the zombie co-op shooter. Available now on the Viveport storefront or via the Viveport Infinity subscription model, and playable on compatible VR headsets, After the Fall is the latest title from the team that brought Desert Sunshine to life. While the previous escapade might be all blood in the sand, Vertigo Games changes things up this time to drag players into a post-apocalyptic snowscape. With little civilization left in this population hub, the few humans that survive among the frozen wastelands of LA can’t simply hunker down and wait for rescue. In order to keep on keeping on, they need to take up arms and head outside to face the horrors that await and scavenge what they can. The result is a game built from the ground up for VR system that plunges players into an intense co-op shooter in the zombie filled wastelands of LA. Putting the action front and centre, this game is an incredibly easy sell for VR casuals like myself. The immersive experience of HTC’s own VR headset is, as you’d expect for a premium price range, outstanding. The top tier display of the Vive Pro 2, a fantastic field of view, and precision tracking mean that the frozen wastes that await get the best possible platform to unfold onto.

Opening Shots


after the fall corridor of carnage


Thankfully, the opening moments of this frozen future make good use of the hardware on offer. The interiors of a seemingly abandoned shelter and a terrifying smog filled highway might not be a GPU roasting monster like the latest Metro Exodus, and ray tracing might be out of the question, but this VR title is far from a flat experience. Everything from the walkways of desolate churches, the flash of tracer rounds and gunpowder stains, right through to the cold dead eyes of your enemies are meticulously constructed to drag you kicking and screaming into a world that only feels abandoned by its inhabitants but definitely not its designers. While the world outside might not be a free from exploration extravaganza, rooftops and corridors are varied enough to keep things interesting. Plenty of neat detail crops up form discarded trash littering the floor to inventive puzzles and movement design. More generally, character models feel modern by VR standards, and in-game animations never feel forced or out of place. In its best moments, and during the chaos of a monster fuelled escapade, After the Fall looks and feels like the natural evolution of the iconic Left 4 Dead series, and a little like the more modern Back 4 Blood, with plenty of well-constructed backdrops and enough variety to keep players form becoming complacent. After the Fall might be happy to borrow big ideas from established IPs, but it’s done with some very deliberate aims. Level design sometimes feels claustrophobic, pushing players down dark corridors and into dimly lit alleys, only to open up onto contained rooftop killing fields. All this is done with menace in mind. While levels never expand out into sprawling free form exploration, this helps keep complexity down and maintains a well paced progression between encounters.

Striking a visual tone that draws modern inspiration from the last Left 4 Dead might seem like a safe choice, but this idea does more than simply break the skin. After the Fall is zombie fuelled co-op carnage. Guns, gore, eviscerated body parts, and wave of undead Snowbreed swarm any encounter to make this a very knowing ode to a well-established cultural phenomenon, and yet it never feels like a cheap imitation. Just as the deliberate presentation feels modern but familiar, the core gameplay loop is similarly recognizable. Split over a range of scenarios, all delivered to push teams of players out into the streets and structures of a frozen LA, After the Fall is all about collecting resources, getting out alive, and clearing away any undead hordes that decide to slide out of the ceiling. These bipedal mutations might look human, but they’ll sooner chew you down to nothing than look at you.




after thf fall pistol in a snow covered tunnel


Despatching the remaining residents of LA requires some aggressive pest control. Making the most of the VR environment, After the Fall presents players with a range of in game weapons, each with a distinct look and feel. Shotguns can cause lots of collateral damage, while automatic weapons are a spray and pray affair. Even the 9mm pistol provided to newbies has its own advantages, allowing quick reactions and accurate mid-range fire when trying to pick off headshots. Gunplay is core to After the Fall’s appeal. Plenty of different enemies await in the oncoming hordes, from easy to dismember cannon fodder to frosted giants, and  walking tumors that explode when blown apart. The freedom that Vertigo offers players when taking down these monsters is a wonderful change to flat screen experiences. Wielding a VR pistol feels distinctly different to a shotgun, or an automatic weapon. These don’t simply blow away more or less Snowbreed but have to be handled in a different fashion altogether. The nuance that VR immersion brings allows for a freedom that’s simply feels refreshing. However majestic the destruction of DOOM might be, flat screen FPS players can’t simply turn their head to check on incoming traffic while continuing to spit out ammunition in the periphery of their vision.

When blowing away the aforementioned Snowbreed, or taking cover during PvP, there are plenty of weapons to wield. While each of these really do handle in their own unique fashion, there’s plenty of room to change upgrade each of these sidearms. Thanks to the instanced nature of this game and a straightforward core progression mechanic, players heading out into LA can pick up a range of blueprints and currencies to upgrade their pea shooters into something a bit more custom. From new scopes to bigger barrels, After the Fall isn’t exactly going to innovate when it comes to the game’s progression systems but what is available works well enough to keep things from being a pointless grind.


Rewards are available in all the in game modes, stepping out from a secure lobby into multiplayer modes such as PvP, standard story, or horde modes. Each or these 2-8 player scenarios plays differently enough that logging in will provide plenty of entertainment for an evening and the game seems busy enough that there’s not a ridiculous delay from hitting the lobby to jumping into action. While repeating the same few maps might be a worryingly dull affair, the team at Vertigo games include multiple difficulty modes and an ongoing list of new ideas to tweak and turn Hollywood against you. One of the more interesting of these is the Skimmer, a Snowbreed that you’ll have to actively hunt down for a sizeable reward.

After the Fall is not a particularly difficult concept to grasp. Grab a headset, get some ammo, find a friend and go shoot some zombies. In fact, the only complex concepts are the areas that this title manages to simply forget to tell newcomers about. A welcoming community and a team of helpful hunters quickly explained why I shouldn’t shoot them in the head but early encounters ended with as many questions as rewards. Controls are simple enough to pick up but never properly explained. The range of boosters, craftable items, and incendiary objects made little sense, and actually using them was case of trial and error. It’s an odd problem to have in a game that includes a fantastic gunplay experience. After the fall desperately needs to improve its new player experience if it wants to keep people rolling in.

After the Fall is not a revolution, but it is a slick and successful port of a classic genre into 3D space. With plenty of schlocky arcade action, guns, gore, and a compellingly chaotic core gameplay loop, After The Fall is the sort of excellently executed fodder that will make me switch on a headset any evening. After the Fall is available now on Viveport, SteamVR, Meta Quest, and PlayStation VR platforms. Check out more of the carnage over on the official After the Fall website now.

A fantastic VR horde shooter that channels everything we love about the genre into a title that leaves the competition for dead.
  • Great Gunplay
  • Plenty Of Variety
  • Rewarding Progression
  • New Player Experience Feels Unfinished
  • Will Likely Get Repetitive Given Time
Written by
For those of you who I’ve not met yet, my name is Ed. After an early indoctrination into PC gaming, years adrift on the unwashed internet, running a successful guild, and testing video games, I turned my hand to writing about them. Now, you will find me squawking across a multitude of sites and even getting to play games now and then

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