Whoa! First Contact Entertainment has really outdone themselves with their new game, ROM: Extraction. ROM: Extraction works with both the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift and is available on Steam for $19.99. This VR game is a wave-based shooter that teleports players to the year 2076, where they are a member of an Orb extraction team that suddenly finds themselves playing defense against an onslaught of attacking enemy extraterrestrial robots. There are three different play modes including: Normal, Hard, and Survive. Standard rounds last 3 minutes and the goal is to survive and rack up as many points as possible by eliminating enemy units. Players will decimate extraterrestrial bots by launching Orbs and igniting them with the Energy Pistol. Mix in Reflex and players are able to slow time for increased accuracy and the most strategic kills. It’s up to you to bend the laws of time and get out alive! And trust me, this game is so awesome and so intense that you will work up a sweat!
Keeping in mind that ROM: Extraction is supposedly early on in its game development, I was eager to see what features were included in the official release and if the actual gameplay was anything like what I had seen in the game’s trailer. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed. Unfortunately, the game currently only features one game mode with varying difficulties, one map, and one weapon. This is a pretty big drawback to the game, but it doesn’t take away from how awesome the game is. Developers are also planning to expand the game further by adding new maps, weapons, game modes, and even multiplayer in the future, so players definitely have a lot to look forward to. First Contact Entertainment even said that, “Launching the game with our first mode styled as a homage to the classic arcade shooter as the first step into a larger universe… Our ultimate goal though is to constantly expand the game.” I can’t wait for the additions but in the meantime, I’m going to review the game in its current state.
The whole point of the game is to survive and take out enemies. To take out the extraterrestrial bots in ROM: Extraction, players are equipped with an Orb Spawner, an Energy Pistol, and Reflex technology. The two in-game tutorials quickly and painlessly walk players through the weapons and controls. For me learning to throw the Orbs accurately was probably the most difficult part of learning the controls, but otherwise the layout and functionality of all of the controls is well done and should be easy for anyone to pick up. The combination of these mechanics and the sudden barrage of enemies makes ROM: Extraction fun, challenging, and exciting.
Players should be aware though that you can’t just shoot at the enemies with your gun if you want to survive a round. Players have to use the Orb Spawner to take out enemies efficiently. Just shooting the enemies with your Energy Pistol does little to no damage and is not an effective way to kill them. You must throw and shoot your Orbs if you hope to survive.
The next thing I would like to address is how great the graphics and the atmosphere of the game are. I can’t rave about them enough. The graphics are gorgeous and the music which is composed by Twin Moons is so hype that it makes this game so much more intense than other VR shooters! You know that a game is good when every detail down to the arms, controls, graphics and even the music is polished and seamlessly works together to amplify the immersive experience. Even though we currently only have one map for reference, everything looks so gorgeous that you can’t not be pumped when playing this game.
Additionally, one of the most exciting things about this game is that you can see your arms. Yes, YOU HAVE FULL ARMS IN VR and it is AWESOME! The arms look great and the motions are so fluid that they accurately reflect real arms. The arm movement is revolutionary for VR and welcomes a new level of immersion that is seemingly unmatched by most other VR games. This one feature makes it so easy to lose yourself in the game because it feels like what you are seeing and using as you throw, slow and shoot while in the game are your real arms.
One last feature that the game developers included is a cooperative social screen feature that allows others to be able to spectate a game in-real time alongside a top-down mini map. This social sharing screen is a great feature that allows this game to be experienced by multiple people at once and played like a competitive old-school arcade game where players take turns playing against their friends.
Now, so far, most everything about the game is exceptional and it seems like things are only going to get better with future content updates, but unfortunately to me the game does feel to be lacking a bit since there is only one game mode, map, and weapon. Once more maps and features are added, I think the game will be well worth the price. One other critique that I have regards the way that the extraterrestrial bots react when being hit with the Energy Pistol. I know that you’re supposed to focus on shooting the Orbs with the Energy Pistol and not the enemies, but I find it odd that the enemies don’t really react at all to being shot with the Energy Pistol. The enemies only react when enough damage to kill them has been dealt. Sometimes this can be confusing and a bit disorienting as players do sometimes decide to shoot the enemies directly. Hopefully this is something that will be addressed in the future.
Aside from some minor details and pending content updates, ROM: Extraction looks good, feels good and creates an intense alien destroying experience that is simple to pick up and sure to give you and your friends a challenging and competitive workout. ROM: Extraction is hands down one of the most polished VR games that I have played to date and is probably one of my favorite VR games despite only having the one arcade-style game mode. Personally, I think the game mode that is present and the polished controls makes the game incredibly engaging and highly addictive. Everything about this game is beautifully done and I can’t wait to see what future updates to this game brings!
ROM: Extraction was developed by First Contact Entertainment. Be sure to check out their Official Website for more details!