Neon8 – Oculus Rift Review
Disclaimer: I was given a key for Neon8 for the review. That will not affect my opinions on the game.
Store Page Description: Can you save the Neon8? The in/Zexts have invaded the metaverse and the peaceful Mother is powerless to oppose them. Brave warrior it is up to you to rescue her children before they are devoured. Experience the multiverse as never before in this fast paced first person shooter made exclusively for VR. Run, jump, fly, fight, survive!
Neon8 is pretty weird. As you can read in the Oculus store description, you are a warrior in the metaverse and your job is to save the Neon8, which are some sort of strange computer baby, from the in/Zexts. In/Zexts are the bug-like monsters that are trying to devour the Neon8. To do this you run, jump, fly and shoot your way around anywhere from 1 to 6 or more floating islands picking up the defenseless Neon8 which are completely immobile.
Thankfully the Neon8 have a glowing blue square around them that show up as a sort of HUD element. The square is the same size regardless of how far away they are and it shows up though all objects so if there are several islands between you and the Neon8, you’ll still be able to see where it is. The game would be unplayable without this feature but don’t worry, there is still plenty of challenge. The squares only show up when the Neon8 are within your line of sight. There are no arrows that point toward them at the edge of the screen as you might expect from other games with similar objectives and you aren’t always able to just sit still and look around until you find the ones you’re missing as the in/Zexts will attack you and you die fairly quickly. On top of that, sometimes the Neon8 are inside structures and you can’t just fly right to them, you actually have to walk up stairs and watch out for in/Zexts while you go.
To add some more tension to the game, when the in/Zexts grab the Neon8 they let out this horrible, baby-being-tortured scream, and they just keep screaming until you find them and kill the bug that has them. While this is going on the blue square turns yellow so at you know where they are and can get to them. But quite often there is more than one Neon8 being attacked on opposite ends of the map and with no way to know how much time you have to reach each one before it is devoured you just have to guess and hope you get there first. Thankfully I’ve found that most of the time, as long as you are quick, you will save them.
Perhaps the best part about Neon8 is the flying. When not flying it’s a standard, full movement FPS. Run, jump, shoot. Repeat. But as mentioned before there are several islands in most levels and they are beside as well as above and below each other. To get from one island to another you will have to fly, which you do by holding the jump button. While flying you will move in the direction you are looking. It took some time to get used to the flying but it wasn’t long before I felt like a superhero soaring into the air to answer a distress call from above. You can still shoot while flying and if you’re a decent shot you can drop down from above, taking out a bug and then saving the Neon8 in one fell swoop. It feels pretty awesome when you do it.
For replayability Neon8 is either endlessly replayable, or not very replayable at all. It depends on the sort of gamer you are. The levels are procedurally generated and there is no end to them. It is like the old arcade games where the idea is get a high score. And like the old arcade games, the gameplay is simple and the levels can be a repetitive, but there is a lot of challenge to be found and it’s a game that with practice you could become very skilled at and earn bragging rights among your friends. Provided you have friends who care about video game scores.
That’s not to say that the levels are all the same, but the differences are mostly superficial based on what I’ve seen. The number of islands will change, the colour of the background will change, the plant life will change and there will be new enemies as you get farther into the game. But the overall missions are always the same. At the start of the level you will be told how many Neon8 there are to save and you have to do it before even one is devoured. If even one is taken you lose and have to try again. You get a certain number of tries before game over, but once you reach the game over screen you put in your initials and they are displayed on the arcade cabinet that is the title screen.
One thing that absolutely drove me nuts about Neon8 was not having a button to recenter the camera. The game has full movement and turning is done with the right thumbstick. That works great except that in VR you often will turn your head to turn as well and there were times where the game would get messed up and pressing up on the controller no longer made me move forward. To fix this I would have to pause the game, turn my chair until I was facing the menu again, and then unpause. I tried to remind myself not to turn my body but no matter how hard I tried, I always did. I suppose this problem could be solved by not using a swivel chair when I play, but that’s the kind of chair I have at my desk so it’s what I use. It could also be solved by adding a line or two of code so that pressing select (or another button if need be) recenters the view. Hopefully the developer will implement that in a future update.
Overall Neon8 is a fun game. It’s also an inexpensive game. Because it is randomly generated and endless you’re not going to beat it in a few hours. It is easy to pick up, but you could spend some time mastering it if that’s your thing. There are some issues with the camera that should be sorted out and if you are prone to sim sickness then you will want to stay away. Neon8 looks great and has a decent soundtrack as well. I wouldn’t call it a must buy, but if you have the money to spare and you’re looking for a new game, this one deserves a glance.
Five people don’t even need to have the money, because I have some keys to give out. Share this article, like the Dad’s And Dragons Facebook Page, share on Twitter and basically spread the word about Dad’s And Dragons and we will pick five folks doing that at random to get the game for free.
- Comfort Level 50%
- Graphics 75%
- Sound 80%
- Fun Factor 70%
Daryle Henry | Dads And Dragons