PC Review: ADR1FT

ADR1FT Screenshot 01Platform: PC

Developer: three one zero LLC

Publisher: 505 Games

# of Players: 1

MSRP: $19.99

ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

Official Site

Score: A (90%)
If you’re one who normally plays games on a smaller screen laptop or monitor, ADR1FT is most likely going to make you want a bigger screen as soon as possible. Of course, I’m saying this as someone whose first introduction to the experience was back when it was running on another engine and 505 Games premiered an early console and PC VR demo in a movie theater where on the big screen the scope was quite impressive indeed. That scale is far more thrilling with the complete overhaul/upgrade to the Unreal 4 Engine, but it works best on the biggest display you can get even if it means popping over to a friend’s place to show off the finished product.

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Forget the “walking simulator” labels the game is getting from the limited vocabulary crowd, throw out your science degrees or overly critical eye for complete accuracy (it’s a videogame, NOT a NASA sim), strap yourself in and prepare for a quietly wild ride. ADR1FT is less of a straight adventure game and more of a deliberately paced and tension filled trip into space where survival is key if only to discover how it all ends. The game works as both a visual treat for the eyes as well as a great example of the promise of virtual reality as a viable entertainment option (provided you currently own or plan to buy one of the VR headsets being hard marketed this year).

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ADR1FT Floats Onto Steam – VR, Consoles to Follow

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“Here am I floating round my tin can. Far above the Moon. Planet Earth is blue. And there’s nothing I can do…”

 

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While PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and VR-enabled PC and PS4 versions of threeonezero’s ADR1FT are still in the works, PC gamers with Steam accounts and rigs with decent specs can now purchase the game for $19.99. Even without the added virtual reality functionality 505 Games has a hit here that should go along way in convincing even the most ardent skeptic about the viability of VR for certain gaming and entertainment purposes.

Of course, getting past the new breed of hard-core internet skeptics who dub these sort of first-person experiences “walking simulators” (Bleh. There’s no “walking” here, as you play an astronaut stranded on a partially destroyed space station who needs to figure out what happened) will be the game’s biggest hurdle with the second issue for some being the estimated 4-6 hours it takes to complete the game. Length really isn’t something to whine about here as the game has enough elements to make it replayable as well as a conversation piece to show off for the outstanding Unreal 4-powered visuals.

ADR1FT Screenshot 01 

And if you really want to show off something even more physical, you can boogie on over to iam8bit.com to check out their cool online shop and snag one of those cool ADR1FT Collector’s Edition boxes for $54.95. That price nets you two digital codes for the game (PC and Oculus Rift VR versions), one of two different 756 piece jigsaw puzzles, a nice embroidered HAN-1V patch and a pack of “tasty” astronaut ice cream, all in a big box for safekeeping (but probably not guaranteed to survive being sent into actual space).

There’s A(nother) Rift Coming To The Gaming Scene…

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The “big” news to some in gaming this past week was the announcement of the final price and launch date for the consumer model of the Oculus Rift, one of a few virtual reality devices that look to be the next big thing in entertainment. $599 (not including shipping, sales tax or customs fees where those are charged) gets you the headset with built-in headphones and mic, sensor, an Xbox One controller and one Oculus Remote plus two games, Lucky’s Tale and access to the online multiplayer space combat game EVE: Valkyrie. Oculus plans another 100 games by the end of 2016 including at least 20 games exclusive to the Rift, but as with any new platform promising the moon too regularly to its rabid early adopters, those numbers are subject to change.

Lucky's Tale

As far as the news goes, that’s all good and well, but if you go into this Rift deal with big eyes as an under-informed sort of modern gamer thinking all you’ll be spending is that $600 (not including shipping, sales tax or customs fees where those are charged), you’ve got another think coming… Continue reading

ADR1FT Could Be The Best PR For VR

With Virtual Reality slowly but surely making its way (once again, but new and improved – “this time for sure, presto!”) to gaming and other entertainment experiences, it’ll be the early games that will be the ones that make or break the format. Granted, common sense says new experiences aren’t going to be flawless and in terms of games, technical bumps and grinds are commonplace for first wave software. That said, VR needs to be as flawless as possible so any complaints are rendered mostly moot and allow developers to strut their stuff from the get-go as they start off with good games and make them better as time marches on.

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Three One Zero Games’ ADR1FT is looking like it’ll be not only a go-to game for those dipping a toe into the VR pool, but also an experience non-VR using gamers looking for something impressive to play and show off should dive into. Since my last time with the both VR and non-VR enabled versions of the game way back in March, the dev team has made some major changes to the visuals and tightened up the gameplay even more. Thanks to Unreal Engine 4 and some mighty programming skills, the level of detail here is even more astounding. This is especially noticeable in the PC version, where using an Oculus Rift headset I spent about half an hour floating around and checking out as much of the destroyed space station as I could while keeping as close to air canisters and air supply points as possible.
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ADR1FT Hands-On

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Do this writing about games stuff for a long enough period of time and you learn to go into every media event with no expectations. This time-built wisdom will pay off when you’re completely surprised by a game you’ve heard about in bits and pieces that’s shaping up to be a must-play title. ADR1FT was one of those games I’d heard about since its inception, but held off on writing a single word about until I was able to spend time with a demo. That happened yesterday thanks to 505 Games giving it a big screen premiere in two separate events for Boston and New York City games media. The Unreal 4 powered game headed to PS4, Xbox One, Steam (and yes, whatever rigs Oculus will run on) is one of those first games that leaves you breathless for a few reasons.

“SURVIVOR DETECTED”

The game’s story is a straightforward and simple tale of survival. You’re an astronaut who wakes up stuck in a damaged EVA suit on a heavily damaged space station orbiting Earth. Gameplay revolves around locating air supplies, repairing your suit and finding out just what happened that left you the only survivor. Part mystery, part survival game and all stunning to look at, it’s clear that ADR1FT has a mission in changing some perceptions about modern gaming. Sure, that sounds like an overly lofty goal. But again, it’s a case where if you see and play this one, you’ll “get” why it’s such an important release for its developer and publisher… Continue reading

Stepping Into The Rift @ The Marriot: Traveling Light Might Be A New Option…

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Hey, Kids! Time travel exists! Okay, it doesn’t (sorry, folks!), but I’m making it so with this post because I started it when I got back from the FUTURE, but my stupid computer decided to freeze up and not want to post it when I finished. Boo. Anyway, I was HERE for a while seeing part of the future of entertainment and travel courtesy of Marriott Hotels and a few very hard working and talented folks at Relevent and Framestore. More on this in a longer article shortly. My time-bending skills are limited at this point and I need my beauty rest… good night!

Oh, NOW I’m In Demand! Sort Of…

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Ha. My inbox, which is normally quite packed with invites to all manner of events (but not enough for my tastes) that usually require a bit of reservation time, was recently targeted by a few PR folks with some last-minute invites to events tomorrow and Friday that I may or may not make for a few reasons. I don’t mind going to any and all of them, mind you. But these days, a day or two is a wee bit too short to add, change or make plans to pop out to see something cool to write about because I tend to operate on a sort of semi schedule that I like to follow (sometimes). For short notice events, I tend to go with the musical selection below along with a coin toss:

 
THAT said, I’ll most likely see the Oculus Rift “transporter” setup down at the Marriott Marquis tomorrow, as I’ve been saying for well over a year or so that the Rift will get the most use outside of gaming as a consumer entertainment device that provides virtual vacations or short tours of famous places for a small fee. This event tomorrow is only a few minutes long total, but it’ll be the first time I strap on those goofy goggles and see what’s what in the company of others. I was around for VR’s first commercial go-round in the 90’s (ah, Dactyl Nightmare!), so this time I’m going in with no expectations other than to be surprised and even more immersed.

There’s another tech event later that evening I’ve already RSVP’d for a few weeks back to attend, but I’ll probably not stay for the full three hours, as there’s free booze and snacks and that’s always TOO tempting to fill up on even though I don’t drink much these days. Well, seeing new tech toys is always a plus, so that’s my main reason for showing up. I got a sudden invite to see a steering wheel peripheral for the PS3 and Xbox One and responded right away, but I’m still waiting to hear back from the PR guy who contacted me. Finally, my entrepreneurial brother is speaking at an event here in the Bronx in the evening, so we’ll see how long my driving experience lasts and if it bleeds into that time. I know pretty much what he’s going to cover, but I won’t ruin the surprise here, as it’s an idea that’s fairly simple yet quite grand if it takes off and goes where he wants it to. Anyway, let me stop here and go check my inbox again, as I just peeked at it and I saw a few more invites in there. Well, lookit – I’m popular again! Go me!

Welp, VR Just Went Viral. Literally. Yuk.

RiftPeople, I’m speechless. THIS just happened and while some in the tech sector are giddy, anyone who had any thoughts about privacy using that Rift when it comes out has just gotten a “poke” to both eyes. Blech, Yuck, Argh and so forth and so on. Not to mention that people who will buy that thing and not clean it because they’re dopey about stuff like this will end up giving everyone in their homes and elsewhere some sort of eye infection or worse. Ewwww…

Now, I’m not a big VR supporter (I still recall when it was attempted with mixed results in the 90’s), but I was willing to give it a chance based on all the people I know who’ve tried both development versions of the Oculus Rift hardware. Now, I’d not touch the thing with a ten foot pole unless I was using said pole to bash those goofy goggles to bits with. Data mining through your entertainment isn’t new at all, but facebook getting it’s money gloves into EVERYTHING is getting to be extremely annoying. Let me shut up here and vent with some ice cream for a bit. Man, what a day… between this and Fed Ex jerking me around with a package they keep failing to deliver (I’m HOME you idiots!), I’m not having a good day today. Blaaaaah.

Virtuix Omni: Space Invaders For The New VR Horsey Set…

Virtuix OmniWith all the fuss and happy-happy fury about virtual reality gaming seemingly becoming an ACTUAL reality sooner than later (again, but in a few smaller, lighter and thankfully less expensive formats), you know someone had to take things to an even more intensive level of immersion. Enter the folks at Virtuix Omni and their rather innnnterersting peripheral that’s going to get your ass up of its ass and make you play those 3D games in a whole new way. Unlike some of those first VR terminals of the 1990’s where you stood and basically turned in place with your arm out, the Omni Natural Motion Interface will get you a workout you can’t believe and probably will get hooked on once your body heals from the first few days of wondering why the hell you’re REALLY running when you usually sit down to play that favorite shooter, action game or open-world RPG… Continue reading

DARK “3D Features” Trailer: Riding The Double Gimmick Wave…

This latest trailer for RealmForge’s upcoming Xbox 360 and PC game DARK shows off both modern and “vintage” 3D visual options. I’m still one of those skeptics about that Oculus Rift being anything but a developer’s dream more than a gamer’s go-to peripheral, but that’s because I haven’t tried those damned fancy eyeball curtains and am getting tired as hell of hearing people claim that it’s such a hot deal. I’m sure I’ll get to give the Rift a go one day and be a-mazed out of my skull, but I don’t trust a product without a release date nor a price point that claims to be affordable and the best thing since sliced bread with bacon baked into it. I guess the best thing to do is dig up my ancient cardboard anaglyph 3D glasses and see how that mode hold up as I look into snapping up the more expensive version of that old tech in the future to see if it’s worth what it’ll cost (which probably won’t be as cheap as I’d like). Eh, whatever – if the game is good without the extra distraction of something on my face, it’s a better thing at the end of the day…