A-Tech Cybernetic review (PSVR)

Bursting out of Early Access and onto Playstation VR at the same time, XREAL’s A-Tech Cybernetic is a sci-fi first person shooter exclusive to VR. We played the PSVR version.

A-Tech Cybernetic went into Early Access on Steam a few years ago, when people compared it to Doom VFR. That’s still one of my favorite VR shooters on Playstation VR, so when it was announced for Sony’s platform I was eager to try out the final game. The game features a story campaign as well as a ‘swarm’ mode, which adds some replay value beyond the relatively short campaign.

In the story, which is fairly generic, you have no memory of who you are or what you need to do, and just need to survive inside a big spaceship that has mutants crawling out of every corner. You also happen to be inside the mind of another being, who speaks to you through voiceovers. The narrative is delivers this way as well, but it’s not especially well done and doesn’t do the game’s excellent visuals justice.

a-tech cybernetic

I’d say the visuals are where the comparisons to Doom VFR come from, with similar approaches to graphic design, lighting and level structures. Considering the fact that XREAL is a small studio, that’s a major achievement. The enemies are varied and animated fairly well (though not as well as those in Doom), and taking them down with a shotgun blast feels satisfying as a result of that. Movement, as long as you’re using Move controllers, also involves reloading motions for added immersion.

Speaking of which – the game (unlike Doom) doesn’t support the Aim controller, which is a shame since it’s such a great tool for first person shooters. It wouldn’t have worked as well with A-Tech’s reliance on motion controls, but would have been a superior option to gamepad controls – perhaps also doing away with the game’s current need to teleport around a scene as the quickest way of getting around (smooth locomotion is also supported).

a-tech cybernetic3

Part of the delay between the original PC release and the current PSVR version was due to the performance demands that a version for Sony’s headset puts on the developers. They had to go back and optimize the entire experience from the ground up, and it shows – A-Tech Cybernetic doesn’t just look great for a smaller title, it also runs great. I’ve had a few instances of clipping with the environment and the level of details is just below that of Doom VFR, but it’s one of the better VR shooters I’ve played on Playstation in a while.

Add the fact that this game is being released at a pleasant price point and you’ve got a game that shooter fans with a Playstation VR headset won’t want to miss out on. It’s a shame there is no support for the Playstation Aim or 3dRudder controllers since they would have been excellent fits for the game, but the game works well as it is and the XREAL team can be proud of what they pulled off.

Score: 7.7/10

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