After the Fall: Reclamation hands-on: this update redefines the endgame
Mutators, chipsets, attachments, new maps, enemies, weapons, and more.
After the Fall players are in for an early Fall treat, as the latest update, Reclamation, is now available for all major VR platforms including PlayStation VR, Meta Quest 2, Steam, Pico, and iQIYI. Reclamation aims to completely revamp the endgame in After the Fall by adding a ton of new content for veteran and novice players, alike, to discover.
After the Fall is one of our favorite Quest 2 games not just because of it's superb Left 4 Dead style gameplay and level structure, but also because developer Vertigo Games has consistently added to and updated the game since its initial release back in December 2021. Vertigo Games says the game has seen over 55,000 monthly active players in recent months, and this new swath of content is sure to bring more into the fray.
I got the chance to try the Gamescom demo of After the Fall Reclamation and came away impressed. Here's what you can expect when you jump in the game.
New weapons, skins, and mechanics
The main new weapon is, undoubtedly, the auto shotgun, which you'll see pictured above. It looks a whole lot like an AR-15 but packs a much bigger punch since it shoots shotgun shells out of its barrel. You'll reload this one like a rifle — that is, pull the magazine out, slide a new one in and cock the lever in the front — but it shoots very differently.
Like a shotgun, you'll want to save your shells for up-close and personal interactions with zombies. Unlike a shotgun, however, you'll have a full magazine of rounds to empty before needing to reload again.
On the opposite of the spectrum are the new Sawblades that take the place of the mini-missile launchers on the back of each hand. Players can use these on one or both hands — in case you still wanted to keep a mini-missile launcher handy — and they are designed to be used in smaller rooms where the sawblades can bounce off walls.
Just like the missile launcher, you'll hold your arm out with the back of your hand facing upwards — basically, the opposite way that Spider-Man shoots his webs — and press the trigger to launch a blade outward.
In the demo I played, each hand had three sawblades that could make mincemeat out of any creepy crawlers hanging around in a room. It's basically instant death for any regular Snowbreed the blades ram through. Yes, that includes ones in full ice armor!
But it's not just the new weapons that you should pay attention to. It's also the new attachments, modifiers, and chipsets that'll really switch things up. In the demo I played, the service pistol on my hip had the burst-fire chipset equipped, which emptied a pistol clip in a matter of two seconds and put a swift end to whatever it was pointed at.
The new auto-shotgun was configured with the execution chipset, which made every single shot a lethal one to any regular Snowbreed that came in my path. It certainly would seem overpowered if it were automatically equipped but, like the weapons and weapon attachments in the game, chipsets must be found by discovering special floppies in each level. Chipsets now have their own type of floppy, so it's easy to identify them right away.
Chipsets work a bit like the perk system in games like Call of Duty since they'll provide a substantial power upgrade for any player that equips one. Thankfully this is a co-op PvE game!
In addition to chipsets, Vertigo Games is adding a whopping 100 new attachments to find in the game, which should keep players busy for quite some time. You'll also be able to unlock 17 new skins to keep your character model looking fresh even after wading through untold amounts of gore.
Lastly, Vertigo Games has overhauled the way Harvest in After the Fall works. Here are the full changes, according to the developers.
- Headshots now give x4 Harvest for Snowbreed instead of x2 – making it much more important to aim for heads to get the most bang for your buck.
- Limbs now give the full 1.0x Harvest instead of the previous 0.75x as Ice Armor often gave players no other choice than to shoot at limbs.
- Doubled the Harvest you get from dealing damage in a Run, giving you now roughly ± 1% of the Damage Dealt as Harvest – massively promoting performance over participation.
- Reduced the Harvest dropped by shooting Sprawl Weakpoints & Frozen Survivors from 25 / 50 to 5* / 10* respectively.
- The flat Harvest dropped by Snowbreed has been significantly reduced, this is the amount that would drop even when a player didn’t contribute to killing them.
- Reduced the cost of Consumables, Throwables & Devices to not make players go broke when they buy 1-2 per Run.
- Slightly increased the cost of certain weapons to better match the harvest rebalance.
- Harvest Bonuses are now much more substantial, all of them seeing a huge increase:
- No Freeze Bonus: 10% increased to 25%
- No Damage Bonus: 25% increased to 50%
- Squad Bonus: 5% per real player increased to 10%
- Timed Bonus: New formula is 400 / Minutes = % Bonus
- Accuracy Bonus: 15% to 25% Bonus; If above 40% Accuracy
New enemies, maps, and mutators
No major update would be complete without new areas to play in or new enemies to defeat. My gameplay demo took place in one of the two new levels — that's the new Downtown map — which felt right in place with what you'd expect from the rest of the game.
I didn't get to see the entire level since the demo was specifically cut short for demo purposes. What I played was a blast, but it's not going to blow you away by looking massively different on the surface.
I did feel like The Sprawl was a lot more wormlike this time around — or, at least, maybe I only just noticed that these look like the frozen version of a sandworm from Tremors. It's also a lot more nefarious this time around as you'll find out in the boss fight at the end.
The other level included with Reclamation is The Twin Palms Mall which, at least for me, sounds like a real blast. When I think zombies, my first thought always goes back to Dawn of the Dead or Dead Rising, which both feature that iconic mall location.
This one is a Horde Mode map and is actually the largest Horde Mode map Vertigo Games has yet created, including multiple floors that players can venture up to in order to tackle the incoming horde.
As for older levels, players who have retread their steps dozens (or hundreds) of times will find a new reason to revisit the old locations: mutators.
Mutators can be used to radically alter the gameplay in any level and, in Vertigo Games' own words, are designed to offer a challenge that's not as brutal as the Nightmare/Horror difficulty modes. In my demo, the ice armor mutator was enabled, which equipped all enemies with a full set of ice armor. Good thing I had modified weapons.
Lastly, you'll be encountering two new enemies along the way in your quest to harvest endless amounts of Snowbreed. As you can see in the image above, the new Gunner hero enemy has an LMG fused to its left...appendage...and will dispatch you in a hot minute if you're not careful.
Meanwhile, The Charger loves to get up close and personal as it rushes toward players and explodes, causing a large area of effect damage radius. It's a nasty bit of business that's much deadlier than The Eater's blinding explosion, for sure.
After the Fall's Reclamation update is available for free right now, so jump on and get harvesting!
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