This week’s release of After The Fall on PC VR, PSVR and Quest 2 has been a long-time coming; the game was originally announced all the way back in 2019.
But, perhaps unsurprisingly, there are some key differences between the game’s 2019 build and what’s launching this week.
Most notably, the melee combat that we got our hands on back in 2019 is nowhere to be seen. In the original demo, you could wield a baseball bat among other itmes. Now, combat is entirely based around firearms. There are also some other smaller changes like the removal of crafting benches in the middle of levels. Instead, you now craft back in the game’s hub environment. You can see the melee combat in action in this 2019 trailer for the game, which also features sections of levels that also don’t appear to be in the final game.
We reached out to Vertigo Games to ask why these changes were made. Community Manager TamTu Bui explained that it had a lot to do with the pacing of the combat.
“The melee didn’t make it in because what we had just didn’t mesh well with the combat flow of the gunplay, and also stopped making sense compared to the aggressive behavior of the snowbreed horde,” Bui wrote over email. “With more breathing room now that the game has launched, we’ll have people diving back into that to see if we can get melee back in, in a way we feel is right.”
Bui also teased that there will be more ways to control crowds in close-quarters coming at launch, but details would be shared later down the line.
As for crafting? “During testing and iteration, the mid-level crafting took up too much time during a run,” the developer noted. “Solo, sure a player could fiddle as long as they want, but we wanted to avoid players holding up others that wanted to progress further, so we moved that to be a non-mission activity in the social hub.”
There are other features that seem to have been cut, too. I tried a different boss encounter to anything that’s in the game back in 2019 and there look to be some enemy types that haven’t made it into the final product, either. But, given the two and a half years between reveal and launch (not to mention that the game was largely MIA during 2020), it’s not too surprising to see some of these differences. We’ve been reviewing After The Fall over the course of this week and you check out our review-in-progress right here.