In the Ray Review
If you have a Meta Quest 2 and you were hoping for a bleak, post-apocalyptic survival shooter, you’re in luck. In the radiusfrom developer CM Games, brings what is essentially a VR port of 2007 STALKER to Meta’s headset. But you don’t have to be a fan of the PC original to enjoy this highly immersive, detailed survival sim. It has its annoyances, but overall this is a solid addition to any VR gamer’s library.
A word of warning: This is a pretty harsh survival experience. Into the Radius seems to take pride in not holding your hand. You will receive a short instruction. But then you are pushed into the Pechorsk wasteland of Russia. You are assigned missions from a computer terminal and a big goal in each mission is just trying not to die. And there are so many ways to die here. Many strange monsters will attack you. So far, I’ve encountered slow, zombie-like shufflers, faster transparent creatures, and even flying arachnid creatures. Oh, and there are also deadly anomalies that will zap you if you come across them. bozhe moi.
Survival of the fittest
You have the thinnest tools to protect yourself. There are guns, but ammunition is very scarce. As in, you may have 20 bullets, so you may want to think twice about shooting. Sometimes it’s best to just run until you find more. Or use stealth and hope the monsters don’t notice you. Spoiler Alert: They usually do. There is a precipitation atmosphere to Into the Radius with all the desperate searching in empty desks and closets for bullets or anything else you can use to stay alive. Fallout Survival Mode, anyway. And I think there’s also a Souls-esque vibe, what with all the dying you’re doing.
Just when you’ve collected a nice stash of ammo, you find out it doesn’t fit your weapon. There are different types of weapons in Into the Radius, and they each use different bullets. In addition, you should regularly clean and repair your gun so that it does not deteriorate and jam or even break. To clean it you need to find paper, gun oil and a wire rod and brush out the barrel. I’m not joking. Oh yeah, you’ll get hungry too, so make sure to collect as much food as you can. To eat it, you have to physically open a can and use your knife to stab it in your face.
An immersive experience
Needless to say, Into the Radius has a level of immersion that is next level. The difficulty of this game is daunting at first, but I’ll admit it gets to you more and more. Especially in VR, it’s so exciting to experience this kind of realism in a video game. The slow and painful progress you make in this world feels so rewarding because you really have to earn it. No matter how many times I died, I kept wanting to go back and try again. That surprised me.
On missions you also have a backpack. It uses a similar style to The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners. You reach behind your back and grab it, placing or retrieving items. What I really liked was how Into the Radius determined the space in the backpack. You have to place items and fit them – if there’s no more physical space, that’s it. Again, it’s a lot more intuitive and authentic than most games.
Successfully completing missions will give you rewards, upgrades, and most importantly loot. It’s great to get back to basics and sell your loot. Then spend that loot on gear, armor, better weapons, and attachments. Your security level also increases and unlocks better gear levels as you progress. It’s an addictive loop that rewards all that dying and suffering you’ve been through.
A few flaws
There are certainly some annoyances among all the positives. Sometimes I encountered an insect that prevented me from sprinting, making my travels through the vast wasteland an arduous, frustrating affair. I would also say that the visuals could use some shine. Don’t get me wrong – the atmospheric, weird look of Into the Radius is suitably creepy and cool. But you wouldn’t call it beautiful. Textures are low-res and muddy. Models are blocky and last-gen. Mind you, there are a lot of survival fans who still don’t care.
If you wanted to have that extreme survival adventure experience on the Meta Quest 2, Into the Radius is your game. You are alone, without a chance and enjoying every minute. But even for the rest of us, there’s a good time to be had – provided you can get through the initial frustration.
** A Meta Quest 2 code has been provided by the publisher **
- Very immersive survival experience
- great detail
- creepy atmosphere
- Visual could be better
- Frustrating for newbies