Viveport Review: ROM: Extraction
Armed with powerful orbs, you’ll duck, dodge, and return fire against swarms of alien bots in one of the Vive’s best action games.
By Desmond Madison, Greenlit Content
Oozing with style and looking gorgeous while running buttery smooth on the Unreal Engine, First Contact Entertainment’s ROM: Extraction takes the action-packed wave shooter genre and cranks it up to new heights in this hyper-kinetic firefight with a twist. In the not too distant future of 2076, the ability to bend time with “Reflex” power is bestowed upon the Orb Extraction Unit sent to gather these resources from the deepest chambers of the moon. Upon extraction, an army of alien-robots decides they’d rather see you dead than have their precious orbs leave the station, and thus begins the fight for your life as you ride the elevator chambers back to the surface, mowing down as many bots as you can before they take you down with them.
Luckily, you’re armed with these precious orbs as weapons, and they’re the key to taking on the hordes as you throw each orb across the chamber and shoot them for full effect, including slowing down time to allow for some Matrix-style ducking and dodging. You’ll also want to slow time to line up the perfect shot before blasting the entire room and clearing out the uglies with an incredibly loud and satisfying explosion. Just using your gun, though, won’t be enough. Learning to throw and utilize your orbs as they whip violently around the room will be essential in taking down the droves of alien robots. The firepower on your guns is just too weak, and the trick shooting aspect of the gunplay is really one of the big things that sets ROM apart from so many other wave shooters.
The atmosphere doesn’t let up, either. Not only are the visuals stunning, but the Twin Moon soundtrack bathes the entire experience in an electronic rhythm that seems to only intensify with the chaos on screen. Being surrounded by four elevator walls and constantly turning and ducking behind cover and popping back up to line up the perfect shot, ROM: Extraction has a rather blood-pumping cardio effect to it as well, and players should consider going a few extra rounds for a truly rewarding workout that rivals some of the most intense VR experiences out there.
It may not have a very wide variety of environments or modes, but comparing it to classics like Space Pirate Trainer, it’s safe to say that ROM: Extraction holds its own in the upper tier of great arcade shooters worth playing to work up a sweat and challenging other players for the tops on the leaderboards. It’s a polished, audio/visual sensory overload of a shooter with terrifying creature designs and a constant sense of tension that will keep your guns blazing in all directions. The orb mechanics change things up from the typical shooter, and the urge to go in again and again will grow on you like the very best arcade challenges in gaming. It’s unabashedly over-the-top with aliens, robots, and explosions, and by the time you think you’ve had enough, load up the updated ‘Overrun’ mode for a whole new twist on your deadly escape to the surface before it’s too late.