Extreme Espionage with Phantom : Covert Ops
With a host of first-person shooters currently on the Oculus Quest we were particularly taken by the concept of NDreams’ Phantom : Covert Ops which offers something refreshingly different to the genre.
Set in the unique setting of a tactical kayak, Phantom : Covert Ops offers a remarkable new take on the first-person shooter, taking the player through a variety of waterways in which they’ll have to keep a low profile whilst paddling and taking out any hostiles.
We’ve long admired NDreams own titles so when the team asked if we’d like to check out Phantom we were more than happy to put on our wetsuits and commence a night of a kayak based military gaming!
From the get-go the presentation of the game is second to none, as the player is briefed by his commander and dropped off by helicopter in a secret, water-based location. From there on in it’s your job to find the targets, stay concealed and complete the mission. Gameplay is refreshingly different with the player having to paddle by mimicking the motions of actually paddling a kayak whilst in a seated position. On top of which when you find yourself in danger, the player is also able to pull and holster multiple weapons concealed amidst the kayak. On top of which the player can also access night vision goggles which really help you identify targets in the darkness of the gameplay.
Graphics are impressive for the Quest with some great rendering on surfaces, including water reflections. Not to mention character’s faces and animations during gameplay. Also the actual renders of the player’s arms whilst activating levers and other interactive areas is something we were taken aback by.
But in particular we were hugely impressed the game sfx which really throws you into the midst of the action. Bullet sounds and shouts are vivid and thoroughly realistic. Along with water effects and the splashes of your paddles which constantly keeps you on edge as you realise you’re literally a sitting duck amidst a darkened surface area of water.
Stealth based gameplay is the ideal as evidently once you’re spotted it’s not always easy to quickly manevoure out of view being on water. Luckily there’s a host of locations for the player to hide including in shadowy watery corners and amidst vegetation. You can also throw any guards off your scent by distracting them with distractions such as explosive containers and other assorted explosive objects.
The fact you’re paddling your kayak constantly keeps you on edge as you’re aware if you slip up you’re going to need to quickly manevoure yourself out of danger based around where you can traverse your kayak to. It really keeps you on your toes and kept the game feeling fresh for us as we played through the levels.
Later on the player can also explore ‘Freeplay’ exploring the various other challenges each level has to offer. This also includes a variety of different customisable gameplay options which really added to the retainability factor to the game.
Phantom : Cover Ops really offers something unique to the Oculus Quest and is a game we’ve found ourselves returning to time after time. We’d highly recommend you check it out.