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Preview: Final Approach

Phaser Lock Interactive’s Final Approach has been a regular showcase piece for the HTC Vive since it’s debut at PAX Prime, Seattle, last year. Set for release alongside the release of the Valve and HTC collaboration next week, the videogame liberally borrows the template of the mobile smash hit Flight Control, transporting it in three-dimensions and adding a sprinkle of its own imagination into the mix.

Final Approach screenshot

For anyone who’s played Flight Control the basic premise will be very familiar: the player must guide planes and helicopters in to land on the appropriate runway, ensuring that there are no collisions en route. However, the aircraft in Final Approach won’t just blindly follow your set route, tasking the playing with accommodating turning arcs and speed for each type of vehicle.

Furthermore, Final Approach features a ‘zoom in’ mechanic, which sees the player shoot down to ground level and become the size of one of the small humans they had previously been playing with as if they were merely toys for their god-like amusement. VRFocus has previously discussed the challenges of extinguishing fires and using an airhorn to scare birds off a runway, however this latest build added a new, action-orientated challenge to the mix.

On a later mission (currently listed as the third mission in the preview build available, though this could change before release) the player is situated above an ocean in command of an aircraft carrier and two smaller seafaring vessels. As is typically the case, the player will have to bring planes in to land, direct helicopters to assist with various tasks and extinguish fires where necessary. However, in this mission the player will also get their first taste of combat.

Final Approach N10

One of the vessels features mounted guns, and zooming in at the designated point will see the player take charge of this weaponry. Aim is based upon a reticule in the centre of a player’s vision, with the left motion-controller’s trigger commanding a machine gun and the right charging-up a lock-on for missiles. Some malfunctioning drones are attacking your own planes in this instance, and while the challenge is light it acts as a nice tutorial for what will undoubtedly be more aggressive scenarios later in the videogame.

Another new example of gameplay in this secondary viewpoint is the rescuing of downed pilots. Trying to stay afloat just off the side of the aircraft carrier the player must zoom at the denoted position and throw life preservers overboard, before zooming back out and sending a helicopter to retrieve them from the water. These two new additions are certainly only a tease of what further scenarios Phaser Lock Interactive will be planning on top of the flight path directing central mechanic.

Final Approach is due for release alongside the HTC Vive next week, with Oculus Rift (Oculus Touch compatible only) and PlayStation VR editions also announced. VRFocus will be bringing you a review of the final build of Final Approach in due course, and will keep you updated with all the latest developments from Phaser Lock Interactive.