Review: Korix

Plays well, sounds good, lacks serious depth.

Real-time strategy has a fair amount of history behind it. Dating back to the venerable Dune II, which was released for MS-DOS way back in the misty depths of 1993. Much has remained the same since then, and some things have changed, but adding virtual reality (VR) to the mix brings an entirely new dimension.

Korix is a hybrid between traditional real-time strategy and the new-ish sub-genre of tower defence. The campaign is where most people will start, as that is where the tutorial is. Right away, problems occur, though. The tutorial tips are presented somewhat awkwardly. The messages are projected upon the virtual version of the controller (if you are using the Dual Shock, which I was) in somewhat hard-to-read font. Decades of muscle memory that tells you not to look at your controller becomes something of a problem at that stage. Playing with a Move controller tends to work a little better.

The play area is presented as a large polygonal platform covered by a grid. The player is required to set up a base on one end and, in traditional RTS style, send out workers to harvest energy. Then you need to conquer territory by setting up towers, or ‘walls’ and stacking them with upgradable weaponry. Destroying the enemy base results in a victory.

There is an interesting variety of weapons and defences available, with more being unlocked as you progress through the campaign. The controls work fairly well, and are suitably intuitive once you get past the somewhat unhelpful starting tutorial, and the motion controls track with impressive accuracy, for the most part.

The campaign is fun, and it is quite satisfying to drop some of the higher-level weaponry upon the enemies’ head. The graphics, while well-crafted, are somewhat disappointing however, with the low-polygon style contrasting poorly with the gorgeous space backgrounds. The enemy troops suffer in particular as they are featureless red voxel blobs with no personality. On the plus side, the native 120fps means that it runs exceptionally smoothly and didn’t disturb my equilibrium at all.

Despite the blurb for the game mentioning an intergalactic war and a fight to avenge your destroyed planet, the campaign doesn’t really feature any story. The music is pleasant, a chill electronic soundtrack that mixes fairly well with the visuals.

Multiplayer is available, and also works pretty well. Sadly though, the current online community for the title is not huge, so you may find you are waiting a while to find a match. Though if you have a group of friends with PlayStation VR headsets, you could do a lot worse than invite them to a mutliplayer match.

Korix tends to veer more towards ‘tower defence’ that RTS as a whole. The lack of story and blocky, basic graphical style let the side down somewhat. Despite that, it is fun to play for short sessions, especially in multiplayer, but lacks the depth for holding your attention for extended periods of time.

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