Phantom: Covert Ops Is The Most Intense History Lesson I Ever Had

It's the middle of the night, you can see your target in the distance. A simple steel tower with a blinking red light. Nothing remarkable about it, other than the fact that a rogue militant group is using it to communicate. Or maybe it's the remnant Soviets. You're there to find out, and also destroy whatever tech is being used on that tower.

You proceed steadily down the river, towards what looks to be a drain pipe that will get you inside the base where the tower lies. Suddenly, you hear a motor. A boat with a big light is coming your way. You pull out your sniper and use the scope. Two guys on the boat. You could take them out at this distance. But maybe you'll need those bullets later. You could try to hide in the reeds. But what if they pass you and turn around and catch up later? The clock is ticking, and you need to make a call fast.

Also, you're in a kayak.

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This is Phantom: Covert Ops, an upcoming virtual reality game for the Oculus Quest and Rift. The developer, nDreams, is an experienced VR creation who worked with Oculus Studios to make full use of the platform. The result is a tense stealth action game built around the unique idea that you're infiltrating an enemy base using a kayak. It actually works really well, covering up one of VR's biggest weaknesses: movement.

Remember a few years ago when VR was all the rage? You'd boot up some exciting-looking action title only to find it was rather limited. Your character doesn't move for some reason, and you can only stand in one place while an army of zombies rushes at you. Or when your character does move, they just sort of teleport five feet ahead. Phantom: Covert Ops puts you in a kayak the whole time, giving you a feeling of actual physical progression.

You'll need that freedom of movement, too, because Phantom: Covert Ops tasks you with infiltrating a naval base on your own. The scenario above was taken from the E3 demo - you can try to float past guards or snipe them one-by-one. The kayak is helpful for stealth, but also kind of demands it. There's not much cover in the middle of a river, so you don't want to be seen. You do have an automatic weapon if things get hot, but the limited ammo in your kayak bag makes it so you can't just run-and-gun (row-and-gun?).

via: nDreams

Fun fact: military kayaks are an actual thing. British Special Forces made use of them during World War II, and the US Armed Forces adopted them as well. This factoid inspired the making of Phantom: Covert Ops. It also makes the game the most intense stealth action/history lesson I've ever played.

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