Phantom: Covert Ops is sneaking onto Oculus Rift and Oculus Quest today and it’s pretty darn great, but how does each version compare side-by-side?
Weighing up the quality of Quest versions of VR games against more powerful platforms is usually a question of freedom. Does the lack of a wire make up for the inevitable loss in graphical fidelity? The answer varies on a case-by-case basis but, as a seated experience, Phantom: Covert Ops doesn’t pose quite the same query.
As you must have heard by now, Phantom is a VR stealth game that takes place entirely within a kayak. You sit in a chair and use your Oculus Touch controllers to paddle from side-to-side to get through each level. The context makes the game incredibly immersive, laying the foundation for a rock-solid VR stealth experience. But it also means that, like most VR games, you won’t be moving your body too far too often.
With that in mind, the technical improvements afforded by the Oculus Rift version of the game are given much more room to shine. Phantom’s crumbling Russian ruins look fantastic on PC, with the extra horsepower enabling more extra foliage, a greater draw distance and far more convincing lighting effects. As you can see in the intro sequence above in particular, the difference between the two versions is night and, well, much better looking night.
That said, even when sitting down the pull of the Rift cord is there, and the Quest version still suits the platform just fine. Textures are inevitably blurrier and the game conjures up less of a foggy atmosphere to mask your movements, but these are only surface-level differences no matter how obvious.
nDreams has done a great job with both versions of Phantom, then. If you have a PC available, this is one of those times you might want to consider the Rift version of the game over the Quest edition, but you can’t really go wrong with either.