Set between the events of Rise Of and Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, this virtual reality 'hidden chapter' sees you in the role of one of the hyper-advanced apes that – spoilers for a 55-year old franchise – goes on to dominate the planet. Here and now though, you're an escapee from a military lab trying to find a cure for the simian flu that's devastated humanity's ranks.
What Crisis does best is really embody you in the physicality of an ape. You'll swing arms low to walk on knuckles as a chimpanzee might, grab and clamber over obstacles with what feels like an appropriate speed and heft, and have a longer reach than your human arms give you. This effect is sadly mitigated somewhat by the need to 'teleport' every few metres, swinging your elongated ape arms – or, out of VR, your motion controllers – to leap towards white silhouettes of where you're meant to move to. There's no real scope to explore or go off-rails in the middle of your ape escape.
This makes Crisis feel like more of a guided VR experience than a full game in its own right (though this is thankfully reflected in the budget price point). The opening sections are focused largely on your exfiltration efforts through the grey, oppressive confines of the bunker lab, and play like a linear platformer. Later, when you gain access to weaponry, matters liven up somewhat, with a very physical approach to a cover system – reaching out to grab and pull yourself behind obstacles, or actively ducking down yourself, to avoid enemy fire – but the actual shootouts feel repetitive.
The brevity of Crisis is its weakest point, though. Coming in at around two hours tops, it dabbles with interesting ideas and mechanics that could have expanded the range of play options – such as scaring enemies with angry chest beating and screaming, or lunging forwards to bowl them over – but are instead reduced to one-use scripted moments.
There's real potential here though, and with a bigger budget, longer run time, and a beefier story, Crisis could have done great things for VR. People who both own a VR rig and are fans of the modern Apes trilogy will get the most out of this, but that's a pretty thin wedge of a Venn diagram.