Phantom: Covert Ops Glides to Release Like a Knife Through Water

Stealth and water generally don’t mix.  Liquids are not quiet, and it takes special measures to be sneaky around them.  A stray footstep in a puddle or the sound of a drip where there shouldn’t be one is more than enough to tip off an enemy, but there are ways to circumvent this.  Generally by avoiding water entirely, but in the case of Phantom: Covert Ops that’s not an option.  Instead you command the stealthiest water vehicle known, a kayak, moving as a silent terror cloaked in the darkness of night to anyone planning evil near a waterway.

Ok, so the premise is a bit easy to make fun of, but nobody who’s enjoyed a Metal Gear Solid game has room to be mean about it.  Stealth-kayak is a concept that sounds weird on the surface but makes a surprising amount of sense for VR in practice.  The craft is small enough to be nimble but large enough to have all your gear in easy reach, plus the nature of piloting it is such that you get to play sitting down rather than needing to stand for a multi-hour gaming session.  Plus it solves the issue of what to do with the player’s legs, which is one of those “let’s not call attention to it and hope nobody notices” questions that VR is still working around.

The plot of the game is that you’re a special operative investigating a burnt-out military complex for suspicious activity, which it turns out is much more serious than thought.  Even so this is a stealth mission and, while you can try to kill everything that moves, ammo is a limited resource so it’s best to cruise on by and indulge in a little sabotage when the opportunity arises.  There will be big explosive set pieces soon enough, but it’s a good idea to stay hidden before they happen.  Paddle quietly, hide in reeds, and use the silenced pistol or sniper rifle to distract the guards rather than alert everyone to your presence when they discover a corpse.  All the tools are arranged conveniently on the kayak, including ammo dispensers and a holder for the paddles when not in use.  It’s a clever and efficient setup, turning the idea of Death Kayak into serious threat.

Phantom: Covert Ops launched today on the Oculus store, cross-buy and cross-save for both Rift and Quest. It’s got a nice new trailer for the launch so give it a look below.