Horror in virtual reality (VR) was one of the big pushes for developers at the dawn of the modern era. While the gold rush for the genre seems to have subsided of later, there are still a number of teams creating interesting videogames and experiences with the idea of thrilling and chilling their audiences. Today, VRFocus takes a look at some of the best available for Samsung’s mobile VR platform, the Gear VR.
Goosebumps: Night of Scares
Arguably one for the kids, though adults may well get some enjoyment out of the exploration through this VR rendition of R.L. Stine’s manor and the lightweight puzzle-solving. Movement is based on the now familiar teleportation mechanic, though is limited to predetermined spots, and the hunting for clues is almost as addictive as Dead Secret’s far darker rendition of horror.
As mentioned above, Dead Secret is a videogame based on logical puzzle-solving. The player is faced with a challenge and can attempt to surpass it through brute force alone. However, careful exploration of the environment will offer up clues that will make progression far easier. Dead Secret has an interest pace to it; at one moment serene and relaxed and the other presenting impending doom for one misplaced step.
An early release on Gear VR, Sisters is a VR ghost story wherein the experience happens around you. The player is encouraged to scan the surrounding environment, but in doing so will awake the ghosts hiding within. And they’re not too pleased with your presence. Sisters falters with a low graphical quality, but at the time of release stood as a good example of immersive storytelling under tight restrictions on mobile hardware. With a sequel on the way, the horror from these unfriendly fiends is not likely to end any time soon.
Another early VR project, Dreadhalls has long been seen as the pinnacle of horror videogame experiences for the new medium. An exploration videogame wherein the player must make their way through seemingly endless corridors while avoiding the many horrors that lurk within, Dreadhalls promotes a sense of unknowing through limited lighting and procedurally generated environments.
Unlike the other titles included in this feature, Catatonic is a live-action experience. VRSE’s first foray into VR horror is still seen as a landmark for fans of the genre. As with Sisters the player is not able to move, however is positioned in a wheelchair and pushed through the environment by a rather unwelcoming ward. Catatonic may not stand up to repeated viewings as the jump scares become familiar, but if this is your first taste or horror in VR it may also be your last.