Something about the immersiveness and immediacy of virtual reality (VR) means it lends itself particularly well to horror. One of the most successful early titles on the PlayStation VR was Resident Evil 7 biohazard, which continues to scare the pants of players in VR a year after release. Hoping to capture some of that terrifying magic is developer Firesprite and its upcoming horror/roguelike titled The Persistence.
The Persistence draws on the beloved traditions of a roguelike, such as procedurally-generated levels to explore, skills to unlock and, of course, a high degree of difficulty. Dying is not the end of a journey, however, it is just the start. Players have a multitude of clones to deploy. The clones form a core part of the horror aspect – a nearby black hole is causing havoc on the spaceship you are travelling on, damaging the clone machine and causing it to spit out horrific mutated copies of the ship’s crew. The player is the last uncorrupted survivor, struggling to stay alive.
The ship’s decks are procedurally generated, so each run can contain entirely unexpected surprises. That could mean an advantages placement of a weapons manufacturing facility to allow you to go guns blazing against your foes, or it could be a nest of mutants ready to pounce. As the developers admit, you are going to die – a lot.
The player character has some tricks up her sleeve, however. Which each new clone is the chance to re-sequence her DNA to unlock new powers and skills and become more powerful, allowing her to reach new, more distant areas of the stricken ship.
A multiplayer option is also available, with local play allowing a player’s friends to use a smartphone or tablet to manipulate the ship’s systems and help out the player. There’s a catch, however, as your smartphone-wielding friend could potentially get a big reward when you die, presenting a question of trust.
The Persistence is due to launch on 24th July, 2018. Pre-orders are available now, with a discount for PlayStation Plus members.
Further news on The Persistence and other upcoming PlayStation VR titles will be here on VRFocus.