Review: The Exorcist: Legion VR
Brilliant - and we never want to look at it again.
Horror is a deeply subjective thing. What one person might find terrifying, another may find laughable, or even cute and indeed, vice-versa. It is therefore uncommon to find something that is nigh-universally regarded as terrifying, and this is the accolade was awarded to The Exorcist when the move was released 1974. It is difficult to imagine anything successfully capturing the spirit of that production, but The Exorcist: Legion VR does its level best.
One of the most vital things to establish in any horror title is atmosphere. This is not as tangible as remarking on the graphics and story, but nonetheless essential. The Exorcist: Legion VR establishes quickly the feel of bleak, stripped-down horror.
You begin in a homicide department, with half-finished cups of coffee scattered on desks, while files detailing various types of tragedy and disaster are available to sift through. The subdued colours give a hint of what is to come as you get a call about a ‘weird one’ at a church.
From there you head to your first location, a small church where a priest has gone missing. There is a lot of blood, as well as insects, and clues as to what has occurred scattered around. In some ways the game play feels familiar as you slowly assemble tools to help you out in certain situations – including a Crucifix.
The Exorcist: Legion VR doesn’t rely much on jump scares, which is just as well, as its largely a cheap way to get a fright out of your audiences. Instead, it slowly unnerves you, with clever sound design causing whispers in your ear and good usage of darkness and hidden corners where you never know what will be lurking when you turn around.
After the church, you travel to a secure psychiatric ward, a creepy house, a morgue and then an ancient tomb. Each chapter has its own feel, but the overall atmosphere of something waiting, lingering remains consistent. Chapter 3 is probably the most intense, with Chapter 5 largely feeling like a denouement, which works as a way to slowly lower your pulse rate.
Graphically, it looks great, or as great as blood, carnage and death can look, anyway. The locations are detailed, and it isn’t shy about throwing everything in the book at you, with things like moving mannequins, creepy dollhouses and creepy-crawlies all doing the part to scare the pants off you.
The voice acting is also excellent, going for an everyday delivery which contrasts sharply and effectively with the horrible things going on all around you.
In gameplay terms, none of the puzzles are particularly complex, and it is not conventionally difficult, most of the difficulty lies in facing the unknown and accepting whatever is going to come next to attempt to scare you – in a sense, using your own dread as a difficulty curve.
Its the presentation where The Exorcist: Legion VR shines. It is not long or complex, but it has bags of atmosphere and says what it needs to say with panache. The sense of presence is used effectively to give you a properly immersive horror experience. As Halloween approaches, it is definitely one to look into for fans of horror.