Review: Face Your Fears 2
Lacklustre horror, with mildly entertaining jump scares.
The promise of wireless freedom is one of Oculus Quest’s biggest selling points, allowing players to really immerse themselves in whatever virtual reality (VR) title they so choose. Horror is one of those genres that could benefit from a standalone headset and luckily Oculus Quest has two scary videogames to choose from on launch day, The Exorcist: Legion VR and Turtle Rock Studios’ Face Your Fears 2. However, when it comes to the latter, you shouldn’t be too scared about what’s hidden in the shadows.
2017’s original Face Your Fears suited that time in the industry, offering small terrifying scenes that were out to instantly shock and scare. So it’s understandable that Turtle Rock Studios has expanded the initial theme into a larger fleshed out experience, with a spooky storyline and much more gameplay to get you properly involved in the narrative.
Set inside a mansion and its grounds, Face Your Fears 2 is split into two chapters which are separated by several decades. The first takes place in recent years and showcases a promising start, the protagonist is looking for his sister who was at a party held at the crumbling mansion. Wandering through the grounds red-eyed crows squawk and snakes suddenly appear in the undergrowth. As you begin to explore further a derelict shed hides a key yet you must first deal with all the spiders, ranging from little ones on your hands to giants eight-legged monsters trying to attack you through the wooden slates.
Face Your Fears 2 has plenty of these little moments that are designed to make you jump, and even the most hard-core VR horror fans would possibly jump at least once. Just like any jump scare obsessed videogame they do start to wear thin and most importantly become easy to spot – which then kills the atmosphere. When it comes to tense, terrifying atmosphere the best parts in Face Your Fears 2 are the bits in between, when the audio and visuals work in unison, unfortunately instantly broken when an actual scare comes along.
The actual gameplay is very by the numbers, a door is locked and there’s only one place to find a key, with the occasional moment where you need to have a brief wander – but not for too long. While there is repetition between the two chapters thankfully each does have its own unique areas so you shouldn’t get bored. What does get a little annoying – and very immersion breaking – is that certain areas can be failed and require several attempts, completely dispelling any notion of fright.
As a launch title for Oculus Quest Face Your Fears 2 really should amaze and drop you to the floor in horror. Yet at no point does the experience ever feel like it can attain those heights, treading mediocre level ground that sorely underuses the device’s ability. Face Your Fears 2 is by no means a bad VR experience it’s just not up to the calibre of Turtle Rock Studios’ previous output.