One of the earliest virtual reality (VR) horror titles to get players jumping and screaming was White Door Games’ Dreadhalls, developed for a 2013 VR Jam contest organised by Oculus. First released on Samsung Gear VR and then appearing as an Oculus Rift launch title, the studio has announced an Oculus Quest version is on the way.
Dreadhalls makes no secret of the fact that it liberally uses jump scares throughout the campaign to scare the wits out of players. Trapped in a dungeon you’re forced to explore to find a way out, what adds to the terror is the utter inability to defend or attack any of the monsters lurking in the darkness.
Through the winding corridors and creepy rooms, your only comfort is the flickering light of a flaming torch to light those dark recesses. To continue seeing in the dimly lit dungeon you’ll need to continually find oil to keep that flame alive, once it goes out everything gets a lot worse. Dreadhalls is a game of stealth, listening to the echos bouncing off the stone walls and keeping an eye out for shadows which may well be following you.
A single-player experience, to keep players coming back to Dreadhalls the studio has employed a procedurally generated level maker; ensuring no playthrough is ever the same. There are also lockpicks to find, opening up new rooms and coins to unlock the story.
In VRFocus’ review of Dreadhalls back in 2016, we said: “Dreadhalls has some great jump scares; seen that statue over there? Well, look again as now it’s right next to you. It’s this shock factor along with the claustrophobic corridors and bleak feel that gives the videogame its presence. Enter an empty room and no matter how cautious you’ve been, look behind you and there’s tall dark figure with white piercing eyes staring right back at you.”
White Door Games plan to release Dreadhalls for Oculus Quest on 3rd October 2019. It’ll retail for $9.99 USD and if you already own the title for Oculus Rift then great, as the videogame will support cross-buy between the two headsets. VRFocus will continue its coverage of Dreadhalls, reporting back with any further updates.