I’ve never been a huge fan of horror games. While playing games I don’t particularly enjoy being uncomfortable or on edge. Weirdly though, once I’ve finished playing the game, and I’m safe again, I do love to recount those moments of terror with my friends.
But no matter how scary games have been in the past I’ve always had the protection of the TV screen as a barrier, the monsters are in there and I’m safe out here. That is until VR came along and put me right inside the game with the monsters.
Here They Lie, as one of the launch titles on PSVR, offers players the chance to live inside a horror game. But despite a brilliantly disorientating start it soon loses the run of itself and as it becomes weirder and weirder, it also becomes more of a chore and less of a scare.
Visually the game has gone for a black and white (with occasional colour) aesthetic. It is clearly a design choice, one that i normally like, and if the game didn’t look look as poor as it does it might have worked. But thanks to the poor textures and pretty shoddy collision detection you are taken right out of the “reality” and made very aware that you are playing an below average game.
At the start of Here They Lie you know nothing, you don’t know where you are, what is happening, where to go, or what to do. You don’t know what lurks in the shadows, around the corner, or what harm it can do. The noises and atmosphere have you frantically looking over your shoulder and for those first few moments this is genuinely fear inducing.
It becomes less and less so once you enter the city, soon the monsters become little more than annoyances that slow the game down as you need to move slowly past them when they aren’t looking. They don’t notice your flashlight, you can’t crouch, you can be pretty loud, and even if you do end up getting killed it has little consequence.
The game overall has limited interactivity beyond walking around corridors, alleys and tunnels waiting for a monster to appear in heavily pre-scripted scenarios. If this wasn’t a VR game it would struggle, because it is VR it does have some genuine scares, but for me I would hold off buying this and wait for something a little better.
Overall: While others complained heavily about motion sickness this was not something that hindered my play through, it was a struggle to stick with the game right to the end though. VR launch titles are a little hit and miss right now and this one despite our best hopes is a miss. It is very limited, visually poor, and despite its best efforts at being a sociological horror, it just comes off as weird and boring.
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