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Experiencing Halloween in VR

Earlier this month we were invited down to the Hope & Glory offices to experience Halloween in Virtual Reality using the HTC Vive.  During our time there, we got to sample some of the scarier games, perfect for Halloween parties! Were we scared? Damn right! Here are our impressions on the games that we played during the course of the evening

Brookhaven

When we arrived at the event we were advised that if we wanted to work our way up to the truly scary titles that Brookhaven was the title to begin with. The objective of the code we played is to survive the zombies coming at you round by round. There is a campaign but we played survival mode, similar to Call of Duty’s zombie mode. You use one hand for your flash light and knife and another for your weapon.

I found the game incredibly immersive and I could have played for hours without feeling sick. Part of the reason for this is that you actually only moving 360 degrees, not forward or backwards. In terms of the actual gameplay, it was brilliantly responsive and intense. The whole thing, while we knew it was just a game, really made us feel like we were there in the moment.

There isn’t an awful much more you can say about this game as we had one mode which was a point and shoot style. The full game does bring a campaign which will be extremely exciting to see how that plays out.

Emily Wants to Play

Emily Wants to Play is a very different game to Brookhaven and I was warned that it wasn’t a game to take lightly. I went into it after hearing a woman screaming her lungs out. So I felt confident I would sound exactly as she did! The game starts as your character, a pizza delivery man, enters the house of your customer and no one is home. You use the Vive controls to navigate the house using a point and click function and then use the triggers to interact with objects. My curious mind had me trying to interact with some objects that we clearly weren’t able to which was a bit disappointing but the potential is definitely there.

From the beginning you could feel the tension rising, there was an eeery silence and I felt on edge the entire time. I do feel like this may have been because of my expectations going into the game and not the game itself but it was there nonetheless. I spent the entire time looking around the house trying to rush through clues to find something. I only had a certain amount of time to find Emily before I heard a clock bell. I expected a big jump moment at this point, but nothing happened, then the moment I let my guard down, BOOM, there she was in my face! I flinched and proudly did not scream like the woman before me.

Emily Wants to Play maybe wasn’t as scary as I first imagined but is a definitely a game worth playing. I am definitely interested in trying it out again and actually finding her before she finds me!

Paranormal Activity

Now this was the game I was warned about. I had heard horror stories once again regarding this before going in to play. Once again my manhood was on the line, could I be strong or would I scream like a child?!

I can’t say too much about what happens in the game this time however this time we were using the directional buttons to move as opposed to point and click navigation in the previous title. The interactions remained tied to the triggers though.

What I can really say is, do not sleep on this game. If you are a fan of the horror genre in games, this could be the perfect game for you. Definitely in the style of the PT demo by Hideo Kojima and the new Kitchen demo for Resident Evil. Paranormal definitely had me scared, sweating and dying for it to be over! The tension is built brilliantly through clever choices in sound and lighting. This one definitely had a bigger reaction than a flinch, I would say a full blown jump! But I am proud to say I did not scream and maintained my composure (just about!).

Of all the Halloween games I sampled that evening, Paranormal Activity is the one I am the most excited to try again. A big thank you to HTC for the invite, and be sure to check out some images and let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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