The horror genre is fast becoming the type of game best suited to VR in my opinion. And I say that in terms of suitability rather than personal preference – they are by far the most effective types of games and honestly, terrifying. The atmosphere is amped up a ton versus playing a game in front of your TV with your lights out – there is no escape.
Weeping Doll looks to add to this collection on PSVR. You play a housemaid arriving at your new place of work, only your employer is missing. I’m not entirely sure where it’s set, you are in a Victorian style mansion yet the decor is adorned with Japanese sensibilities – such as sliding doors and big samurai swords mounted on walls.
As I began to brace myself for Resident Evil style horrors, the setting never really kicked in to supply the atmosphere which seems fairly easy to create on VR for horror games. You make your way around about eleven different rooms, solving four puzzles. There is no music at all and very few sound effects aside from your footsteps. As a maid you’ll constantly hear a monologue wondering where everyone has gone and there is another character to interact with but the dialogue and voice acting are fairly painful. In some ways, the historic silent character in first-person shooters are better suited to VR. Whereas the trend now is to give the vessel which you play some sort of character, I’m not sure this is needed in VR (and being a man, having a woman’s voice is more off-putting than say Mirror’s Edge which doesn’t have the same level of disconnect).
The puzzles are fairly simple and I felt a bit off-put by the height of the character you play. Maybe you’re a giant but the viewpoint is set very high in each of the rooms. The total playtime reached about an hour, and the game suddenly ends with a picture of the dev team.
In terms of scares, there is one jump scare. Maybe it’s the nature of these but I did find that frightening and I did have a sense of fear through playing the game that there would be others but I think that says more about me than this. With a total playtime of less than an hour, comparing to the Resident Evil Kitchen demo the sense of fear here is very different and it’s more a preparation for something than a deep-seated terror.
In a plus point, the motion impact from moving around is very limited. Controls are slow and sluggish but giving the benefit of the doubt I’d say it was deliberate for the early days of first-person VR controls. If you’re desperate for some more VR games to play then that’s probably the only reason to pick this up (which is expensive given the very short play time).
Reviewed on PSVR