Wed. Mar 22nd, 2023


The Darkish Footage: Switchback VR is a celebration of the franchise and a enjoyable VR journey in its personal proper. Developed by Supermassive Video games, Switchback VR is a horror rail shooter on PlayStation VR2 the place that you must shoot and dodge your manner by way of a number of programs based mostly on The Darkish Footage Anthology video games. 

The narrative feels prefer it’s taking a backseat in Switchback VR, because it’s principally advised by way of quick obscure cutscenes that do an excellent job of setting the temper. At first of the sport, it looks as if you’ve been visited by The Curator from The Darkish Footage collection following a prepare derailment. For the remainder of the sport, you’ll undergo completely different places the place a lady with supernatural powers named Belial is chasing you, placing you and your pals in hurt’s manner. 

What lets the sport down essentially the most is the story. You undergo every location on rails with out virtually any story to get motivated by. 4 of your pals from the prepare accident are caught someplace in every world, and also you’ll have to decide on to resolve a puzzle to avoid wasting them. abandon them, and even kill them — it’s your selection. The factor is, I don’t know something about my character, or who these associates are. I had little interest in the welfare of the participant character or his associates, which made the alternatives kind of insignificant.

However, this recreation shines in nearly each different manner. The gameplay begins off like a traditional on-rails shooter, as you mow down zombies whereas driving every of the sport’s tracks. There’s a rating to be conscious of, and a multiplier that ticks up as you shoot enemies and marked objects on the map. So, even when there aren’t any zombies in a given space, you’ll usually nonetheless have one thing to shoot at, and it’s satisfying to listen to the pop or crack of an merchandise breaking or shattering within the distance. There’s even a giant collectible gargoyle to shoot on every stage.

Screenshot by way of Supermassive Video games

Switchback VR makes you actively change weapons, with weapon crates strewn about each stage. The weapons are pretty easy, with pistols, submachine weapons, and shotguns making up your arsenal. Capturing is straightforward, appropriately, with the PS VR2 monitoring and controllers coming in useful right here. It feels very pure to shoot and reload, which is nice when that you must take a zombie’s head off in a panic. The motion-tracking is improbable too, as Supermassive makes use of sections with falling objects to maintain you dodging whilst you’re not capturing, and sometimes forcing you to do each without delay.

Talking of monitoring, the eye-tracking is totally phenomenal, and a number of areas of the sport are designed for it. Some enemies solely seem if you blink, or solely transfer if you take a look at them, and it’s simply one other manner that Supermassive has managed to amp up the strain and make full use of Sony’s new {hardware}. After the primary blinking part, you develop into very aware of the way you blink when it occurs once more. The sensation is even worse if you see enemies transfer in your peripheral imaginative and prescient.

You’ll assume it’d get repetitive, however Switchback VR manages to remain contemporary with every new stage. Every world is comprised of two phases, starting with Man of Medan‘s ship, Little Hope‘s foggy roads, the tomb from Home of Ashes, and the homicide home from The Satan in Me. As a result of a lot of the places are so distinct, I by no means caught myself bored and persistently loved wherever the journey took me.

Except for the numerous locales, Switchback VR has a number of extra methods up its sleeve, as every stage introduces new enemies to take down. Now, this may not appear to be a giant deal, however I do know I’d have shortly gotten bored if I used to be capturing at various kinds of zombies for hours on finish. As an alternative, there are zombies, dolls, mannequins, vampiric beings, slugs, rats, and extra — just about something that struck concern into your coronary heart as a toddler. Claustrophobic? Don’t fear, there’s an space for that too!

Screenshot by way of Supermassive Video games

For those who assume this recreation goes to scare you, it completely will. It’s a horror recreation by way of and thru, and that may be why the cutscenes don’t provide you with a lot info. It looks as if each single aspect of Switchback VR has been designed to entrench you in an environment of horror. There’s the muddled narrative centered across the vagueness of the prepare hearth, a bloody start-up display, and even the loud flashbacks initially of every world.

Switchback VR can be extremely well-paced. Often, your automobile will come to a cease so you’ll be able to take every part in, or be swarmed by enemies. There are sections the place you velocity by at a brisk tempo, and others the place you might be slowed to a crawl. Enemies come from a number of instructions, and that may trigger some fairly horrifying bounce scares if you look to your left and all of the sudden see a zombie slashing at your face. 

As somebody whose response to being scared is often cursing, whereas I used to be enjoying Switchback VR, my room would possibly as nicely have been the set of a Tarantino movie. One bounce scare bought to me so badly that I clenched my tooth manner too onerous — I believe I’d want dental work. This recreation is just not for many who scare simply until, after all, you’re into that kind of factor. 

Screenshot by way of Supermassive Video games

Like a lot of the different PS VR2 titles, the audio feels extremely immersive and actually provides to the expertise. It succeeds at making the participant really feel tense, simulating the sounds of all of the creatures you come throughout like they’re within the room with you. What’s good about it’s that whereas it’s directional, creatures will both be roaming within the background or above you. Often, these enemies aren’t meant to be attacked, however the sounds are sufficient to maintain you on the sting of terror.

However, as a lot as it’s a good time, it’s additionally a fairly quick time. With 10 ranges, you received’t need to spend greater than 5 – 6 hours to roll credit on Switchback VR. It isn’t too onerous both — I performed by way of the sport on its regular problem stage (referred to as Survivor Issue right here), and I solely died a few instances. That being stated, each the trophies and the scoring system are designed to make you play by way of it a number of instances, so there may be some replayability right here. 

The story and places department as nicely. Typically, you’ll want to choose a path to go in, or as we talked about earlier, select whether or not somebody lives or dies. There are completely different scenes you’ll be able to unlock on the finish of the sport, so your choices do matter and also you may be tempted to replay it to expertise the highway you didn’t go down. Every of those decisions is often accompanied by a enjoyable puzzle that isn’t too difficult, taking a mechanic that you simply discovered earlier in that stage. 

Just like the dodging, these puzzles drive you to take a break from simply mindlessly capturing enemies, which supplies you an opportunity to take a look at the surroundings and soak within the environment, which actually hits new highs if the soundscape is especially terrifying. Nevertheless, the visuals do fall quick at instances. After they don’t stutter or shift as you go searching, the sport seems improbable. However, sometimes, you’ll see a pile of rats barely hovering above the ground, or timber that aren’t textured correctly, and these moments take you out of the expertise for a second. Fortunately, they’re few and much between. 

Screenshot by way of Supermassive Video games

For what it’s value, I haven’t made my manner by way of any of The Darkish Footage Anthology, although I’ve performed each The Quarry and Till Daybreak. However, simply understanding what these video games are about by way of osmosis, as I used to be enjoying Switchback VR, I seen how a lot respect Supermassive has for the opposite video games within the franchise. It makes me want that extra studios would develop enjoyable takes for their very own video games, to not point out I’ve the hankering to start out Man of Medan.

This additionally implies that you don’t need to know something about these video games to understand Switchback VR, although you’ll most likely get extra of a kick out of all of the places in case you’ve seen them earlier than. For me, it was only a enjoyable shock as I went by way of all of the twists and turns that followers of the collection may need seen coming. I discovered myself grinning from ear to ear, imagining what a model of this recreation would appear to be for The Quarry, so I can solely think about that followers of The Darkish Footage Anthology will get pleasure from this one. 

Sadly, Switchback VR leans towards being a enjoyable expertise fairly than a full-blown recreation, like most VR titles. However, the sheer quantity of horrific enjoyable I skilled makes this a must-play for anybody who owns a PS VR2. In case you are any bit as vulnerable to scares as I’m, perhaps put on a mouthguard.

This evaluate is predicated on the PlayStation VR2 model of the sport. A duplicate was offered for evaluate by Supermassive Video games.

The Darkish Footage: Switchback VRGreat

Switchback VR is a fantastically horrifying journey that may have you ever leaping in your seat and reeling from its horrific sights and sounds, all whereas capturing your manner by way of a superb homage to The Darkish Footage Anthology.

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