Until Dawn: Rush of Blood (PSVR)
Developer: Supermassive Games
Release Date: Out Now
Controllers: DS4 & Move Compatible (Two Move Controllers Recommended)
Did you think that regular, 2D horror video games were scary? Prepare to climb aboard the rollercoaster to heart attack city.
In recent years I’ve become a bit of a wimp when it comes to video game horror. Somehow I managed to squint my way through P.T. and shuffle from locker to locker in Alien: Isolation. I’ve considered these proud achievements and was allowing myself a break from pant-wetting experiences.
And then along comes Until Dawn: Rush of Blood – and in VR no less. How could I, in all good conscience, (especially considering the price to amount of content ratio) not give it a whirl?
The title loosely shares characters with 2015’s ‘Until Dawn’, but the gameplay is entirely different. Rush of Blood is an on-the-rails rollercoaster shooter, and it’s one of the scariest video game experiences I’ve ever had. There are jump scares aplenty, but the developers really nailed the atmosphere of a dilapidated and spooky fairground. As you travel along the track, you are expected to shoot all manner of hideous monsters and enemies, as well as targets and skittles, to rack up a high score.
There are seven roller coasters to enjoy, each one with a different clichéd but fitting theme: a circus, an abandoned mineshaft, an abattoir, etc. They aren’t very imaginative in any original way, but that doesn’t really matter here; they’re fun. The levels vary in length, but you could finish them all in under an hour and a half. There are multiple paths and hidden skittles to find and shoot, as well as one big secret in each level, a single one of which I am yet to find. There are online leaderboards for all seven levels, which will dramatically increase the game’s lifespan, if you’re into chasing high scores.
As you travel through the levels, you come across coloured boxes. Each colour represents a different weapon that you can use until its ammo runs out. The extra guns are what you’d expect: shotgun, magnum, flare gun, etc. The default weapon never runs out of ammo, which is a very welcomed design choice.
To get the best experience, it is recommended you use two move controllers. You will then be able to have one gun in each hand and move them independently of each other. You can use a DS4 controller, but it’s nowhere near as fun. The tracking on the Move controllers is accurate for the majority of the time. Sometimes it seems to get confused but a quick shake of the hand, and it finds its position again – but this issue rarely arises.
It’s a very immersive VR title; you truly believe you’re on a rollercoaster. When climbing a section of inclined track, I felt my body tilting backwards. I had to laugh. It was utterly absurd, but my brain had convinced itself I was actually climbing the track. Then came the fall. I could almost feel the wind on my face and the sense of speed was phenomenal. I zipped along the track, going in a cave with a portion of lowered ceiling; I had to duck, or my head would’ve been ripped off. I had to jerk from side to side as the uneven walls protruded from side to side at different intervals. I certainly didn’t want the sides of my face torn to the bone. And then came… the spiders.
There are slower moments where your cart comes to a halt. These are possibly the most frightening moments of all. Everything seems calm but you know that’s not going to last. Then the lights go out.
It’s definitely a title you’ll want to use headphones for. Not only does this help to create an even more terrifying atmosphere, but it actually helps you discern the direction in which enemies launch themselves towards you. If you want the full experience use headphones.
Rush of Blood is a great PSVR launch title and sets the benchmark for VR horror. Not only are there plenty of jump-scares, but there is also a great, if not horrific, atmosphere to each level. You get a lot for your money, with seven different levels with plenty to discover and alternate paths to take on following playthroughs. If you’re into horror games, it needs to be in your collection. If you don’t like horror games, buy it just to force it upon your friends.
Verdict: 8/10 – Must-buy.