The combination of technology and genre focus that led to the creation of VR horror games feel like a match made in Hell (for horror buffs, that’s a good thing). After all, horror games are most effective when you feel immersed in their dark, threatening worlds. And there’s no better way to immerse yourself in a game than to strap on a VR headset and just jump right in.
A number of fine horror games are already available, with Resident Evil 7 [Review: 9/10] being the most notable and recent. But maybe you’ve played through them all by now. Maybe you’re itching for another fright-fest you can dive into in VR. Luckily for you, a number of VR horror games are currently in the works. Here are some of the most promising ones you’ll be able to play in the near future.
Visage is a Kickstarted game from SadSquare Studio that wears its inspiration on its sleeve. That inspiration is P.T., Konami’s “playable teaser” for the doomed game Silent Hills. The difference is that you won’t be playing Silent Hills anytime soon (or P.T. for that matter, unless you downloaded it while it was available on the PlayStation Store). Visage, on the other hand, will actually materialize.
Like P.T., Visage promises to make chilling use of horror imagery, jump scares, mystery, and tension as you make your way through an abandoned house that’s been the scene of many gruesome deaths. As you progress, the stories of those who died will bubble up to the surface in all-too-horrifying ways.
The developers promise a single play-through of Visage will last between six and seven hours, with replay value added by way of certain randomized events. Look for Visage on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR sometime in 2017.
Don’t Knock Twice
Developed alongside the horror movie of the same name, Don’t Knock Twice is VR game based on an urban legend about a witch who resides in a decrepit old manor. You play as a mother searching the house for your daughter, who made the mistake of — you guessed it — knocking twice on the front door. As you soon find out, the house contains mysteries you’ll have to solve and horrors you’ll have to face before you can come to your daughter’s aid.
You can play a Don’t Knock Twice demo now on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. The full game is set to launch in April on both headsets, as well as PlayStation VR and non-VR platforms.
It’s hard to know quite what to make of Get Even, an upcoming VR game from Bandai Namco and The Farm 51. That’s because the trailers don’t make a whole lot of sense, and the developers are keeping their lips sealed. What we do know is that you play as Cole Black, a man apparently trapped in a run-down asylum, who has to save a teenage girl with a bomb strapped to her chest.
The terrifying things you see as you try to figure out what’s going on may or may not actually be happening. All you really know is that you have a camera and an array of weaponry on hand to ward back the forces of evil. Or do you?
Whether the developers can turn this mind-bending premise into a killer VR game remains to be seen, but it’s worth keeping an eye on. Look for Get Even around May 26, 2017 for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR.
Paranormal Activity: The Lost Soul
If you consider yourself a horror fan, you’re probably familiar with the Paranormal Activity movies. This game is based in that universe, which is to say that it brings demons into everyday settings. When we tried it last, we saw someone literally throw off their headset it was so scary.
Like many other upcoming horror titles, Paranormal Activity puts you in a spooky abandoned house and has you wander around, trying to figure out what’s going on. Meanwhile, a pall of terror and tension presses down on you as strange things begin to happen. Doors slam, lights flicker, bloody letters spelling out “Lucifer” appear on the wall. Basically, things start to get weird.
Paranormal Activity: The Lost Soul will land in Early Access on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive on March 14, 2017, with a final version landing a little later on those headsets as well as PlayStation VR.
We’re used to controlling VR games using gamepads, motion controllers, and head movement. Stifled adds another method: sound. The game world is completely black until you either make noise into your microphone, or your character makes noise in the game. When that happens, your surroundings materialize thanks to echolocation. In other words, you experience the world like a bat. We were enamored with how it comes together when we went hands-on with the demo.
There’s a catch, though. You’re not alone in the darkness, and when you make sounds, enemies can hear you, too. It seems like a creative and unique setup for an intense horror experience. Watch the video to see it in action, and look for Stifled on HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and PlayStation VR (along with non-VR platforms) sometime in 2017.
If you have an Oculus Rift and an appreciation for Hollywood talent in your horror games, Wilson’s Heart deserves a spot on your radar. This black-and-white psychological thriller stars Rosario Dawson, Alfred Molina, and Peter Weller (yes, RoboCop himself) as characters in a mysterious hospital in the 1940s.
You play as Robert Wilson, a man who wakes up to discover his heart has been replaced by some kind of strange gadget. Your job is to make your way through a hospital filled with era-appropriate horrors to retrieve your vital organ. Wilson’s Heart is slated to release on Oculus Rift with Touch in 2017.
Haunted houses and abandoned asylums are scary and all, but few places on earth are more perilous than the bottom of the ocean. That’s where you find yourself in Narcosis, a game about an industrial diver who’s stranded on the seafloor, with nothing but a few tools, a flashlight, and a limited supply of oxygen. The goal is to find a way to the surface before you die — or go insane.
The idea behind Narcosis was to create a survival horror game using no supernatural elements. The enemies you encounter are actual deep-sea creatures, and the dangers you face are all too real for divers. Narcosis is scheduled to launch on Oculus Rift sometime this year, and other platforms later.