Rise of insanity is coming to switch just in time for Valentine’s day. If, like me, you’re single AF and want to get far away from the mushy mush mush for an hour or so and dive directly into something completely different Perhaps this purchase is on your horizon. Screw self love, this Valentine’s day give yourself the psychological thrill of jump scares.

The game itself isn’t particularly long only a couple of hours max. Originally designed for use with VR, and this is abundantly obvious. If you do have access to another console with VR and you fancy this game I’d go down that route. Otherwise what you get is a walking and reading simulator with a few simple puzzles which may be just what you’re looking for, I mean it’s not awful by any means.

The majority of the game is spent walking from room to room in three different environments, a house, a hospital and a garden. There’s also other dream-like and cell-like environments you spend less time in. There’s a lot of back and forth from one room to another and you only have the choice of walking at one slow pace, for suspension reasons obviously. You pick up letters, drawings, newspaper articles and recordings, and this is how the majority of the story is told. So if you want to get the best experience but aren’t fond of of this type of story telling mechanic then this is a big ol’ avoid for you. Although there’s lots of walking the pacing is pretty good, lots of well timed jump scares running along the normal theme of noises and faces popping up. Often when it’s time to move on you have to go and find the ringing phone. A pretty typical horror trope.

The environments themselves are reasonably well designed, suitably dark and spooky, lots of obvious signposting for where you need to go, the game definitely doesn’t waste your time. Nothing you pick up or read is superfluous it’s all direct story line related. There’s some nice touches, for example a painting you see in a mirror reflection appears blacked eyed and horrifying, but normal when viewed directly, and there are a lot of rubber ducks to collect… Which I have my theories about but that’s a little too spoilery for this post.

Onto the story line, the mystery you are uncovering is what happened to Dr Stephen Dowell’s wife and child, why they were brutally murdered. Dr Stephen Dowell is a clinical psychologist, naturally the game explores mental health and the possibility of Dr Dowell’s patient, Eddie’s, involvement in the murders. This is where the game will divide people. There’s an argument to be made about the games exploration of mental health and the perhaps antiquated way it does it. Some may be thrilled by the game whilst others may be left feeling a little angry. If this is a subject you think may be sensitive to you, I would give this particular horror a wide birth. There’s not really a lot more I can say about the story line that wouldn’t be massive spoilers due to how short this game is. Keep your eyes peeled for my spoiler piece

To conclude, I don’t have any real strong feelings about this game either way, I think it is paced well and designed well, although obvious it’s meant for VR. I think the story line is highly polarising, and at times predictable. The scares aren’t much more than little jump scares, nothing that will stay with you. I all in all just thought this game was okay. Due to the length, the fact its obviously designed for VR and the polarising plot I’ll give it a:

6.0 / 10

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