Category Archives: PlayStation VR

Layers of Fear VR Review – PlayStation VR

I played Layers of Fear when it debuted back in 2016 on PC.  Honestly, I don’t remember playing it and Steam says I only have .7 hours logged so it didn’t hold my attention for long, but now the game has arrived on VR.  Actually, it already hit Steam VR in 2019, but Bloober Team’s adventure horror has finally made it to PSVR, and this time I managed to stick it out to the end; at least one of the three possible endings.  Layers of Fear VR lies somewhere in that shadowy area of a mediocre adventure game that somehow gets just a bit better when played in VR, only in the case of PSVR the visual quality is so low it actually detracts from any benefits VR might bestow upon it.  I also find it very consumer unfriendly to be selling the VR and non-VR versions separately for $20 each.  There should be at least some sort of discount if we are expected to double-dip.

Layers of Fear VR quickly falls in line with the standard first-person, adventure-thriller that consists of hours of exploration, lots of collectibles, plenty of reading, a few puzzles, and plenty of jump-scares.  You know the kind; paintings flying off the wall, a knife flying across the kitchen and sticking in the door, ceiling fans falling from above, an empty wheelchair squeaking across a room.  You’ll be playing the game as a mad painter who is trying to create a painting of his dead wife.  Your first objective is to find the key to your art studio and once there this will serve as your base for multiple excursions into the house to find skin, blood, bone, a finger, an eyeball; you know…all your basic art supplies.

Inner voices, random writing on the walls, haunted toys, and plenty of creepy dolls all wait to send the occasional shiver down your spine.  The game uses an assorted mix of visual and audio tactics as well as some creative pacing to build up tension then hit you when you least expect it.  One of the game’s best tactics that lends itself greatly to VR is that your surroundings will change with your view, so merely spinning around in VR can cause your reality to change.  This also happens with doors that don’t always lead back to where you came from…almost never in fact.  Don’t even think about mapping the floorplan.  This is more of an on-rails haunted house, and you’re along for the ride with a few pauses for reading documents for backstory and solving puzzles that are more desperation than logic.

The game loop basically has you entering a room and all the doors will lock until you discover the trigger that lets you continue.  This usually involves finding a certain item, lighting some candles, maybe playing a record, tinkering on a piano, etc.  Sometimes doors are actually locked and require a key.  Inventory is limited to these one-off items and requires no management on your part.  There can be quite a bit of walking between rooms, down passages or through other rooms, all of which are filled with interactive objects, drawers, cabinets, chests, almost all of which are empty of anything useful.  I don’t mind searching everything as long as there is the occasional reward for my effort, but after searching dozens of empty storage spaces you start to give up, and that’s when they put the required key in the bottom drawer of a nightstand.

As far as presentation Layers of Fear VR definitely benefits from the added immersion of VR and the ability to look around with just a turn of your head.  There was one instance where writing on the wall said “Don’t look behind you.”  In most games this would mean moving your mouse or analog stick, but having to turn your actual head and see what’s there…well, that is just terrifying.  Sadly, for all the added immersion the PSVR is ill-equipped to deliver an enjoyable experience.  Even on my PS4 Pro the resolution is so much lower than the non-VR version and there is a ton shimmering and jagged edges.  The game is dark by nature which only enhances the screen door effect.  I felt like I was playing the game with a stocking over my face – there is just this constant layer of grain you have to look through to see the actual image.  The audio is fantastic with a great score, quality voice acting and plenty of terrifying sound bites.  I did have to question why I was hearing howling wind when I was three floors down into a sub-basement.

Layers of Fear VR offers several comfort settings.  By default the game uses step-turning and a vignette aperture to help framerate and avoid motion sickness.  These are very distracting and I turned them off immediately, but that is up to you and your stomach.  Perhaps the biggest detriment to the gameplay is the mandatory use of the Move controllers.  I seriously don’t know why they couldn’t have used the DualShock; it worked fine for Resident Evil Biohazard in VR.  Instead you are forced to learn these ridiculous controls for moving, turning, strafing, and backing up; all of which use those tiny buttons that feel very unnatural.  Even after three hours I will still mixing up crouch and reverse and randomly hitting the button tutorial page.  At least you can toggle your movement to sync with your view, so I ended up steering with my head more than these insidious controls.

Layers of Fear VR is fairly short and you can knock out at least one of the three endings in four hours or less.  The other endings require various strategies executed throughout the entire game and will require complete restarts to earn those trophies.  Personally, I really disliked this game, not because it’s a bad game but because I was playing it on perhaps the worst platform available.  The janky graphics and insufferable controls were first and foremost in my mind and only occasional slipped away during an immersive puzzle or super-scary moment.  If this were a $5 upgrade for owners of the original game or at least bundled with the non-VR version I would be more inclined to recommend, but as it stands, Layers of Fear VR is a short experience with disappointing graphics and impossible controls that can wait for a sale or maybe a PS Plus freebie.  Bloober Team does great horror games but this isn’t one of them.

‘Star Wars Pinball VR’ Out Now (Oculus, Steam VR, PSVR)

Zen Studios has announced that Star Wars™ Pinball virtual tables are now playable in VR for the very first time. Star Wars™ Pinball VR launches today on Oculus Quest 2, Oculus Quest, Steam VR, and PlayStation® VR, delivering an exciting mix of new and classic remastered content from across the Star Wars galaxy, exclusive features and more.

Star Wars Pinball VR jumps out of hyperspace featuring eight amazing tables, including two never before released: The Mandalorian and Star Wars Classic Collectibles. The other six tables are remastered fan-favorites: Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars Rebels, and Masters of the Force.

Beyond the incredible realism added by VR, Star Wars Pinball VR enhances the core Star Wars Pinball experience with new features exclusive to this release:

  • The “Fan Cave”: The new home for both your pinball table and the customizable array of Star Wars digital lightsabers, blasters, helmets and more you’ll earn while playing. Place a virtual action figure on the pinball table and the room comes to life – not only with a new table to play, but with life-sized characters and vehicles joining you on either side.
  • Total Immersion Mode: Stand side-by-side with some of your favorite characters and experience everything at table level.
  • Full 360-Degree Mini-Games: Dive into iconic Star Wars set pieces like the speeder bike chase on Endor, the Bespin carbon-freezing chamber duel and others.

In addition, players will have access to classic Star Wars Pinball features like Career mode, Force powers, competitive gameplay, haptic controller feedback, your own personal cantina jukebox and more.

For more on Star Wars Pinball VR, visit StarWarsPinball.com.

Layers of Fear VR Launches for PlayStation VR

Starting today, Bloober Team’s psychological and psychedelic horror hit, Layers of Fear VR, is available for PlayStation VR. This is another step in the company’s strategy to make its best psychological horror games available to the widest VR audience possible.

Layers of Fear VR is based on the critically-acclaimed 2016 horror hit and designed to immerse players into the depths of madness as they take control of a painter struggling to finish his Magnum Opus. Uncover visions, fears, and horrors that entwine the painter while exploring the depths of an ever-changing Victorian mansion filled with macabre artwork, all brought to life in a truly immersive and frightening virtual reality adventure thanks to PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation VR headset.

Redesigned with virtual reality in mind for greater interactivity and immersion, Layers of Fear VR is a first-person horror game built on a rich, dark story. Explore an environment overflowing with macabre artwork and unravel secrets through twisted puzzles, while the psychological horrors buried deep within the game will leave you questioning your own eyes and mind. Dare you help paint a true masterpiece of fear? Put on your headset and discover what awaits…

“When we first announced Layers of Fear VR, many of our fans contacted us asking for a PSVR version. Today we can tell that their voices have been heard” – says Piotr Babieno, Bloober Team CEO. “It’s also all a part of our wider strategy. For the last couple of years, we’ve been bringing the best of our horror games to additional platforms, including VR headsets, so more players can feel chills on their spines regardless of what hardware they own. This is a mindset we plan to maintain going forward.”

Layers of Fear VR key features:

PSYCHEDELIC VR HORROR

  • Explore the depths of madness within the painter’s mind
  • Terrifying twists and turns will leave you uncertain of what is real
  • Sense of insanity as each turn of the camera may completely change the look of your surroundings

STORY-FOCUSED EXPLORATION

  • Experience a haunting story that reveals details of the painter’s dark and tragic past
  • Uncover new secrets and details through immersive VR
  • Search the Victorian mansion, follow the dark visions and see the story and secrets unfold

VICTORIAN VIRTUAL REALITY

  • Explore a game world inspired by 19th century masterpiece paintings, architecture and décor
  • Numerous pieces of original art and music flesh out the story and environment
  • Explore an ever-changing Victorian-era mansion that evokes beauty, fear and suspense

Developed by Incuvo and published by Bloober Team, Layers of Fear PSVR is available now for $19.99.

Check also Layers of Fear VR for Oculus Rift / Oculus Rift S and HTC Vive.

InnerspaceVR’s Mystical VR Adventure Game Maskmaker Now Available

Maskmaker, a magical VR adventure game from award-winning VR studio InnerspaceVR and publisher MWM Interactive, is now available worldwide. Featuring spell-binding VR puzzles and beautiful, scenic environments, Maskmaker takes players on an otherworldly adventure to a mystical realm, where they take on the role of a Maskmaker’s apprentice and learn the art of crafting masks while unraveling the mystery of the Maskmaker along the way. Maskmaker is available for purchase on the Oculus Rift and Quest (via Link cable) platforms, PlayStation VR, HTC Vive and PC VR via SteamVR.

Maskmaker is a game that has been especially close to me as I’ve always been fascinated with the potential that masks could have in VR,” said Balthazar Auxietre, creative director and co-founder, InnerspaceVR. “Our team, alongside our wonderful partners at MWMi, set out to create a rich and immersive experience that transports players to an enchanting world, and we hope that players find a feeling of freedom through their journey in the mask realm while discovering an experience as unique as the masks they will create.”

In Maskmaker, players will encounter Prospero, the powerful leader of the mask realm, who invites them into his workshop to become his new apprentice. As players learn how to craft a variety of masks, they will soon discover that their newfound ability allows them to transport to different biomes and possess the various guardians within the each biome found throughout the mask realm. Players will need to explore each biome to collect rare resources in order to create each mask, solve puzzles and develop their crafting skills to prove they are worthy of being a Maskmaker. From mask-to-mask and puzzle-to-puzzle, players will make their way through the mask realm to seek Prospero and ultimately unravel the truth behind this identity.

For a behind-the-scenes look into the development of Maskmaker, InnerspaceVR and MWMi have released a two-part documentary, which can be viewed here.

“InnerspaceVR has this ability to tell powerful stories through mesmerizing VR experiences, and it has been a rewarding experience working with them to publish Maskmaker,” said Ethan Stearns, executive vice president of MWM Interactive. “Virtual reality is such a special art form, and Maskmaker is a wonderful example of how games can tell a meaningful story in a rich gaming experience. We can’t wait for players to jump into the mask realm and uncover the mysteries awaiting them.” 

Maskmaker is now available for digital purchase on the Oculus Rift and Quest (via Link cable) platforms, PlayStation VR, HTC Vive and PC VR via SteamVR for $19.99 USD. The game is also available with full audio in English and French languages, as well as interface and subtitles in English, French and German. 

Maskmaker was created with the support of Creative Europe, MEDIA programme of the European Union and with the support of the Ile-de-France region.  

Cosmic VR Platformer STRAYLIGHT Swings Onto Quest, Index, PSVR, and More Q3 2021

STRAYLIGHT, the first-person cosmic VR platformer built for comfort and speed, jettisons into its full 1.0 release in Q3 2021 for Oculus Quest and Quest 2, PlayStation VR, Valve Index, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift. The full release will feature dozens of levels, several leaderboards, achievements, and more not seen in Early Access.

Across a beautiful, deadly universe, thousands of blue stars dot the void. With the power of the Straylight, hook onto these stars and swing through abstract, cosmic environments, soaring from point to point and slinging to new heights. Utilizing the Fling Engine, a propulsion system designed for comfortable movement in VR, take flight through dozens of stunning galaxies and brave fatal obstacles.

Empowering and thrilling in equal measure, STRAYLIGHT’s movement controls make navigating fully 3D space a breeze. From each controller emits a beam—the Straylight. With these beams, latch onto the stars strewn about the cosmos and propel forward, hooking to new points with each pull of the hand. Without solid ground and other disorienting reference points, race through courses comfortably, gaining speed and inertia by swinging amongst the stars.

Easy to pick up but challenging to master, STRAYLIGHT finds inspiration in the white-knuckle, pixel-perfect platformers of yesteryear. Master the Straylight to swing under, orbit around, and launch above an onslaught of galactic debris. Meteorite fragments, spinning rings, momentum-halting stars, and more spell certain doom, but instant death pairs with instant respawns for an accessible, yet truly hardcore, experience.

In the full 1.0 release, savants of the Straylight can challenge a bevy of new content. Hidden collectible cubes unlock hard mode galaxies demanding high-speed perfection. Attempt B-side twists with mind-bending platforming puzzles. Chase a full set of Achievements through the dangerous cosmos and reach for the top of leaderboards charting overall time, number of grapples, and more. Fly free with myriad quality of life updates, updated assets, and new voiceovers not present in Early Access.

But no matter the skill level, a wholly immersive space flight journey awaits. Acclaimed pianist and video game arrangement artist 88bit envelops the soundscape in meditative synthwave, welcoming VR first-timers and veterans alike to a galactic playground voted “Best in Show” and “People’s Choice: Best Digital” at Ohayocon 2020.

“We want players to find an incredible feeling of flow in STRAYLIGHT, which starts by solving how to do totally comfortable movement in VR,” said Daniel Seery, co-founder of developer Dr Bloc. “VR is about total immersion, and the Straylight unlocks it, allowing as many as possible to feel the thrill of propelling through space and attempt the hardcore platforming challenges waiting among the stars.”

STRAYLIGHT will launch on Oculus Quest and Quest 2, PlayStation VR, Valve Index, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift in Q3 2021 for $19.99, and is available now in Steam Early Access and via free demo. For more information on the game, beam up to the Dr Bloc website, or find the team on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and YouTube.

Bloober Team’s Victorian Horror Hit Spreads to Sony’s Virtual Reality

Bloober Team has announced today that its psychological horror hit, Layers of Fear VR, is coming to PlayStation VR on April 29th, 2021. This is a continuation of the company’s strategy to bring its quality horror games to popular Virtual Reality platforms.

Based on the critically acclaimed 2016 title, Layers of Fear VR immerses players into the depths of madness as they take control of a painter aiming to finish his Magnum Opus. Uncover visions, fears, and horrors that entwine the painter while exploring the depths of an ever-changing Victorian mansion filled with macabre artwork, all brought to life in a truly immersive and frightening virtual reality adventure thanks to PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation VR headset.

Redesigned with virtual reality in mind for greater interactivity and immersion, Layers of Fear VR is a first-person horror game built on a rich, dark story. Explore an environment overflowing with macabre artwork and unravel secrets through twisted puzzles, while the psychological horrors buried deep within the game will leave you questioning your own eyes and mind. Dare you help paint a true masterpiece of fear? Put on your headset and discover what awaits…

Developed by Incuvo and published by Bloober Team, Layers of Fear PSVR will be available for $19.99.

Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual! Coming to VR this June

HappyGiant, the award-winning AR and VR game developer, announced today it has signed with a new publishing partner, Big Sugar, for its latest game Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual!. Additionally, the developer revealed which VR platforms the virtual reality adventure will be available on, leading with the Oculus Quest platform, this June for $29.99 USD. Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual! will then follow later this year with versions for SteamVR and Viveport Infinity, and then be released on PlayStationVR (PSVR) in early 2022.

Gameplay Highlights

  • Experience the two-fisted japes and tomfoolery of internationally beloved icons Sam & Max in mind-melting virtual reality!
  • Push yourself to be the best of the best of the middling, as a dog and a naked rabbity thing harangue and cajole you through a bewildering assortment of Freelance Police Academy training challenges.
  • Discover the horrible and socially relevant secrets lurking behind, under, and within Cap’n Aquabear’s rotting theme park!
  • Give evil scientists and demonic trespassers their just desserts… with sprinkles!
  • Immersion so real you can feel Sam’s breath on your neck!

“We’re thrilled to finally announce platforms for Sam & Max: This Time’s It’s Virtual!”, said Mike Levine, HappyGiant CEO. “We’ve created something insanely weird and fun. It’s breaking new ground for VR, while staying true to the Sam & Max / LucasArts vibe”, added Levine. “The folks at Big Sugar have been phenomenal supporting us and helping us bring the game to as many platforms as possible.”

Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual! is the pair’s first original game in over a decade, as well as their inaugural foray into VR. It blends the banter and classic crime-solving adventure elements for which the duo is known with specialized Freelance Police training exercises, resulting in a fresh, eclectic experience that is unique to the medium.

Even multimedia evil-slappers like Sam & Max could use a hand, and this time they’re using the incomprehensible magic of virtual reality to invite the player into their off-kilter world for a furious day of monster-slaying, obstacle courses, responsibly discharged firearms, and, of course, saving the entire freaking world.

“HappyGiant has assembled an all-star team of LucasArts veterans, and created a game dripping with nostalgia, as well as being on the cutting edge of VR Gaming”, said Nick Alfieri, CEO of Big Sugar. “Whether you are an old school Sam & Max fan, or new to the franchise, this game has something for everyone.”

HappyGiant’s team includes Steve Purcell, the creator of Sam & Max, who is consulting on the game design, art, and story. In addition, other team members include renowned concept artist Peter Chan and writer/designer Mike Stemmle, both of whom held lead roles on LucasArts 1992’s Hit the Road. Julian Kwasneski and Jared Emerson-Johnson of Bay Area Sound, who worked on the Telltale series, are also on board. David Nowlin and Dave Boat are returning to voice Sam and Max.

DOOM 3 VR Edition Available Now

DOOM 3: VR Edition is available today for PlayStation VR. Developed by Archiact in collaboration with id Software, DOOM 3: VR Edition transforms the action-horror shooter into a white-knuckle VR experience.

Complete and Enhanced DOOM 3 Experience

Featuring both DOOM 3 and its expansions – Resurrection of Evil and The Lost Mission – DOOM 3: VR Edition retools id Software’s classic shooter for PSVR technology. Uncover the truth behind the UAC’s dark experiments, fight unholy creatures in terrifying environments and wield an arsenal of iconic weaponry with new textures, shaders and sound effects as you survive against the forces of Hell across over 15 hours of heart-stopping action.

Refined for VR

Immerse yourself deeper in the terror thanks to all-new enhancements for virtual reality, including head tracking to peer around corners, angling shots with your flashlight-mounted weapons, 180-degree quick-turn functionality to catch sneaking demons in their tracks and a wrist-mounted display to track your health, armor and ammo.

AIM Controller Support

Take the powerful demon-killing arsenal into your own hands with full AIM controller support. Use the AIM controller’s precision to land the perfect headshot, easily check corners or blind fire from cover, and dodge attacks without pulling your finger off the trigger.

DOOM 3: VR Edition Announced for PSVR systems

Prepare to experience demon slaying a whole new way with DOOM 3: VR Edition, arriving March 29 for PlayStation VR. Step into the armored boots of The DOOM Marine as you navigate the blood-soaked corridors of a UAC facility invaded by demonic forces.

Complete and Enhanced DOOM 3 Experience

Featuring both DOOM 3 and its expansions – Resurrection of Evil and The Lost Mission – DOOM 3: VR edition retools id Software’s horror-action classic for PSVR technology. Uncover the truth behind the UAC’s dark experiments, fight unholy creatures in terrifying environments and wield an arsenal of iconic weaponry with new textures, shaders and sound effects as you survive against the forces of Hell across over 15 hours of heart-stopping action.

Refined for VR

Immerse yourself deeper in the terror thanks to all-new enhancements for virtual reality, including head tracking to peer around corners, angling shots with your flashlight-mounted weapons, 180-degree quick-turn functionality to catch sneaking demons in their tracks and a wrist-mounted display to track your health, armor and ammo. Combined with the original DOOM 3’s critically acclaimed action-horror gameplay, virtual reality fans are in for one Hell of an experience with DOOM 3: VR Edition.