Home Sweet Home is not the words I would use to describe the place your character wakes up in at the start of the latest horror VR title from developers, Yggdrazil Group.
I’m not going to talk too much about the story as that’s part of the fun of games like this, but, let’s just say you wake up in a strange place and you have to find your way home and along the way unravel information about your wife who has gone missing, if it sounds a bit Silent Hill that’s because it is. The game does seem to be heavily influenced by games such as the above mentioned Silent Hill, PT and Resident Evil.
Gameplay sees you being chased round narrow corridors and ominous rooms by an evil spirit intent on killing you. You don’t have weapons, so the idea is you have to hide from her until she vanishes and you can move on. The spirit travels through blood pools so any time you wander into a room and see one of these you are instantly on edge wondering if the ghost is about to pop up, the game is really good at building a sense of dread as you wander around finding various keys or solving puzzles to move on, it’s not all about jump scares but that being said there are plenty of jump scares on offer with my wife actually going as far as to tell me that I had to stop screaming when I was playing.
The soundtrack also adds a good layer of tension as it really matches the game, and little sounds scattered through the game build the tension up really well. I was playing in VR the entire time and the graphics are pretty good, nothing spectacular but on the VR they hold up pretty well with plenty of detail.
Ever since PT a lot of games have tried to capture this formula, even to an extent Resident Evil 7. It’s getting to the point where I feel I have seen it all before with these games and if it was not for the Virtual Reality aspect, I’m not sure I would have enjoyed the title as much since most of my enjoyment came from being immersed in the game’s spooky atmosphere.
Little things about Home Sweet Home annoyed me, for example at one point you’ll hide in a locker with the ghost right behind you and even though there was nowhere else you could have gone the ghost won’t look inside, compare that to something like Outlast where the things chasing you will look for you. It’s things like this that just make you feel like the Home Sweet Home developers could and should have done more to ramp up the fear factor.
Despite getting a little burnt out by games like this I did enjoy Home Sweet Home, it was really creepy and full of jump scares, which is at least the minimum you can ask from a horror game.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*