Horror can mean different things depending on what is entailed. It can mean playing on your innocence or your emotions. It can be the internal struggle that one is going through just to keep the sanity. Depending on who you ask, you might receive a different answer. But has Developer Red Limb Studio found a way to bring this all together in Virtual Reality? Let’s find out with Rise of Insanity for the PlayStation VR.
Before we begin, I will say that I do appreciate warnings so you know what you are getting yourself into. The warnings are there for a reason, so you should probably pay close attention and abide by so said warning before continuing, because neither the authors, The PlayStation Brahs, nor myself, do not take any responsibility for any problems before, during or after playing Rise of Insanity. Also, I will be very careful and not spoil too much as you may want to just experience this for yourself. Now that we have that underway, make sure your DualShock 4 controller is charged and let’s continue on.
Being as Rise of Insanity is a horror game of sorts where you play as Psychologist Dr. Stephen Dowellas who you come to find out that you are trying to learn more about your patient who suffers from different mental disorders, so there is a nice mixture of horror and psychological horror to keep you intrigued along the way as you try to learn what really happened to your wife and child.
Along the way, you will come across interactions that will reveal audio recordings and newspaper clippings that will help piece some of a story together. When it comes to horror, there is an important part that needs to be played and that is prying on your fears. What you may not be aware of is that Rise of Insanity came out first in non-VR and added then received the special VR treatment. So yes, you can play Rise of Insanity in non-VR if you wish, but to fully experience the Developer’s vision, this does need to be experienced in VR and I will say that at the beginning, the jump scares will get you in a way that is almost surprising. What I mean by that is for those that do not easily get scared, play this in VR and at certain moments when the music is played just right and you are expecting it only to have it hit you at the right moment is truly the reason horror and VR can mix so well.
As you progress learning what possibly has happened, you start to wonder if what you are witnessing is something you encountered or maybe there is something more internal going on than first presented. Just when you think you may have an idea, that’s when you hear it, the phone that will give even more detail to the store. It’s just at times hearing that certain voice that helped compliment the scene, did give off an eerie suspicion at times that I was not sure if something was about to jump out or not and sometimes that can be a very good thing.
If there is anything more I would see added is that there would have been more locations to explore. Maybe going back in time even more before the actions happened to get even more of an in-depth look into the lives of the characters. Don’t get me wrong, there is some detail of the past, but what seeing what caused these turn of events is something that would be interesting to witness.
Let’s talk about the graphics. Some may feel that the graphics may not be up to a certain level, but honestly, keep in mind the setting. This is 1970’s America and I got the feeling as I was wandering around the hospital and even the house and if you can feel like the time period that is set, that says something. There was a room with the hospital that had an eye chart that I was wanting to see how well it was with testing the vision and I closed one eye and was able to make out not only the eye chart but many other things that were written. Yes, some areas are darker than others, but I think it just lauds to the environment and keeps in mind that VR was added later and not from the initial release. There is just something that Red Limb Studio did here that brought out the atmosphere that I really appreciated.
For those that may not feel that the graphics are up to that certain bar, then the sound does help compliment and adds to the uneasy situations quite nicely when it needs to. Being able to hear the telephone in the distance or a voice that should be familiar to you later on or even the pure silence that adds to the anxiety of the edginess really rides that psychological coattail of surprises of the experience.
Like I mentioned earlier, I was not going to spoil and I have pretty much stuck to that. The small clips that I have included are just a taste of what you can expect with Rise to Insanity along with many things that you will not expect. But as we start getting into the Fall and Halloween coming next month, Rise of Insanity is an experience that will help you get in that frightful mood.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I think I may have missed a collectible that I need to go find.