Think about your favorite comic book and the story it’s trying to tell. Is it one of the superheroes trying to protect their city? Maybe it’s one of just classic fun and continuing with their adventure. Perhaps, it could be of science fiction with aliens from outer space or maybe even a horror one and saw the terror that was written. They are all good in their own right. But have you ever read a comic and somehow the words that are printed seem to just come to life almost like pulling you into the story? Sometimes being part of the story makes for better interaction. So does Developer Drifter show us what it’s like to experience being in a comic book as your fate starts to unfold right before your eyes? Yes…yes they do. Let’s find out more with Lies Beneath for PCVR.
Now, before we really get into Lies Beneath, I am going say this right now, that I will not ruin this with any spoilers which is why I decided to only provide my gameplay of the first few chapters. With that said, let’s continue…
In Lies Beneath, you play as Mae, a college student from the small town of Slumber Alaska. But the town that you grew up in is not the same way as you remember it. For this town, your town now has the townsfolk who are more terrifying and creatures that are infecting Slumber. So you will have to run, use weapons such as guns as well as melee and ranged weapons, and solve puzzles around you in order to uncover the secrets of Slumber and possibly from your past.
I want to say that when I first started Lies Beneath, I was welcomed with different options before getting into the tutorial. Options from turning to the volume to even at a point asking me if I was sure I wanted to keep them. I liked the fact that the test this for a brief moment before proceeding option was used as the Developers don’t want you to have to stop and go back and get out of the world that Lies Beneath embraces you in. And before actually getting into the game, the presentation of how you will move within the world is really well done. Walking around and seeing the bigger Oculus Touch controllers as part of the tutorial just gave the sense of exclusivity that is done right.
Another thing I want to point out is the guidance for movement. There are no arrows and while there are some paths to take, using a lighter to help guide the way is a really good move. It adds to the sense of this horror world and when things can go dark, is when you will appreciate not only the light from the outside but just the sense that holding the lighter just somehow will make everything alright.
But the thing that makes Lies Beneath really stand out is the world that opens up and invites you in. From the beginning, you are in this horror of a comic book world. Words just like you would see in a comic book help play out the story into the town of Slumber as well as your past. When you find the gun, you have to remember, that bullets are limited, so you do have to make sure every shot counts. Luckily, there are other weapons that can be used as well as objects such as gas can that you can throw and then shoot to help kill the enemies, but when you want to save some bullets, melee weapons, such as the ax, come into play as you can knock down boards to get into doors or throw as a last resort. But extra bonus points for when you do die, you receive skeleton hands.
When you do take damage you start to see the redness start to become more a focal point and sometimes when you have an enemy or enemies chasing you, you will need to run in hopes that you can escape and find a lantern or a place to light a fire, so you are able to save and hopefully find some food nearby that you can eat to help replenish your health. But I will say that when you are being chased, it almost feels like if you were being in a haunted house and running to find an exit. And there were times I wanted to look behind me as I was getting chased and I couldn’t because I know what was going to happen. Just make sure you are not sprinting all the time as you will have to slow down for a few almost like in real life just to get that second wind…and you will need all the second and third and fourth winds you can get. But when you do find that lantern that you can light or place that you can light a fire, take a moment as this is your time to gather your thoughts, explore the area around you before heading onward to the next chapter and getting into the boss battles you may not be ready for. Besides knowing where the enemies may be, you will have puzzles that will need to be solved in order for you to proceed which some did make me complete in order to get to an area that I was already in.
There are a couple of things that I hope get addressed. For one, there were a few and I mean a few times that when I would go and swing my weapon at an enemy, I thought I made the contact but didn’t. This could be me not being as close as I should for that particular enemy, but I felt that I was as close as I have been with other enemies to hit them. I just had to get really close to making that contact. And again, this was not all the time on all enemies, just a few and maybe could be updated. The only other thing that I hope gets added is additional stories using this comic book format.
The atmospheric of the creepiness of the fog and darkness, the monsters, and the…oh wait, not going to give everything away, and you add all that with the surroundings with the art style and colors that are used and you combine that with the eerie sounds that are all around you that allow for jump scares, presents a well-rounded survival horror experience. Lies Beneath takes the comic format and elevates it to the next level while inviting you in and making the story unfold around you and should not be missed.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I need to see if I going back in to this comic book world.