MADiSON VR – The Review

June 23, 2024 ·

The camera can be a powerful tool. One that can take pictures to give us some of our fondest memories. A way to help tell the story is simply by seeing the image produced with a click of a button. But what if a picture could reveal more than possible from something not seen originally by the human eyes? Anything is possible and, if used in the right setting, could help with not only your survival but your sanity as well. So does the developer, BLOODIOUS GAMES along with the publisher, Perp Games, show us what it’s like to explore our horizons in a new reality while trying to come out alive? Let’s find out with MADiSON VR for the PlayStation VR2.

MADiSON  VR is a first-person, psychological horror game where you try to solve puzzles and figure out what is going on as you are forced to continue a ritual that was started decades ago in this immersive, yet, terrifying experience. So before you go in and start pointing and shooting your way around, there are a few things that you should be aware of. First, get your favorite place to sit. Get comfortable. Make sure it’s a place where, if you jump, you will not damage those around you or yourself. Second, grab your favorite headset. You want to hear the surrounding sounds in the best way possible. Third, make sure your Sense controllers are fully charged. You don’t want to be moving along only to be stuck with whatever may be waiting for you all because you forgot to charge them, now do you? The fourth thing I want to emphasize is that I have no desire to ruin the surprise for anyone because I firmly believe that each person should have the chance to experience it themselves. Finally, have some fun. With all that said…let’s continue…

In MADiSON VR, you play as a boy named Luca. What should be a normal family home environment, turns out quite different. When you first start, you wake up in a dark room. It would be ok, except for the hearing of the banging and cries from your father who blames you for what has happened. It’s when you look at the door and your hands that you notice the blood. This starts to raise more questions as you are trying to figure out what is going on. But the room itself is more of an escape room scenario as you have to try and figure out how to get out. This will result from drawers that can be open to items that can be read and found. So it’s a matter of looking anywhere and everywhere to find the answer to get out.

When you get out of that family room and start to experience other parts of the house, it makes you wish you would have just stayed in the family room and had a good old therapy session with your father to at least make things seem better. Once you have the Polaroid camera in your hands, you begin to realize that it is not just a device for capturing images, but rather a multifunctional tool that can be essential for survival.

If you are thinking what else can the camera do, well, it can help reveal puzzle clues, show hidden messages, and other things. I will say, the flash on the camera will come in more handy than you think, especially when things are dark. Just remember to shake the picture a few times to reveal what it caught. The Sense controller haptic triggers and PlayStation VR2 enhance the experience of taking pictures and you must feel them to fully appreciate it. The environment, including bumps and sounds, plays a crucial role in telling the story. Throughout your adventure, you will encounter televisions and cassette tapes that provide additional audio cues to help you understand what is happening around you and to you.

Going through MADiSON VR is not a simple walk from point A to point B. There will be times when you feel like you cannot get out and you just might have to retrace your steps. Keep in mind that you can only hold a certain amount of items and if you want to hold more items, you will need to store them. However, if you store the wrong item and then reach a point where you need it, you may become a little frustrated at times. Some of your items can never be discarded or stored such as your camera or notebook. So backtracking again can become frustrating when things get turned around behind your back. Again, it’s the environment that plays a big part here, but at the same time, it does add some extra time when playing that you may not have been expecting. As you acquire the necessary items and advance in the story, the pace of things begins to accelerate. You’ll encounter new puzzles that will challenge you and explore areas that you wish were better illuminated. Luca doesn’t run that fast and at times you wish that he would, but one thing is for sure, the consistency with the horror of your surroundings that moves along with you.

Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. The graphics, when being immersed within the PlayStation VR2, are very good. From the type of lighting that is used in different areas from candlelight to just flashes of light in very dark ones, they play with your eyes in such a way that should be pleasant for everyone, that is, if you try not to close them while getting scared. The atmosphere of horror visuals is played throughout and when you add the sound that balanced out and increased when it needed to, there was something about the timing with the jump scares and just the different creaks and bangs that helped add to the mood and nerves of its setting.

There are a few things that I would love to see added. For one, the ability for Luca to run faster. There are times that one may just want to escape a lot faster than needed and I get that he may have things going on, but the additional speed would be greatly appreciated at times. The second is the inventory system. I understand being able to only hold a certain amount of items but maybe adding a few more storage places would be beneficial. And finally, more MADiSON. It would be interesting to play a prequel where players could as MADiSON that leads up to a certain point in her life as well as maybe a different setting for a sequel if there was going to be one.

MADiSON VR isn’t afraid to stop you in your tracks, put you in your place, and will make you face the horror. It adds the ability to scare when it needs to while just pulling the strings at the right pace to make you want more while playing it in VR. It takes what works and executes it beautifully. Sometimes in our lives, we forget to take time to slow down and appreciate our surroundings and how incredibly beneficial it can be as it allows us to reconnect with the present moment, notice the surrounding beauty, and find moments of peace amidst our busy lives.

MADiSON VR is out now digitally on PlayStation VR2 on the PlayStation Store and Steam VR and the physical “Cursed Edition” is out a retailer near you or on the Perp Games Store. A review code was provided.

To learn more about BLOODIOUS GAMES, please visit their sitelike them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.

To learn more about Perp Games, please visit their site, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, follow them on Instagram, and subscribe to their YouTube channel.

In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I need to try to collect a few of the collectibles that I may have missed.

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