There was a show from the creator Rod Sterling called The Twilight Zone. And even though the opening words changed a little each season, the world of The Twilight Zone can be best summed up best with the last two seasons which say, “You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension – a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into the Twilight Zone”. There was just something special about this show during the time it came out that even today, you can catch some type of homage to it from other forms of art. But have you ever thought about what it would be like to actually enter another dimension where you think things would be better or even how your life could possibly be better? The thoughts that we may have may in some way, some shape, or form come back in ways that we couldn’t have possibly imagined. So does developer Pocket Money Games and publisher Fun Train bring the atmosphere, homage, and the reality that is The Twilight Zone? Let’s find out with The Twilight Zone VR for Quest 2.
The Twilight Zone VR is an anthology of different stories that contains adventure, horror, puzzles, and shooting as you enter the 5th dimension in The Twilight Zone. So before opening the door into the dimension of not only sight and sound, but of mind, there are a few things that you might want to be aware of. First, find your favorite place to either stand or sit. Second, you will need to have your mind open and pay attention to the stories that are being told. Third, I will not spoil anything for anyone. Fourth, make sure that your headset and touch controllers are fully charged. You don’t want to be stuck in another dimension all because you forgot to do so. And finally, have fun and enjoy what is being presented to you in The Twilight Zone. With all that said, let’s continue…
When you first start, there is just something about the intro that really captures The Twilight Zone essence, that makes it a better experience in Virtual Reality compared to just watching it.
There are three different stories within the game. The first story is Story 1: CHARACTER BUILDING. In this story, you are a video game director for State One Games and you start to learn some things that others may not appreciate as you and the team that works for you are trying to get a game shipped in time even if that means working through the holidays. But then something happens before really getting into the first story that should be used more and that is using your voice. The game asks you to say your name and then read a series of commands. What I would suggest here is to make it as creepy and spooky as possible as it will add to the experience. Then it’s time to experience the terror as you have to try and escape this digital and at times, human-like droid that is trying to destroy you.
You will have to pay attention to the sounds as the thing that you are trying to escape and not let destroy you has something familiar about it and that is when it speaks. It’s using your voice of the commands that you just read out loud that adds to the horror. There are a few things to do to try and avoid detection and that is hiding in lockers and under desks for example. But you can distract it by throwing objects such as cups and cans so it will go towards the noise as you truly learn how workplace cruelty is a dangerous game.
The next story is Story 2: TERROR FIRMA. In this story, the world as you know it has pretty much been destroyed due to the UK Prime Minister allowing a probe to be sent to the sun. You are a survivor of this environmental apocalypse. As you move around you will have to be careful of your air supply and be on the lookout for new filters that are usually found on the skellingtons of those before you. But it’s in this story that you really want to take your time and look around. Yes, there will be enemies and some will take more than one shot to kill. Your primary weapon does have unlimited ammo, while other powerful weapons that you find are limited. But as you move around, you can find easter eggs that not only will unlock different modes with filters to play through but if you are a fan of the series, the easter eggs should put a smile on your face as it really does pay homage to Rod Sterling’s creation as you start to wonder if what you have been searching for is true hope to be had or just a non-reachable dream.
The last story is Story 3:DEADLINE EARTH. In this story, you are a science fiction writer and as you start to realize that an alien invasion is happening where you are trying to find out what is going on with what is presented, and when it comes to it all, asking yourself, was it all worth it or could there truly have been another way?
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. When playing each of the stories, I was looking at the different atmospheres that were used. In story 1 being in the office at night with just the right amount of lighting as you are trying to hide really helps bring you in early. In story 2 and seeing how the world could possibly look after an environmental apocalypse with buildings halfway in the ground to see a broken down ferris wheel, rollercoaster track, and the carousel all being crumbled in parts, having the sun and smog as the background with just the right type of colors that allow you to feel that at one time, this place was full of life that is now gone. And then with story 3 where you go from one instance of everything seeming normal to the next of stepping outside and seeing the alien invasion happen brings out an eerie sense of what could possibly become a reality of the thought of what if. Each story through the colors and lighting help set the setting of the story that was being told. With the sound, the narration adds to the immersion and again helps pay that homage to The Twilight Zone and the vision of Rod Sterling. Then when you add the music that helps balance the immersion of the atmospheric story that you are in.
There are a few things that I do want to address and would love to see. With the recent update, the graphics and sound have been improved. But there just seemed to be just a few things missing that could really help even more with the graphics. For example, in story 2, you have the sun and foggy sky which does look good in VR, but what about adding some of that fog on the ground when walking or when the monsters are moving? It would just add to that surreal moment of no one has been here for a while and what if I am the only one left type of moment to add to the story being told. The next is the running. When running it seems that running only last for a few seconds before you start to slow down. Adding just a little more time might help some of those newer players. Third, I loved how you can use your real voice for the first story, but I wish that carried over more in the other stories. And lastly, I know we only get to experience three stories here, and I do hope this is just the testing grounds as there are so many stories that can and should be told even if in some way, some how, making every episode from the series playable in VR.
The Twilight Zone VR does bring the atmosphere, homage, and reality of the core that is The Twilight Zone. It welcomes you to unlock the door with the key of imagination into a dimension of sound, sight, and mind into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. As in life, we have the settings that we are in and are faced with different challenges. It’s up to each one of us to do the right thing, to believe in ourselves, and each other. Because if we don’t, we can easily be trapped in boundaries that we can spend a lifetime trying to escape from.
The Twilight Zone VR is out now for Quest 2 on the Oculus Store and is also coming to PlayStation VR. A review code was provided.
To learn more about Pocket Money Games, please visit their site. To learn more about Fun Train, 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 am going to see if I missed any easter eggs.