01 Dec 15
A Scary VR Experience Without Jumpscares
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I am not a huge fan of scary games. I’ve played some horror games including the Resident Evil or Silent Hill series but never found much enjoyment from jump scare games like Dead Space or Five Nights at Freddie’s. If I know that a game centers around jump scaring the player I try to steer clear of it, nothing against people who enjoy those types of games, its just my personal preference.
With Virtual Reality I’d claim that no genre beyond horror shows how much significance VR has in rejuvenating some genres that have gone stale over the years. When playing a scary virtual reality game or experience the sights, sounds and head mounted display really helps gets you immersed in the game play and world. The “problem” with traditional horror experiences be it books, films or games is the screen separating the user from the horror. If things get too scary you can easily turn the screen off or look away. But now enters in Virtual Reality, where there is no screen, you yourself are now part of the horror.
The Caretaker was recently released on the Oculus Share website and achieves a great sense of horror with no jump scares or NPCs. The Caretaker is a Scary VR Experience inspired by the 1980 horror film, The Shining, in which a writer starts going insane and attempts to murder his family after an extended stay at an isolated & haunted hotel. The Caretaker starts off at an empty Hotel where you play as, you guessed it, the Caretaker. After a phone call explaining that you are along in this hotel you are allowed to explore the creepy hotel. The experience them lets you wander the hotel that has lots of character itself, with creepy sounds and even eerier lighting. The experience reminded me of Konami’s canceled P.T. where it uses a single location with limited sound and other assets to create a believable and truly scary horror experience.