Let me start out by saying I am a huge wuss when it comes to the horror genre. It is just not for me. The Inpatient, on the other hand, was one of the best experiences I have ever had in virtual reality.
The Inpatient was made by Supermassive Games and they boast that this is a true “psychological horror”. So get ready for some jump scares and some mind boggling horror! For those of you who do not recognize the company’s name, they developed the decision-based horror game titled Until Dawn. In fact, The Inpatient takes place 60 years before the events of Until Dawn.
Supermassive Games has made a truly immersive VR experience that is made for anyone who enjoys the thrills that horror brings. The game has such a rich and narrative based storyline that every time you take the VR headset off you are desperate for more. The game has some flaws but they are quickly forgotten due to the truly immersive experience. The story of the game is that you are set in the 1950’s as a patient in a psychiatric facility. You are set down a path of horror and wonder of who you are and why the facility you are in, Blackwood Sanatorium, is shut down while you are still inside of it.
The Inpatient puts you into the role of a psychiatric patient who has amnesia. Booting up the game for the first time you are given a choice of gender and skin color. The reason for this is that you are supposed to create a character in your likeness so every time you use your hands or look down and around it feels like you are in your own body. Supermassive wanted to create an experience that made you the player feel like you are actually the patient in the game.
Another way of true immersion is that, similar to Until Dawn, you are given choices in the game that you can select but for the first time, you can speak out loud the choices instead of just “selecting” them. Voice control is a little wonky at times but adds another aspect of true immersion into the game. Telling my roommate what I wanted to say with the emotion how I wanted to say it makes the voice control that much better. Behind every dialogue choice you have to portray that emotion or the game won’t pick up your voice just right.
Like Until Dawn, The Inpatient is all centered around “the butterfly effect”. The “butterfly effect” is simply every decision you make affects the overall story. This way the game adapts to your decisions making every decision you make matter. Do you want to befriend this character? Do you want to eat that cockroach? There is a reason behind every question asked in this game so make them with a thought about the end in mind. The story is pretty linear but there are areas where you can venture of the path that gives you a little more of a back story into the game.
The Inpatient is a PlayStation VR exclusive. You cannot play this game any other way. You do not have to have the PlayStation Move controllers but they take the experience to the next level so I highly recommend them. With any VR game comes the potential for motion sickness. I recommend playing for 15 minutes at a time and working your way up. The controls on this game does everything it can to help decrease this risk but nonetheless I had to stop playing for awhile then hop back in once the sickness went away.
- THE GOOD
- Truly Immersive Experience
- Heart Pounding Horror
- Fantastic Narrative Story
- Your Choices Matter
- THE BAD
- Vocal Cues Don’t Always Work
- VR Motion Sickness
The Inpatient is a game that VR was made for. It has true immersion and you ARE a patient in Blackwood Sanitorium. This is a game that is a must own for any PlayStation VR owner. The way your choices affect the outcome makes this your game and truly your own experience.
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