Published on January 9th, 2024 | by Gareth Newnham
7th Guest VR Review (PSVR2)
Summary: 7th Guest VR is a nice surprise, a remake of a cult classic, that out shines the original in almost every way.
Such a lovely place
It’s fitting that the remake of 7th Guest, a game that originally was part of the FMV craze of the early 90s that many believed would be the future of games, has now been rebuilt from the ground up for VR devices, which many believe are the future of gaming ( though the jury is still out on that one)
Dragging players back to the haunted mansion of the reclusive toymaker Henry Staul and his six doomed guests, The 7th Guest VR manages to improve upon its 1993 predecessor in practically every way.
If you ever played the original, you’ll know that though the characters were charming, the puzzles often fell flat, being little more than a series of chess puzzles. Well, thankfully, developer Vertigo Games has flipped the board over and instead opted to provide players with a fresh set of challenges that revolve around literally shining a light on the house’s history.
Not long after arriving, you’re given a magic lantern with the ability to peel back the years and remove the cobwebs from objects in the dusty old estate, revealing hidden messages scrawled on walls and items or uncovering nicks and chips in puzzle boxes that might help you to solve them.
Although most of the game’s puzzles are fairly straightforward forward, you can open the game’s map to see tips or spend one of the numerous coins found throughout the mansion to reveal the solution instantly.
Once complete, you’ll be shown a brief cut scene that reveals a little more of the mystery; the room springs back to a brighter bygone age, decades of cobwebs and squalor are replaced with pristine surfaces and opulence, while the ceaseless storm outside breaks and sunlight floods through the windows.
This also opens up more rooms in the house and more ghostly puzzles to tackle in any order you see fit.
For the most part, the controls work well, although, at times, my skeletal frame had a tough time picking up some objects off of tables and other surfaces. Likewise, you may want to stick to the teleportation mode for traversal if you haven’t quite got your VR legs yet, as twin-stick and smooth traversal is a sure-fire way to feel very nauseous very quickly if you haven’t built up a tolerance for your body moving in ways that your brain can’t quite phantom yet.
The puzzles may be greatly improved, but the story and performances from the game’s melodramatic cast remain the clear highlight of the game, and encountering each of the stereotypical awful rich people that haunt the mansion’s chambers remains a delight. There’s the alcoholic spinster, the manipulative actress, and the cock sure industrialist, along with Stauf himself, who is as enigmatic as he is patently evil and chews the scenery every time he enters a room.
The other thing that 7th Guest VR excels at is setting a mood. It may not be as terrifying as the marketing materials try and make it out to be, but with clever use of 3d environmental audio and creating a setting with a real sense of plausibility and place, wandering the halls never ceases to leave you with some ever-present sense of dread. Like when you wake up in the night and are certain that there is someone staring at you from the corner of your room, just outside your periphery.
If you’re a fan of the original or simply looking for your next VR fix, 7th Guest VR is a creepy and challenging puzzler that doesn’t outstay its welcome.