Published on February 15th, 2018 | by Chris O'Connor
The Exorcist: Legion VR Chapter 3 Skin Deep HTC Vive
Summary: What's more scary than a mental asylum? How about a child's nursery?
Around the time that I was getting ready to subject myself to Chapter 3 of the Exorcist: Legion VR our family had a touch of gastro (too much sharing I know, sorry). I felt it important to not put myself into the virtual world of a title that is perhaps best known for projectile vomiting and as such delayed for a bit. On top of that I’m not the biggest horror fan to begin with… I don’t like being scared… but I signed up for the first episode and feel obligated to continue my journey into darkness. So it was with trepidation that I finally got around to entering this frightening world again.
The game again eases you back into your virtual boots with a quick recap of movement and tool use, which I appreciate because I can be forgetful. Then you find yourself in your office with a note and some recordings. Not surprisingly, things seem a bit off and you head out to investigate. The little preamble before the location, using that lovely illuminated dust particles type effect sets the tone. You make your way into the residence, a reasonably lit hallway stands before you… but somewhat ominously stairs lead up to your primary destination. Taking the stairs you find yourself in a child’s nursery and the sense of dread begins to creep in.
This is one of those experiences that just hammers home how much more of an impact VR has. I could imagine playing this game on a standard monitor and not really having any impending sense of danger or fear… but VR closes you in, it shuts out the signs of a way out, the light of day around you or your exits… all you are left with is the world the game presents you with, your only escape is removing the headset. The team behind The Exorcist: Legion VR use this to great effect too because again there aren’t any jump scares, but it is still terrifying. They manage to build a sense of dread through the location and the little things that tell you things aren’t normal. Even for a non horror fan like myself there is a lot to be impressed with in the execution of the genre.
Something else this series does very well is actual story telling. It’s easy (relatively speaking no doubt) to create a VR game with some scares in it… jump scares or otherwise. But the developers here have managed to flesh out some pretty engaging stories. I think I got more engaged in this episodes stories than the others but I guess that’s because it felt more personable. It was a relief to finally complete the task at hand and return to the office.
When I got back to the office I noticed something I hadn’t before… if you leave your room you can go to the evidence room and look at items from previous chapters, it’s a handy way to give you a clue about puzzles you may have missed. I do think they missed an opportunity to use the Exit door as a method to leave the game though… that would be a nice touch. But over all the series continues to do horror like few others do… with style and substance and a greater sense of horror than the simple quick fright of the jump scares of most other horror VR titles. Still a great choice for those who want a bit of horror in VR but with a decent story to go with it.