Published on March 26th, 2023 | by Edwin Millheim
The Dark Pictures Switchback PSVR2 Review
Having experienced the 2016 VR game Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, I knew a little bit of what I was in store with The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR. The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR is a rail shooter, with the player stuck in a roller coaster riding through most of the horrors from any nightmare you may have had or even heard of.
Full of twists and turns and jump scares that will nearly knock you out of your seat, it is an adrenaline filled fear ride that will test your nerve. On the verge of death, the player must fight for their lives and the immortal souls of their fellow travelers.
On a passing glance you may be fooled into thinking this is just another Ho-hum shooter. You would be very wrong. The designers at Supermassive Games got pretty diabolical and went deep into psychological recesses of horror to really turn the screws and amp up the tension and fear in The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR.
There are times during the ride from Hell, that the player gets a chance to choose their path. So, depending on what choices the player makes, there are some different experiences to be had. Also, different horrors to face. So, you can actually have slightly different experiences depending on your path choices in multiple play-throughs.
The area level designers really went to town on the experience. Not only visually, but a full range of auditory tricks of the horror trade to send chills through you during game play. Even at times taking away your psychological crutch of having weapons at key moments. The dread of not even being able to fight back is palpable.
The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR does not stop there. Oh no, no. With so many new toys to play with in the design of the PSVR2, Supermassive Games really makes full use of the PSVR2s features.
They use the PSVR2’s eye tracking feature rather well. As you look one way, something may attack from another direction. If you close your eyes even for a moment, things that should not be moving seem to get closer and closer with every eye blink.
The Haptic Feedback brings the whole experience to another level as you can feel some weapons fire in your hands, or the sudden rush of something past your head. Or the thump of an enemy’s attack.
Yes, while sitting you have to bend a bit from side to side or even duck down a little to avoid things in the environment. From falling rocks and beams, to crashed vehicles.
The environments are varied, exciting and mysterious enough to keep you very interested. Characters and creatures and various enemies await in different environments. From incredible deep dark caverns and ancient temples, weird hotels and resorts and so much more.
The enemies are enough to scare the ba-jeebies out of you. I mean from weird vampire bat hybrid beasts to demon dolls from hell. YES! Those insidious fiend level and creature designers at Supermassive Games include possessed dolls! I won’t say more about the enemies you encounter because after all, where is the fun in that? I want to share the terror of discovering some things on your own.
This includes some devious puzzles and events that you must figure out in one go round what sequence to shoot to get through a level alive. You have to have a fast brain and I can tell you only one thing. Sometimes the obvious simple solution after much more evil puzzles before it, is the answer.
While being a superb title in the PSVR2 arsenal, some players reported blurry graphics. Supermassive being an awesome and responsive company, let it be known they jumped right on any reported issues. I myself really never had any problems. The only area things seemed a bit blurry was on any sequence showing anything during a train ride.
The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR is out now as a PlayStation®VR2 launch title for $39.99/£32.99 and available for purchase on the PlayStation Store.
Have fun, play games.
Be ready to have a horror filled thrill ride.
Review / Game Details
The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR
Developer: Supermassive Games
Reviewed on PSVR2