Today we’re sitting down with DYING: Reborn VR, a virtual escape game for the PSVR.
Having the same ‘trapped by a serial killer’ plot that most horror-themed physical escape rooms use, you begin in an expectedly dilapidated room with no obvious way out. A thorough exploration of the room reveals items that slowly aid in your escape from the dank space. We won’t go into any further detail than that – we have a video walkthrough of the first level below. Just be warned that if you think that there’s the slightest chance that you may eventually play this, do not watch the video as it will obviously reveal the solutions to all the puzzles.
So a few things to point out, the VR version of this game, for some reason, is missing half of the chapters that the non-VR iteration has. There’s a vague explanation from the developer that the three chosen rooms are those that work best in VR but it’s still poor that VR players are essentially missing half of the game. Consequently, playing it in VR, you won’t get the full story of the game. Now, what makes this unforgivable in our eyes is that, as far as the UK goes, you can’t buy the VR and non-VR version bundled. Yeah, you need to pay again if you have any interest in the seeing out the rest of the game. Now, being completely honest, we actually enjoyed this game for what it was and would really love to play through the other three areas. But principle prevents us from paying again without any kind of discount. It’s an incredibly scammy move and doesn’t help the perception of VR while it’s still in its infant state.
Putting that aside, we know the video is very short but that’s our second playthrough recorded – even physical escape games could be completed in minutes if you entered armed with the solutions! So there’s definitely a lot more gameplay in there than the video would suggest, we severely doubt you’ll be able to get through it in that speed without knowing the answers already! It feels very much like a ‘real’ escape room does and, with the VR, the line is further blurred.
As with Weeping Doll, the voice acting is atrocious to the point of being detrimental to the experience – at points, it sticks out so much that you can’t help but laugh. Scrub forward to 7:08 in the video above for a perfect example of this. So maybe there’s one positive to missing half the game in VR – you have to endure less of Mathew’s dialogue!
But overall, it’s a decent enough game. If you’re a fan of escape games, you’ll likely love this. Virtual escape rooms do have a few flaws that are inherent with the format. Searching, for example, can be really hit and miss as you can’t interact with the environment in the same way that you would in an actual escape room so things can easily be missed. But more or less, this is a perfect facsimile of an escape game so if you go into it with that mindset, you should enjoy it!
The horror elements are unfortunately on the slight side, there’s a bit of gruesome imagery here and there but it isn’t particularly scary with even the antagonist remaining offscreen, visible only in silhouette through a hazy TV signal a handful of times. Which is a real shame because his look is really cool, wearing an oversized fish mask that’s equal parts ridiculous and sinister.
As far as recommending this goes, we’re sorta on the fence about it. It’s great while it lasts but the fact that the VR version is a deliberately stripped-down version leaves a bad taste in our mouths. We’d probably be inclined to suggest purchasing the non-VR version over this one. Because even though you’ll miss out on a lot of the immersion, at least you’ll get sight of the full story and a much longer game for your money. The VR version just isn’t worth it in its current guise. It’s a shame because we genuinely enjoyed our time with the game, we just can’t advocate questionable practices from the game’s developer.
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