The survival horror genre's revival is real and it's being helped along nicely by virtual reality. The waking nightmare that was Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is barely over and other similarly stressful ordeals are following closely behind. Like Agony, set to unleash its twisted beasts spawned from the depths of Hell later this year, and an intriguing VR experience called Organ Quarter that's set to release this November.
Organ Quarter takes place in what looks to be a very Silent Hill-like setting, and the tone and creatures of the place are just as chilling as those we remember from the unsettling Konami franchise. There seems to be a maddening, senseless approach to the video game's body-horror design, where big lumps of animated flesh, lidless eyes and maniacal cackling all feature aplenty.
And in true, terrifying fashion, Organ Quarter will of course be playable in VR. Actually it's made for VR as it's coming out on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift before it's even playable in a 'regular' way. Here's what the developers from Outer Brain are saying about the VR experience on their Kickstarter campaign site:
"We’re going to leverage hand-tracked and room-scale VR to provide the most intense and unsettling experience possible. We’re going to bring horror into the realm of the intimate. Horror in your personal space, as well as in the world outside."
Sounds pretty good to me, as long as we're not going to actually suffer a heart attack during the "most intense and unsettling experience possible."
An Homage To The Great Early Survival Horror Games
Organ Quarter's gameplay is relatively simple, based on the holy unity between navigating labyrinthine environments, resource management and well-balanced puzzling with some straightforward shooter combat. Just like we remember it from the early Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid and Thief games.
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The player can roam larger areas, but to progress through the world and story they must complete specific areas, dungeons and intricately connected levels in a set order.
And like many of the early survival horror games, Organ Quarter won't be a very long game. A playthrough should take from five to seven hours the first time around, though the replayability factor will be high, as secrets, hidden puzzles and unlockables will encourage players to return to the horror.
A Game Rooted In Tradition
The creators of Organ Quarter describes the game's story like this:
"Picture Resident Evil by way of David Cronenberg and David Lynch. A less hammy, more feverish and analogous body horror narrative looking at what really makes a human being 'tick'."
Which sounds pretty nasty. Apparently you take on the role of an individual who after months of isolation is forced to leave home at the behest of someone called Dr. Alset. During your period of isolation everyone and everything in your hometown has become infected with some mysterious, body-transforming and insanity-causing virus.
And even though that story doesn't sound terribly original, it has a pleasantly familiar horror-ring to it which we've seen work time and time again in video games. We have a feeling it's going to this time as well.
Do you have the guts to try out Organ Quarter in VR?