VR headsets such as Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR and HTC Vive, have not been utilized to their full potential due to VR's still-fledgling development. Sega’s European head, Jurgen Post, recently hinted at some of the exciting possibilities on the table, with the announcement that they were considering a full version of their Alien Isolation VR horror game demo.
"We’ve not announced anything, but we are very close to making an announcement. We did Alien: Isolation about three years ago on Oculus Rift, it was a demo that was bloody scary. To bring that back to VR would be a dream and dreams can come true."
Alien Isolation is Already Scary
Alien Isolation is based on the science-fiction action horror movie series, Alien. The game takes place 15 years after the first Alien movie by Ridley Scott, with Amanda who is the the daughter of Ellen (Sigourney Weaver) Ripley. Like all Alien movies the game is set in space, and takes Amanda on an adventure to find what happened to her mother after her long lost ship Nostromo (from the original 1979 Alien movie) is found.
The isolated backwater space ship is the perfect VR backdrop for the simultaneously cavernous and claustrophobic terror of Alien. The space station alone would make for a great VR experience, however what makes this game so well-suited for VR is the cat-and-mouse style of play in Alien Isolation.
The Perfect Fit For VR
Forget the 1986 Aliens movie, you won't have a team of commandos at your side. Alien Isolation focuses on solitary stealth and survival tactics to make your way through the game. There are a few weapons with very limited use, but overall to survive (yes survive) this game, you need to do a whole lot of sneaking and evading.
The meager tools, weapons and abilities available are all you have to outwit the Alien. Each item that offers a mechanical advantage is offset by an equal disadvantage, and this balancing act requires constant management during exploration. The stress of learning what options work best keeps you constantly on edge, and for horror fans - wanting more.
Similar to the Alien movie, there is only one Alien to contend with as you run, crawl, scream and sometimes cry your way from one objective to the next. The pursuit takes place in poorly lit rooms with your heart beating loudly in your throat. You see glimpses of the xenomorph, have frantic encounters, and have staring contests with flickering hallways as you will yourself forwards.
Throughout the game, the tension builds like an ever expanding balloon until eventually: pop!
It's The Middle of The Day, and I am Petrified
Alien Isolation is only one part of a brave new world of horror gaming being considered for VR. I cannot imagine anything more satisfying than becoming fully immersed in a VR reality where I am completely petrified. The knowledge that I am safe at home on the couch is forgotten, there is no headset, only me and a flashlight peeking around corners in total horror of what’s to come.
Fingers crossed that Sega decides to make this terrifying nightmare a virtual reality!