I really, really hate to admit this to you but as it stands right now there is a game I am just flat out too scared to try to finish.
Let me preface this by saying that in my actual life I have been in some seriously threatening situations and managed to maintain. However, this game trumps them all in how much it stresses me out. It’s called Dreadhalls and it was designed for the Oculus Rift. I honestly can’t even describe to you how completely unnerving it is when you put on the headset and a good pair of headphones. You know you’re safe at your computer desk when you start but 10 seconds in and you start to forget that fact as intangible things begin to whisper over your shoulder. I think that’s what really makes this experience so haunting, not only is it unpredictable but the sound design is incredible. The entire experience just draws you in and shows you how much of a chicken shit you really are.
And by “you” I mean “me.”
I keep trying but I have yet to make it more than a minute or two into the game. Now it’s to the point where my hair stands on end the second I press start. Truthfully it’s probably not even that bad if you take a piece (like the sound) out of the game…or if you could play it without the Rift on your head. You can’t though and the psychological impact is unbelievable. The graphics aren’t even good! Not realistic in the least but it doesn’t matter. There hasn’t been one person I’ve let play this that hasn’t nearly jumped out of the chair yelling so thankfully I know it isn’t just me. I wish I were exaggerating.
The kicker of it all is that this VR system is still a work in progress and the big money games that would use it aren’t here yet. When I think about the fact that eventually this headset could be a 4k display with natural peripheral vision…I’m not even kidding when I say that I may never play a horror game like this again. The experience is thrilling (if that’s the right word) but not the kind of thrill that I seek out. I wish I could explain it any better than that. The only thing I can say is that Dreadhalls will shake you more than the best haunted house you’ve ever been to, and that’s coming from a man that has literally NEVER been scared by a haunted house.
If you have a Rift dev kit and feel brave, check it out. If you don’t here is a video of someone else playing it:
See you tomorrow,