A new horror story is coming to Oculus on April 25th and it’s reminiscent of the classic Hitchcock-esque psychological horrors that made people fall in love with the genre.
Created by Twisted Pixel, Wilson’s Heart is a first-person psychological thriller set in a 1940’s hospital that has undergone a haunting transformation. In this VR horror story, you are Robert Wilson, a patient who wakes up in this creepy hospital. Moving through a trashed, blood-streaked corridor, you come face-to-face your startling new reflection and start on the path to unraveling a disturbing mystery – the shocking discovery that his heart has been replaced with a mysterious device.
The Classical Creepy Haunted Hospital
The atmosphere the developers incorporated into the game has the look and feel of an old black and white neo-noir horror movie. It feels like you’re completely alone in an abandoned hospital, at first. But there are multiple characters in the story, and their narrative and interaction with the player is a strong example of the immersive complexity that VR has to offer. Wilson’s Heart stars an award-winning cast, including, Rosario Dawson (Sin City, Top Five), Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2, Raiders of the Lost Ark), and Peter Weller (RoboCop, Star Trek: Into Darkness), and some others that the developers haven’t revealed yet.
As the story progresses, you and your fellow patients must traverse the increasingly maddening corridors. You also have to overcome frightening environmental hazards and work together to defeat the sinister inhabitants. All in your pursuit to reveal who stole your heart – and why. The dramatic lighting and sound design ratchet up the suspense in Wilson’s Heart, hinting at what lurks in the shadows.
The Game Mechanics
The game features your run-of-the-mill teleportation locomotion mechanic. With there being a ghostlike figure at certain focus points in the environment to which you can teleport. Arguably, this is unfortunate.
For instance, the teleportation works in the sense that it gets you to where you need to be, but it does dampen some of the immersion. Especially when you’re being chased – there’s the panic of needing to get away, but instead of running, all you have to do is look around for a point to which you can teleport to. Also, what would a horror game be without some combat? The developers are clearly trying to incorporate numerous elements into the game, to see what works.
For instance, you have this orb that comes out of your chest which you can use to throw at enemies to damage them. You can then control the path of the orb by swaying your Touch controllers back and forth. But this is only one of the things you can do with the orb in combat and puzzle solving. According to the developers, there are 4 ‘heart powers’ in the game.
But then there’s also a combat scenario in which you can’t use the orb and so you have to use your fists to fight off the creatures that are attacking you. I’m not entirely sure what they are – so I’m going with zombies.
When it comes to play-time, the developers say that people can expect roughly 8-10 hours of gameplay, depending on how they play the game. Wilson’s Heart will be available on the Oculus Store on 25 April for $39.99.
On a side-note: If you’re easily creeped out by psycho teddy bears, you might want to give this one a skip.