How do I find myself in these situations? Always going hands-on with the latest VR horror titles.
Well maybe because I'm a big fan of horror. However, even for the most robust of fans, horror in VR is something that has to be seen to be believed.
No genre sucks you in more, making you forget when and where you are. Well, so long as its done right. And from what I saw, Wilson's Heart definitely falls into that category.Questions, questions
Wilson's Heart is an Oculus Touch exclusive developed by Twisted Pixel in conjunction with Oculus.
The game places you into the shoes of hospital patient Robert Wilson, who finds himself trapped in a hospital in which you're constantly questioning what, if anything, is actually real.
In fact, the questions and confusion begin right from the start, albeit in a good way.
Right from the moment I was strapped into the Oculus Rift and given the two Touch controllers, I found myself chained to the wall in a dark abandoned ward.
From here I had to use my hands to undo the bolts, and rip off the shackles that chained me. With this coming before I could even take in everything going on around me.
This was a very clever opening move from Twisted Pixel, and instantly made me aware of the presence and importance of my hands. Just as in real life, this presence is something that would stay with me for my entire hands-on.
A perfect balance
Nevertheless, once you've got yourself free, the game leaves you to explore the hospital, with the aim of finding out what happened, and ultimately escaping.
This is done by teleporting from one place to the other, as has become commonplace within VR. However, unlike many other titles, what was clever was the way in which following your teleportation the game would essentially reorientate you in the right direction.
This in essence meant that I was never confused or frustrated with my time inside Wilson's Heart, but at the same time I never felt like the game was holding my hand.
What's more, this also helps you forget you're in a game, immersing players further in this atmospheric thriller. This is also assisted by the sheer amount of interactive objects to be found.
As such, Wilson's Heart is definitely one of those experiences where you'll want to take it all in, well that is if you can stomach the ever mounting atmosphere of tension that engulfs the game.
Embodying the best
All of this is great, however the crowning glory here is definitely the story, setting, and general atmosphere that Twisted Pixel has created.
Wilson's Heart is a game that embodies the best of the classic psychological thriller genre. Think Hitchcock classics like Psycho or Rear Window, and you'll have a good idea how it approaches storytelling, not just in terms of the plot, but also within its black and white presentation.
As such, much like the films I named earlier, throughout my time I was constantly left questioning everything.
What's more, every answer seemingly only left me with more questions, and that was all before the nurses and killer Teddy Bears appeared. I'm not joking there.
Wilson's Heart took me so far away from reality, that at times it even left me questioning whether I was going mad, and in a strange way that made me enjoy my time with it even more.
Much like the masterpiece that is P.T., Twisted Pixel has seemingly gone with the approach that less is more when it comes to creating this kind of chilling unnerving atmosphere, and it's an approach that definitely works.
A touch of class
Moreover, in order to help the experience even further, Oculus and Twisted Pixel has laid on an all-star cast to carry the story.
Starring Peter Weller from RoboCop's (1987) as Robert Wilson, alongside the likes of Rosario Dawson (Sin City) and Alfred Molina (Spiderman 2).
Wilson's Heart is a game that screams quality. From the high production values, to the clever gameplay mechanics, and even to the all-star cast, from what I saw Oculus and Twisted Pixel seem to have thought of everything.
All in all, there's a considerable level of subtlety and sophistication to what's going on inside of this nightmare, and and I for one can't wait to find out how this nightmare ends when Wilson's Heart arrives exclusively for Oculus next year.