Capcom's Kitchen tech demo brings sheer terror to PlayStation VR
If you can't stand the fear, get out of the Kitchen
"So, in Kitchen your hands are going to be bound in front of you".
I went into Kitchen cold. Sitting in the games room at Capcom's offices, I was nervous about what to expect. There's a buzz around Kitchen - it's been described as a harrowing horror experience, but I didn't have anything else to go on.
"If the experience ever gets too intense you should just raise your hand and we'lll take you out of it, okay?" says one of the demonstrators, adjusting the PlayStation VR as he pulls it down over my eyes.
Really, what's in this damn Kitchen?
The hype started at this year's E3. Capcom billed the tech demo Kitchen as "tense scenario that draws players into a hyper-realistic virtual world like never before". People got really spooked.
Here's the deal though. Capcom isn't releasing footage of the game and politely asked us the press not to write a blow by blow of what happens in there.
So the only way I, a self confessed scaredy cat who once cried playing multiplayer Slender, can find out what it's all about is to take the plunge for myself.
As soon as you're strapped in, the PlayStation VR and controller stop being your enablers and start becoming a prison, sealing you into the experience, unable to stop the brutal scene unfolding around you.
You have a few second to come to terms with where you are when it first starts - you play as yourself, but an alternate version of yourself currently tied to a chair in the worst possible version of your university kitchen.
It's rancid, there's an unconscious man on the floor and really it could do with a bit of a clean if you want to get back your deposit.
What's next? I'm acutely aware of the two people in the room with me, and how many people they've seen go through this. What's coming next? I promise myself I won't yell.
Then everything goes to hell, putting me as close as I ever really want to get to being a helpless protagonist in a horror movie. The next few minutes are filled with me hopelessly trying to avert my gaze from the horrors around me by looking at the well modelled watch on my wrist.
I wear a watch that's quite similar, which was an unexpected but horrific detail that made me squirm in my seat even more.
It's an impressive experience and as a tech demo it makes the most of the PSVR's kit, but what's really important is that it's terrifying. I've written about what horror games I want to see remade with VR support, but this hints at another possibility for the genre in the virtual reality space.
Could we be seeing the future of Resident Evil? A new horror IP?
VR could deliver us the horror renaissance, but based on Kitchen I hope I don't have to experience too much of it. Brr.