‘Lies Beneath’ Review – A Nightmarish Shooter Oozing with Comic Book Style – Road to VR


Lies Beneath is a single-player survivor horror from Drifter Leisure, the studio behind Gunheart (2018), Rise of the Gunters (2018), and the Quest model of Robo Recall (2016). Departing considerably from its earlier VR titles, Drifter has delivered a gritty, trendy standalone story that serves up equal doses of violence and worry, making for a novel providing in Quest’s nonetheless pretty demure library of video games. Just a few points preserve me from actually loving it, however Lies Beneath nonetheless proves to be a brilliant trendy and serviceable shooter.

Lies Beneath Particulars:

Developer: Drifter Leisure
Writer: Oculus Studios
Accessible On: Oculus Quest (Rift coming quickly)
Reviewed On: Quest
Launch Date: March 31st, 2020
Worth: $30

Gameplay

Taking part in Lies Beneath was a fairly daunting job. At first, the sport units the stage by suggesting customers put on headphones for full audio immersion. It’s not a nasty thought if you wish to shut out anybody else in the home who’s idly bumping round, as a result of after a whilst you’ll start to tune into each directional audio sign for indicators of your imminent demise from the sport’s ghoulish creatures.

Whereas conserving out these random exterior jostles will be necessary to sustaining your sanity, I nonetheless opted to go together with Quest’s default audio as a result of I sort of instinctively wished some semblance of separation from the sport’s gritty melange of vibes, which felt like equal components Tales of the Crypt, The Texas Chainsaw Bloodbath, and Sin Metropolis.

Picture courtesy Drifter Leisure

Firstly, Lies Beneath is a Quest recreation that’s punching above its weight class. It cleverly hides its cell roots with a hand-drawn, cell shaded fashion that performs out in a particularly darkish and tremendous claustrophobic swath of environments. Consequently, loading new areas is invisible and instantaneous, enemies are all the time lurking round every nook, and also you’re left with little or no break in pacing because of this. Strain on the participant to maneuver ahead is at a close to fixed, which partially justifies the sport’s singular gauntlet; there’s little exploration available exterior of the primary pathway, however you might simply be fooled into considering in any other case with how lengthy and actually winding the sport’s ranges are.

The sport’s fixed stress is relieved solely momentarily at generic relaxation stops, which oftentimes contains the identical set of ammo provide crates, weapons, meals for cell well being regen, and a fireplace that cures any wounds you could have. Outdoors of those periodic stops, there are additionally save factors scattered all through the sport within the type of lightable lanterns.

Picture courtesy Drifter Leisure

These stops add a way more ‘gamey’ feeling than I might have most popular, as you’re principally fed the entire package you want (or by chance drop alongside the best way) at painfully apparent moments, and in the identical predictable format. There are some tiny bits of exploration as you run throughout discovered objects that help you discover extra loot at your relaxation cease, however like I stated, you’re principally funneled via a really linear pathway.

As for making your method via the narrative, you’ll discover a modest number of weapons alongside the best way, together with issues like pistols, shotguns, and bladed weapons similar to axes, butcher knives, and machetes. Taking pictures, I feel, is purposefully meant for mid to short-range kills; there are not any iron sights, and digital recoil makes taking pictures really feel a little bit unpredictable at longer ranges, which places a lot of the motion just a few meters away at any given time. Ammo is uncommon on all however the best of the three problem settings, making your taking pictures expertise particularly related as you default to conserving baddies at arm’s size.

Picture courtesy Drifter Leisure

Melee is an enormous half too, however it feels extra like a simplistic final resort than a real various to taking pictures, as you may’t appreciably block or dodge incoming assaults, leaving you to swing frantically and hope for the most effective.

In all of this, your lighter offers you with a dim mild in addition to a continuing trace as to the place it’s good to go subsequent, because the flame waves within the route of your subsequent goal. Not solely that, however it additionally injects a easy reticle in your pistols, and in addition reveals enemy weak factors for one-shot dispatches. The reticle helps cowl up a few of my taking pictures woes, however I’d slightly have practical sights personally.

 

This, as you’d think about, utilizing all of these things retains you in your toes, as it’s good to shortly juggle between bladed weapons, pistols, meals, and two-handed weapons similar to shotguns. The stock system is minimal, relegating you to holsters; two factors in your hips, two in your shoulders, and a single one in your chest reserved for the lighter. Taking part in seated generally is a ache within the ass in case you have arm rests, so it is best to both play standing or on a flat floor like a sofa so you may simply attain right down to holster and unholster objects.

Picture courtesy Drifter Leisure

One of many larger gripes I’ve with Lies Beneath is number of enemies; it’s functionally on the low facet even regardless of a dozen or so totally different character fashions. The sport’s 20 ranges are plagued by interesting-looking baddies, though they’re successfully variations of weak or robust bullet sponges with just a few weak spots sprinkled for good measure, which is underlined in just a few wave-style battles that present them for his or her true colours. There are boss fights nevertheless to interrupt up moments when complacency inevitably units in, and fortunately a majority of bosses felt like they have been designed with the expectation of the participant utilizing a beforehand realized talent. There was one particularly that threw an entire one-off curve ball which was an attention-grabbing flip of occasions.

Within the six and half hours it took me to complete, I by no means bumped into what I’d name a puzzle. There are obstacles, positive, however nothing that didn’t take some instruction that I’d realized only some minutes prior. That doesn’t actually hassle me, though I feel Lies Beneath may have gone the additional mile and inserted some attention-grabbing mind teasers to chew on amidst the endless howls and gnashing of enamel.

Immersion

The place fight fails to really impress, the ambiance takes the reins. It’s like stepping right into a graphic novel, replete with comedian ebook textual content bubbles littering the sport at key factors to inform the lion’s share of the story. The drab, unforgiving coloration palette jogged my memory of Sin Metropolis, albeit with out the pop of pure momentary coloration among the many recreation’s gray, black, brown, pale blue, and soiled shades of pink. Some could accuse it of being repetitive and possibly too darkish, however in the identical breath the artwork fashion does an admirable job of suffocating any hope of reprieve.

Picture courtesy Drifter Leisure

On account of the comedian ebook motif, at instances I felt the story was a bit troublesome to course of. The phrase bubbles appear extra artistically pushed, and never essentially what the participant would really want after they’ve simply been chased via a maze by a machete-swinging demon. I personally would have favored voice overs right here to strengthen the narrative at key factors when studying what primarily is a floating signal board, though to every their very own. Though it’s not probably the most deep, or partaking of tales, it’s undeniably trendy.

Pet peeve incoming: drive seize is the one option to work together with objects, which at instances generally is a bit unnerving once you merely wish to seize a close-by journal, field of ammo, what have you ever. This can be a fairly minor subject within the grand scheme of issues, however I firmly consider it is best to be capable to seize one thing in case your hand can ‘contact’ it. To that impact, reloading is just about a continuing ache. Operating out of bullets auto-ejects your magazine and replaces it with a brand new one. Snapping the revolver closed or shoving within the magazine into the pistol will be executed one-handed, however it’s not tremendous intuitive since each the magazine and revolver’s chamber aren’t physics-based. Most of the time you need to holster an merchandise in your non-dominant hand to reload a gun in your different, which within the warmth of battle could depart you flailing round and cursing.

My final sore level: weapons don’t double as melee weapons. No quantity of flailing with an empty shotgun or naked fists will do any injury, though you may technically block incoming objects thrown from baddies.

Consolation

I discovered Lies Beneath to be a bit difficult comfort-wise in my commonplace default enjoying fashion, which is free locomotion and snap-turning. All the things is so twisty and turny that I discovered myself dashing round previous gads of near-field objects, stopping, turning, and principally making myself really feel queasy within the course of.

Fortunately you may teleport and go searching naturally, though you’ll actually have to beat the primal urge to get via to the following save level as quick as attainable. I don’t hate teleportation, however free locomotion is a lot simpler and immersive, so I tended to stay to my most popular motion fashion and simply take the sport in smaller chunks.

If you happen to’re a clean turning fan, Lies Beneath has you lined too, though you ought to be conscious that solely a minority of gamers appear to be unaffected by what primarily is among the least comfy locomotion choices.