Lies Beneath is an action-packed single-player survival horror sport revealed by Oculus Studios and developed by Drifter Leisure, the identical workforce behind PC VR co-op shooter Gunheart and Robo Recall: Unplugged on Quest. Learn our full Lies Beneath assessment beneath for extra!
The Oculus Quest has a terrific number of VR video games. However what you may discover when shopping the Retailer or trying by way of your Library of content material is that there’s actually a scarcity of narratively-driven single participant titles. Apart from Vader Immortal, Apex Assemble, Moss, Digital Digital Actuality, Journey of the Gods, and a handful of others the overwhelming majority of content material on the Quest is designed to be briefly picked up and performed for a couple of minutes or centered on multiplayer. Fortunately Lies Beneath is right here to assist alleviate the problem a bit.
Lies Beneath tells the story of a younger lady that will get right into a automobile accident whereas visiting her household in a small Alaskan city. She’s driving in a automobile along with her father when a mysterious determine steps out in entrance of the automobile, inflicting her to swerve off of a bridge and crash, getting flung from inside. By the point you make your means again to the scene, your father is gone with nothing however a path of blood main away.
Thus, the thriller begins.
It’s an excellent hook for a narrative and the best way Drifter Leisure unravels the threads could be very attention-grabbing and well-done. Every part in Lies Beneath is introduced as if it had been a darkish, noir-style comedian e book. The start of every “Concern” has you flip by way of a large, floating comedian full with panels, descriptive field out textual content, dialogue bubbles, and extra. After getting in control, you basically stay out the occasions of the e book.
The artwork type feels identical to a comic book come to life. It jogs my memory a little bit of Mad World on the Nintendo Wii, or the similarly-styled VR shooter Dimension Hunter. The principle distinction right here is how effectively the general bundle sells the window dressing. It’s greater than only a superficial coat of animated paint. Whenever you do issues like hit containers together with your axe, tiny sound impact blurbs like *crack* pop up for a break up second and clicking issues within the menu present a quick *click on* sound blurb. It does a terrific job of additional promoting the aesthetic.
As fashionable and pronounced as it’s, it takes some time earlier than the environments really feel very attention-grabbing. You spend fairly some time lumbering round within the snow the place all the pieces appears extraordinarily samey. The foggy blizzard restricts your imaginative and prescient so the sport not often renders something within the distance and darkness requires utilizing your small lighter to see only a foot or two in entrance of you. This all helps construct suspense, however finally ends up making it really feel truncated when it comes to really being immersive. Hopefully the Rift model that releases in a few weeks can sidestep a few of these points.
I additionally seen some efficiency points on Quest within the type of stuttering right here and there, mostly when approaching comedian panel narration in between stage sections. For instance, each Chapter has comedian panels positioned as signal posts inside the degrees that articulate your character’s ideas fairly than utilizing voice over dialogue and every time I approached this (each handful of minutes or so) there was often a quick jitter of body drops.
Since your lighter can be utilized to level you in the proper path in case you have a look at the place the embers are pointing off the tip of the flame, you’ll by no means get misplaced — not that you’d have anyway since Lies Beneath is a reasonably linear sport. More often than not you’ll stroll from one finish of a chapter to the opposite, interacting a bit with objects as you go, operating from massive dangerous guys, and taking pictures your well past ghouls.
By way of precise scares and increase a way of horror, Lies Beneath is among the lighter efforts in its style. Because you virtually at all times have weapons on-hand there’s much more fight right here than in one thing like The Exorcist: Legion VR, Face Your Fears 2, or different current horror video games. Moderately than forcing you right into a state of helplessness you can and will battle again in Lies Beneath very often.
All instructed the sport is about 6-Eight hours lengthy relying in your play type unfold throughout 20 chapters. It takes some time to achieve some environmental selection, however when you do the artwork type turns into extra pronounced and visually pleasing. I’m actually not a fan of sticking gamers in a snowy blizzard for the primary chunk of the expertise, it was a little bit of an underwhelming opening for that motive.
There’s a good assortment of weapons right here from revolvers and hand axes to shotguns and extra. When you’ve gotten your lighter absolutely lit and out in a single hand you possibly can see an aiming reticule the place you level and weak spots on enemies are highlighted. It’s a cool system that provides some technique to tense fights.
Coming off of weighty PC VR video games like Boneworks, The Strolling Lifeless: Saints & Sinners, Half-Life: Alyx, and even Asgard’s Wrath and Stormland, fight in Lies Beneath doesn’t really feel very reactive. Most objects within the sport are static, not physics objects in any respect, and melee assaults often move by way of enemies and objects with out making contact. Even gunshots end in largely canned animations it appears, which is a little bit of a bummer.
The scariest moments in Lies Beneath are purely atmospheric. Listening to the sounds of beasts within the forest, simply past your view, feasting on corpses. Recognizing pink, glowing eyes peering at you from round a nook solely to vanish when you attain the following space past the bushes. The fixed feeling that you just’re being watched, always, in all places you go. It’s tense and unnerving and slowly builds over the course of the sport.
There have been a handful of leap scares, however they’re not tremendous widespread. As a substitute, Lies Beneath depends extra on a way of stress and nervousness to justify its horror label. The ambiance is foreboding, the narrative is darkish, and the imagery is usually creepy, so whenever you get overwhelmed by enemies and are fumbling to reload or operating low on ammo, that’s when the hairs begin to arise in your neck and arms otherwise you flail in desperation proper earlier than loss of life.
Belief me, I communicate from expertise.
Lies Beneath Assessment Closing Verdict
Whereas Lies Beneath doesn’t pack sufficient true terror to be thought of a brand new peak for VR horror, it does handle to craft an intriguing story in a stylishly shaped world with largely satisfying fight and palpable pressure. It’s thrilling to see a developer that was so beforehand rooted within the fast-paced motion shooter class branching out to one thing extra slow-paced, narratively-driven, and visually distinctive. The gameplay actually leaves lots to be desired within the wake of Half-Life: Alyx, however when it comes to its story and setting there’s sufficient right here to make it price a suggestion — particularly compared to comparable experiences already obtainable on Quest.
Closing Rating: four/5 Stars | Actually Good
You may learn extra about our five-star scoring coverage right here.
Lies Beneath releases right this moment on Oculus Quest and involves Oculus Rift on April 14th. This assessment is predicated on the Oculus Quest model of the sport. For extra particulars go to the official web site.