Home Sweet Home
Home Sweet Home is a first person horror/thriller that drives home the terror with suspense and edge of your seat game play. Play as a man with a hazy memory while he searches for the answers about his lost wife as you navigate through abandoned homes, buildings and asylums. The only thing more terrifying than what you can see is what you can't.
Genre: First Person Stealth/Horror/Thriller
Controller: Dual Shock
Length: ~5 hours
PlayPSVR Score: 8
It is very hard to impress me, this I admit. The only game that really scared me in my entire life has been Resident Evil 7 in PSVR. Although I can't say it is on the same level, Home Sweet Home is the only other game I have played that is close. To make a game scary it has to have darkness, uncertainty, spontaneity, dark undertones and a killer atmosphere. Home Sweet Home (HSH) has all these things and delivers in the fright category big time.
Although HSH possesses an un-unique plot (guy wakes up and is dazed, forgetting how he got to his current position and where his family is), it really helps push the action forward by causing you to enter and explore so many houses, buildings and areas. The plot isn't horrible by any stretch, I have seen so so much worse, but it's rather typical. What isn't typical, however, is the environment they throw you into as a player.
Seriously, no other game has come close to RE7 in terms of scaring me until HSH. The entire game is so dark that even with your flashlight there is so much uncertainty about what is behind that door, or in the corner, or on the other side of that stall, etc. This reminds me so much of RE7 because just like that game, this one makes me pause for a second before I enter certain doors or go into some rooms, allowing me to collect myself and brace for what might come. Several times within the first hour I was telling myself "please don't go in there. Don't do it", only to know deep down that there was no other way. I havent felt that in a long long time.
The game is very much a stealth game in which the game play isn't fighting back against monsters or demons, rather avoiding them altogether. As some enemies move around a dark room you much inch your way behind them without getting noticed otherwise it's a box cutter to the throat. This is essentially the entire game play. Although it isn't the most fun, it raises the anxiety because unlike in RE7 there is no way to fight back. You are hopeless, you have to outmaneuver and out wit the enemies. This is good and bad. I like the fact that when coming in contact with an enemy it is much more stress filled because I can't just unload some shotgun shells in their face, but bad because it isn't anywhere near as fun.
I was very impressed with how many different areas the game has you investigate. Okay an abandoned house was obvious, duh. But then you had to inspect crawl spaced, police departments, some weird asylum/hospital/orphanage and more. Each one of these areas has extreme detail poured over it to make it as unsettling as possible. I commend the development team for this because it really upped the immersion aspect. All areas also have a little puzzle to figure out in the forms of mainly locks or combination safes to open in order to advance.
It is hard for me to describe it, but this game was developed so that you are always on edge. At any given moment anything can happen. There are so many areas where enemies could be, or things could fall and give you a jump scare or any number of events could leave you jumping in your chair terrified and unexpected. That is why this game is so brilliant. Because an atmosphere, an uneasiness, a constant sense of fear hasn't been experienced like this since RE7.
One thing does partially ruin this experience for me in the most critical parts of the game. When you face your enemies as I mentioned earlier you can't defend yourself. You just hide or sneak past them. Well this is terrifying. Until you die. Then you start over and probably might die again. The more you die, the less scary it is and the less you care. This really ruins how scary the game can be, but I don't know what they could do about it. RE7 was petrifying because you didn't encounter that many enemies, you had the chance to defend yourself and when you did almost die it was a really big deal. Here it just isn't. So that is unfortunate.
Regardless, Home Sweet Home is behind only RE7 as the most terrifying experience on the PSVR. The way the plot, action and environment work together in order to put you in constant fear is incredible. Although it isn't as long or in depth as RE7 if you are a horror hound, this game is a must buy.