In Death is a VR exclusive title that presents a roguelike shooter with an incredibly eerie atmosphere and surroundings. In Death is set in the godless afterlife and pits you against an impressive assortment of enemies while challenging you in multiple different worlds and landscapes.
Genre: First Person Dungeon Crawler
Controller: Dual Shock or Move Controllers
Game Length: High Score based
PlayPSVR Score: 7.5
In Death shouldn't be a game that I enjoy. It's repetitious, all about getting high scores, has screwy movement controls and contains some things I just typically don't like in VR games. However, for some reason, it bucks the trend and has me going back for more and more. In some way it is so enticing and addicting that although I want to stop to play something else, I can't. As soon as you shoot that first arrow you're sucked in.
You begin in the sanctuary as you can see high scores globally and the various achievements you have completed or can obtain. To your left is an old school church environment with rustic cathedrals and hallways that you must explore while defeating hosts of enemies. You can either choose a bow and arrow or crossbow(once you play a few rounds). This is something I was unaware of until I played the game for a while. When you begin behind you there is a pedestal with either the bow and arrow or the crossbow. I will give you some friendly tips further below in the review as to which you should choose.
The first thing I love about In Death is the creepy atmosphere. The art is that of classic artists from centuries ago. The whole scene is that scary catholic church type of feel where there are demons, wizards, knights, zombies, etc. The entire environment is just weird and unsettling. It certainly isn't as scary as RE7 or Home Sweet Home, but the anticipation of the appearance of enemies and the dark creepy worlds will be sure to keep you on the edge of you seat. I was really surprised with how eerie the entire game was. It's borderline scary, but not enough to keep anyone from playing that steer away from horror games, but enough that horror fans will love it.
Next is the actual gameplay. The very first thing I suggest you do is go into the settings and activate free locomotion. Otherwise you will be fiddling with one of the most bizarre and bone headed movement controls I have ever seen. Seriously, before I changed the settings I punched the wall 4 times just trying to make simple movements. I appreciate the extra thought in the movement controls, but it was a really bad idea and takes the cake for worst controls only behind Paper Dolls. However, free locomotion is a thing so no need to harp on that.
You can use either the move controllers or dual shock for this game. I know everyone is going to flock to the bow and arrow with the moves because, yes, it is more immersive and fun. However, I suggest you don't. First, the tracking does not work well. It is very difficult to be dead accurate, there is a decent amount of drift and it is just generally more annoying. The crossbow shoots more directly (without having to judge how far the arrow may fall before it hits the target) and the reload speed is very minimally slower. While we are at it, let me tell you. Use the dual shock. Seriously, I know you want to use the move controllers. I know it's more immersive that way. But the moves drift, are hard to use and make the game much more cumbersome. The dual shock works perfectly and as you are far along in your run you don't want to die because the move controllers suck. Which is what will happen. Trust me.
Either way, both weapons are fun to use when working well and it's awesome to shoot an enemy that is super far away. There are a host of different arrows you can shoot including fire, ice, exploding arrows, etc. This makes it more strategic and fun. My favorite are the arrows that once they land give it 3 seconds and BOOM! The blast is somewhat small, but it destroys the enemies nonetheless. It's simple game play but really is fun.
The game is perma-death. Meaning, you get one life. Once you die, it's all the way back to the beginning with you. I know that sucks and is one of the main reasons I thought I would hate this game. However, with more practice you get faster, you also know your way around better and with more achievements unlocked you get bonuses, new weapons, etc. that can help you out. The most I can say is that this may be annoying, but certainly not game breaking to say the least.
Honestly, the only real negative things I can say are two fold. First, the game is very repetitive. But that is the way these games go, but that is going to be a hurdle you will have to face if you purchase this game. Another is the price. I really like In Death and am having a great time with it so far (as I am writing this I am #1 in the world!). But $30 is a hefty price tag for this game. I can’t imagine it having the staying power of other big name titles and really I think is too much for this game. $20 is my perfect price in which I would say every person should consider purchasing it. $30? Not so much.
Overall, In Death is a fantastic game that exceeds in atmosphere, suspense, addicting game play and adds a unique flare to the usual PSVR experience. The price tag should make you weary and if you don’t like repetitious games I think this is a pass. Otherwise, consider In Death as one of the later 2018 gems for the PSVR.