Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
Simply enough the goal of Rush of Blood is to shoot, shoot, shoot your way through the levels, massacring the barrage of clowns and satanic enemies while attempting to rack up the points. But each level reveals a piece of a plot that I think is missed by most players, just because the game-play is so riveting.
The game-play of Rush of Blood is one of the best for the PSVR in my opinion. It is incredible that it was one of the first games released because it, to me, is still one of the best. The graphics are clean, the tracking is excellent, it delivers scares and it truly makes you forget that you aren't just in your living room playing a game.
To play the game you must have two motion controllers and utilize essentially just two buttons. The trigger shoots the gun (obviously) and the large main button on top reloads the weapon. That is essentially all you need. I am still very impressed on how well the tracking works with the two controllers. I have never felt "ripped off" because the controller screwed me over and wasn't accurate based off my shooting ability. Every now and then there is a little drifting on your gun, but with the new patches and updates the game in most cases fixes itself, or at worst you just go into the menu and re-calibrate. Shooting the guns feels so right and is everything you would want in a shooter.
The best thing about the game is the atmosphere. From the get-go you are put into this dark ominous world crawling with wretched creatures and scary paraphernalia. You feel like you are in the rail-car, rolling toward the spider's nest or into that band saw. There are a perfect amount of scares to make you constantly anxious, but not too many to get old or annoying. During the first play-through I remember how terrified I was. It was the first time I was truly scared because of a game, and for good reason. The atmosphere never lets up, there is never a dull moment.
I was very impressed with how the game made me feel. In the first level there is a part where you go down the tracks like a roller coaster and it tricks my mind into thinking that I really am rolling downhill. It only lasts for a split second until I don't feel my gut drop like in a real roller coaster, but for something to feel and look that real....that is what VR is about. Certain parts of the game require you to move in your chair to avoid chainsaws, wooden bars, etc. and that also works very well. Overall, it is just so well done in terms of tracking how the game makes you feel as if you are the one fighting for your life.
The variety in game-play is pretty good with a vast array of enemies and many different ways to kill them. The boss battles are creative and keep you on your toes. This isn't just a typical see it and shoot it game. At various times you need to put thought into what you are doing or you will die. This makes the game so much more enjoyable and adds another layer of complexity. Enemies pop out of everywhere and are hidden in every nook and cranny. It really keeps you guessing and engaged in the action every second you are playing.
There are 4 difficulty levels from easy to insane. Those are pretty true to their name and after beating insane you get a "true" or better ending. However, good luck. Insane is just that. Insane. I like to play medium because it still challenges you, but you can still take some hits and not worry about dying. It is the perfect mix a having fun while being challenged. You don't have to be 100% accurate and you can mess up every now and then. During the game each level has clown figurines that you can destroy as secret items as well as a camera that indicates a special and hidden item as well. This keeps you wide eyed and surveying every inch of your environment for the hidden items.
This game has maximum re-playability. Granted, you don't get scared after your third or fourth play-through, but then you can just hone your shooting skills and really sit back and marvel about how the game looks and appreciate the experience. Several months have gone by since I played it last and the time of this review and when I put that headset one I was having a blast just like the first time I played the game. It is one for the ages and was well executed that it will be here for a long time.
One sad fact about the game is that it is pretty short. There are not that many levels and there was no additional downloadable content available for it. It was one of the first VR games so there was uncertainty about how it would be received but I wish there were more.
My only other complaint is the ending of the game. The entire plot as a whole isn't great. However, I argue that you aren't playing this game for a big time plot so whatever. The plot I thought was very acceptable and all pieced together well. It combined confusion, mystery and uncertainty in its plot extremely well to the point where you thought you knew what was going one, but you just never exactly knew. My big gripe was the ending. I thought the plot was good until the ending. It was just atrocious. Quite possibly the worst ending to a video game I have ever played. I finished it and thought that it was a joke, or I had screwed up and taken a wrong path or gotten one of those "bad" endings. But no, the ending was just bad. So be prepared. It's not good.
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood is one of the all time best PSVR games. Its doesn't have the fancy gun like Farpoint has or the credibility Resident Evil has, but it does everything well and results in an incredible display of what VR can do. It is re-playable big time, is a blast each time you play and makes you feel part of the action. Especially now that it is free on the Playstation store (from November 7, 2017 to January 2018) there is absolutely no reason not to play it. Every person should have this game in their PSVR library and it should be played all the way through at least once.