Survival Horror games are a perfect fit for the immersion that VR alone creates. I nearly had a heart attack multiple times playing Resident Evil 7 on the PSVR. You have to experience the horror genre in VR to understand how it truly raises the level of tension ten fold. Once I heard about Home Sweet Home and that it featured PSVR support, I was highly interested. Then I found out it released last year on Steam and has has now garnered 917 reviews, sitting at 9/10. At this point, Home Sweet Home had my full attention.
Survival Horror is at Home with VR
Creating a truly terrifying horror game is a difficult road. You have to slowly build tension at just the right pace, while also ensuring the gameplay is highly unpredictable. This keeps gamers on edge, second guessing on what will exactly happen next. The best horror games make you nervous as you round each corner. The sound, art style, enemy placement and design…they are all areas that must be expertly implemented. I feel that this genre may indeed be the hardest one to develop for, as the attention to detail at each and every moment is immensely important to keep gamers engaged in the nightmare at hand. If things move too slowly, you lose your audience. If things move too quickly with excessive action every other moment, it really isn’t a true survival horror experience.
The atmosphere and tension found in Home Sweet Home is clear evidence that the Yggdrazil Group has done their homework while developing this game. It’s absolutely chilling and is a top contender for the most frightening VR game I have ever played yet. The ties to the rich and creepy tales from Thailand are great source material for horror and the evil spirits within Home Sweet Home are terrifying to behold visually and audibly. Some high quality gaming headphones go a long way here in delivering the utmost thrills when playing. You are completely cut off from the outside world when you combine that with the PSVR. It’s an experience you really have to go through yourself to appreciate the immersion accomplished here by the Yggdrazil Group.
Feel the Fear
Home Sweet Home nails many of the crucial elements needed for a terrifying survival horror experience. Tension is nearly always present and slowly builds till it explodes. You take the role of Tim, a young guy that wakes up and finds himself in a mysterious building with no clue how he got there in the first place. On top of this, his wife has recently vanished, causing him severe grief and despair. It doesn’t take long for Tim to discover he is not alone in this precinct and something truly evil and violent lurks in the darkness.
The hellish campaign lasts around 6 hours. The story created for Home Sweet Home was derived from Thai legends and trust me that many of these are absolutely horrifying. The atmosphere and feel of the game do in fact remind me of the tragic short lived PT demo and gameplay elements that made Outlast such a popular series. Arguably still two of the scariest games you can find today. You can only run and hide in Home Sweet Home, which is one way developers created a sense of constant phobia. You cannot attack or defend yourself from what is chasing you. You simply run, evade and hide…or face certain death from the demonic spirits and entities that are dead set on consuming you.
Are you safe?
As you explore through the shadows and dark corridors, you’ll slowly begin to uncover details on the events occurring around you. It’s an intriguing story, which only encourages you to get all the details you can during your exploration. You’ll find quite a few puzzles scattered about, reminiscent of what you come across in the Resident Evil franchise. These moments allow you to drop your guard a bit and breath again. This goes back to the importance of effectively pacing a horror game, which has been done extraordinarily well in Home Sweet Home. Even during these quieter moments though, you still never feel safe at any point due to what is stalking you. Some of the tactics used to instill fear can get somewhat predictable closer towards the end of the game, but this is pretty much our only area of criticism for this amazing title.
Home Sweet Home brings the rich and terrifying stories directly from Thai culture for this nightmarish ride. While you can play directly on your TV, for those who want the hair on the back of their neck standing up will opt for this venture on the PSVR. The realm of VR presents this devilish title in the best way, putting you right in the middle of the terror at hand.
Review Copy provided by Mastiff
Home Sweet Home
Review Score - 90%
Home Sweet Home is a single-player, first-person survival/horror/puzzle video game. It was developed by Thai developer Yggdrazil Group. The game features horror elements drawn from Thai folklore. It is available on PCs and on VR devices.