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Intruders: Hide And Seek

Posted by GG Goblin On February - 26 - 2019

Shh! I’m hiding in a cupboard.

Okay, so this is GGUK’s first PSVR game review, but as long as we don’t run out of motion sickness pills and eye drops, it won’t be the last. Virtual Reality is all about putting players into more immersive situations, and for some reason seems to be unfairly focussed on scaring the player. While not a VR horror game, Tessera Studios’ Intruders: Hide and Seek is now responsible for me having to check each lock in the house at least three times before I go to bed. Thanks for that.

ihas1 (Copy)

As part of my recent deep dive into the VR experience, I have started to realise the shortcomings of virtual reality, such as games being shorter than usual, and more like experiences rather than games. However, I have also come to realise the biggest appeal of VR gaming in the form of immersion. So many times over the past few weeks, I have felt like I could reach out and touch some virtual plant and creature, or have been made to jump by an unexpected noise or movement out of my direct sight. When done right, VR games really have the power to pull the player in and completely forget about the outside world.

It is the immersion that allows Tessera Studios’ Intruders: Hide and Seek to move beyond being a simplistic, short stealth game and become an atmospheric, tension packed game of cat and mouse.

As with many of the VR games that I have tried, it begins by giving the player a quick tutorial on the VR controls. While I could have done without the creepy child’s laughter and a child running around the corner just as you focus on them, the tutorial gives the player everything they need to know about controlling young Ben in Intruders. Movement seems to be the most problematic aspect in VR games, often bringing on the infamous motion sickness. In Intruders, the player has the option of either using the right stick to freely look around while moving, or they can set it to move in degrees, which seems to lessen the motion sickness somewhat. The player gets to choose whichever mode they find most comfortable, which is nice.

Anyway, once the VR tutorial is over and the player gets into the game proper, it all starts out like so many other games, full of the joys of life. Ben, and his obviously wealthy family, are off for a nice vacation at their incredibly fancy holiday home. This house is absolutely stunning, and large enough to stand as the play area for this game without feeling too cramped. The player will have the chance to explore the house, across all three floors, while the story is set up and the player learns how to interact with things and hide in cupboards. Why hide in cupboards? I hear you say. Well, that’s because this lovely holiday is about to go terribly wrong.

A group of three intruders get into the house and take Ben’s parents hostage. The phone lines are down and the internet isn’t working, leaving Ben and his sister with nothing else to do but discover the motivations of the intruders and save their parents. Time for a game of Hide and Seek.

ihas2 (Copy)

Well, Intruders only lasts a couple of hours, and it doesn’t take very long for the player to work out where the story is going. There are a few twists and turns, but it is nothing that hasn’t been seen before. The voice acting in the game is nothing special, and best approached from a low budget movie standpoint. However, despite this, Intruders still manages to really immerse the player in this dangerous situation and create real tension.

The player will be tasked with moving Ben around the house unseen. The intruders will patrol different areas of the house, and players can learn their patrol patterns if they pay enough attention, making movement a little bit easier. Stealth is the order of the day, and crouching, moving from shadow to shadow will be the best way for Ben to reach his locations. However, If Ben does get noticed by one of the intruders, they will give chase and Ben’s only real hope will be to find somewhere to hide, such as a cupboard.

Mostly though, being seen will mean being caught, which will mean game over and a reload of the last checkpoint. As the checkpoints seem to set at designated points within the story, this could mean losing many minutes worth of progress, which can be a little frustrating. The real answer there, is not to get caught.

Ben has a torch to light his way, although using it could alert the intruders. They have torches too and it is easy to see when they may be approaching from around a corner. As already mentioned, this is not a horror game, so don’t be expecting any truly disturbing imagery in the game. That being said, the visuals and the use of light does create a really psychologically disturbing situation. The intruders are violent and dangerous, and simply seeing that light coming from around a corner can give a real sense of fear. Moving from light to dark areas affects what Ben can actually see, little motes of dust float in the air at times, and the danger of a darkened room, occasionally bathed in the light from a lightning flash, is enough to send most people the other way. The developers have done a great job of using light to immerse the player in this tense situation.

ihas3 (Copy)

Intruders only lasts for a couple of hours before coming to an unsurprising resolution. Played without VR, I can imagine the game being disappointing. However, the simple gameplay combined with the tense situation makes it an unusual PSVR experience, and one that really does pull the player in. There are some problems with the game, and it is short, but if you are looking for a really immersive VR experience, then Intruders: Hide and Seek is well worth trying out. Just make sure you lock the doors.




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