Review – Twilight Zone VR
I’m going to preface this review with a confession: I’ve never actually seen The Twilight Zone. Despite being a fan of horror, I just never got around to it, but have appreciated how it’s influenced the genre as a whole. However, as a fan of VR and horror, it’s my time to get into the franchise with Twilight Zone VR. My six months with the platform has been a memorable one, from the fantastic Resident Evil 4 VR port to PCVR games like Half Life Alyx. Now to see if my luck would continue.
Following the general structure of the show, Twilight Zone VR is an anthology of different short stories. Each one has different characters, settings, and of course gameplay mechanics surrounding them that exist within the same universe. The stories are where Twilight Zone VR shines the most, so I will try to be as vague as possible explaining them.
The first chapter is a fairly simple sequence. You are stuck in an office building and have to escape from an almost human enemy with just nothing quite right about them. As you can expect, this is a stealth horror chapter that has you crouching under desks and throwing cups and cans to distract the roaming threat. It’s not offensively bad, but overly simple with distractions, giving you a generous fifteen or so seconds to move away. To try and counter this the developers just have the enemy respawn nearby. It’s cheap and lead to my only deaths in this chapter, but the novelty of being in VR does bring it up a notch.
Twilight Zone VR‘s second chapter ramps this up a lot with a much more grand premise. The UK Prime Minister has royally screwed up the world (again) after green-lighting a probe to be sent to the sun. You play as a survivor in this wasteland. Moving away from the hide-and-seek horror setting, this chapter takes an almost Metro Exodus vibe as you explore a desolate desert wasteland. Again, the gameplay is pretty simple with unlimited ammo, easy to kill enemies and not a lot to do.
The third and final chapter is by far Twilight Zone‘s most interesting, taking a much weirder path. It takes place in the midst of an alien invasion, but that’s as much as you’ll get from me on this one, as it’s the most surprising and compelling chapter. However, as the trend continues, it’s just overly simple. Combat is weak and the environmental puzzles don’t really do much to captivate you. Twilight Zone VR works purely on its stronger central mysteries, rather than its core gameplay. This applies to all three chapters.
Throughout all three chapters, the same visual presentation is fairly similar throughout. Environments don’t cram in a lot of detail, and are rather basic and boring to look at. It’s the same deal with the sound design as well. Nothing will blow you away, but at the same time it’s not exactly bad either. Thankfully, it does have some decent enough voice acting to move it along.
As a whole, Twilight Zone VR provides three distinctively different experiences that all thematically work together within the same game. However, the game mechanics are far too simple to recommend and VR only barely elevates it into something a bit more playable. Without VR, this simply wouldn’t be a game worth anyone’s time. The stories are all decently told with solid twists (even if the second one was a bit predictable), which might be enough to make fans of the series overlook its shortcomings. That being said, if you are looking for a deep and compelling experience, then you might want to avoid this.
Environments are simple, but don’t look offensively bad either.
Twilight Zone VR‘s core gameplay mechanics are too simple to be engaging.
Good sound design that can pick up where graphics let it down.
Fun Factor: 6.5
The VR aspect manages to elevate an otherwise dull game to something a little bit more interesting.
Final Verdict: 6.0
Twilight Zone VR is available now on Meta Quest 2 and PlayStation VR.
Reviewed on Meta Quest 2.
A copy of Twilight Zone VR was provided by the publisher.