Until Dawn: Rush of Blood Review
Until Dawn was quite a polarising title. Some people absolutely loved it, with a different take on the horror genre, some hated it due to its minimal gameplay, maximum cut scene orientation. I was one of the former, I really enjoyed the game, found that it had plenty of gameplay, a decent enough storyline and memorable characters. I felt mixed emotions when Rush of Blood, a spin off designed for PSVR, that saw you riding a roller coaster, shooting clowns in an on rails shooter. Not exactly enticing, surely we would have been better served by a full scale sequel, released in VR would have been even more astounding. So with low expectation, I placed on my headset and climbed aboard the coaster ride that is Rush of Blood.
Rush of Blood consists of seven levels of which to play through, with each having a different fearsome theme. It reminds me of the sittings with Dr Alan Hill, Peter Stormare’s character in Until Dawn. In Until Dawn, the not so good Dr asks a series of questions to try and figure out your fears, in turn using these to try to gross you out or in still ear in game. Rush of Blood merges all of these questions into one game, giving you every scenario to try to inflict fear upon you. At times I found it effective, I encountered plenty of jump scares and was adequately grossed out as I rode the roller coaster through, what seems to be, Until Dawns evil protagonists mind.
The coaster itself is really cool. It is such a strange feeling, knowingly sitting on your comfy sofa, yet being transported on a coaster. I found myself at times yelling “whoa” on steep declines, the sense of speed and actually being on a roller coaster is as strong as it is exhilarating. Before your ride you are greeted by a ringmaster type man who introduces you to the games mechanics, namely sitting and shooting.
You have the option of using either the DS4 controller or two move controllers. With the DS4 each analogue stick controls an arm and R2 and L2 being you triggers. It is near impossible. Thankfully using two move controller, one for each arm, is really accurate and feels very natural. Each hand holds a gun; each guns has a torch light which helps with your aim. One thing you quick notice is that when the roller coaster gets speed up you tend to move a lot. The screen tracking can move out of whack, thankfully when you slow down and feel comfortable holding select shifts the screen to in front of your position instantaneously.
As I said shooting is quite precise. The game introduces you to the gun play via shooting stationary targets and moving duck targets in a fair ground setting. I felt like an expert marksman as my cart slowly moved forward, hitting targets with ease and leaving nothing behind. However, after the first decline things were moving quite rapidly, hitting everything became near impossible. I was firing shots left and right, spraying bullets and needing to quickly reload (a press of the move button on the corresponding controller), all whilst giggling my ass off. On rails shooters are rarely much fun, but when you’re on rails in a cart that moves in VR it is so much better than you would think.
As the ride moves on throughout new levels of bizarre grossness things get quite intense. Most of the scares are simple jump scares, in VR these are heightened, more than a few profanities were yelled each level. The enemies are varied, I won’t go into detail as it will detract from your play through, but most are based upon Until Dawns. Likewise, the areas you travel through all are reminiscent, as I travelled through the game I remembered my play through of Until Dawn, there was a fondness coupled with a yearning for a much deserved sequel.
Depth wise there is not a lot to Rush of Blood. There are the seven somewhat varied levels to travel through, each feeling unique. Each level takes ten to fifteen minutes each to complete. Overall it took me around the two-hour mark to play through, which doesn’t sound overly great value, but at twenty dollars to purchase you can’t expect a ten-hour extravaganza. After playing the game through you can revisit any level you choose and try to better your previous outing. There are also leader boards to top, collectables to find and a few different rails to take via shooting or leaving rail change points. I can see myself playing each level at least three times and perhaps keeping the game around for the quick rush of a level every so often.
Overall Rush of Blood is quite that, an intense rush of blood. As I previously mentioned on rails shooters often leave something to be desired. However perhaps VR is the perfect platform for them. Graphically it is quite good and the sound sets up quite the spooky coaster ride. Yes, it is an on rails shooter but the feeling of the coaster and variety on offer keeps the game fun. If you hate roller coasters I cannot see you enjoying this, but fans of cheap thrills will be extremely happy they climbed on board for the ride.
The Good: Does an excellent job of making you feel like you are on the coaster, bizarre environments, genuine scares, move controllers work extremely well, takes you back to the original game.
The Bad: May cause motion sickness to the weak gutted, short adventure, it is still an on rails shooter.
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