PlayStation VR is a cool device and there are many awesome possibilities developers could take advantage of when making a video game for virtual reality. Unfortunately, “The Inpatient” is an abysmal entry, despite having a solid developer behind it, Supermassive Games, they appear to have dropped the ball big time, producing an incredibly short linear experience that’s in no way worth the £30 entry fee.
For those unaware, “The Inpatient” is a prequel to the hit horror game “Until Dawn”, set in a mental asylum, you finally uncover first-hand what actually happened to the staff and the patients at Blackwell Sanitorium, at least that’s what is alluded to.
So after playing through the game twice, the answers aren’t exactly anything but good and the pay offs are pretty weak to say the least. I thought that I was in for a treat when I started playing the game, as the initial opening was very positive. It started very strongly, and I was on the edge of my seat for the first hour. The atmosphere felt incredible, the option to speak back lines to characters felt truly immersive.
The controls in “The Inpatient” can be used with move controllers or the Dualshock 4. The controls are very simple, as you use the left stick to move, X to interact and pushing down the analogue does a quick 180, ideal for a move controller, not so ideal for the Dualshock 4. So I found myself constantly turning around with a slight miss touch on the analogue stick leading to some frustrating moments, even getting through a door had its issues. So if there’s one thing the game nails though is sound quality. Because all the characters are voiced to a great standard, and the environment sounds certainly keep you on edge.
I felt like I was in an asylum, and before I knew it, I was trapped in a room with another patient. So what did that lead to? Well, it included having strange peculiar dreams with some solid jump scares. As a matter of fact, I even screamed a few times. Other than that, you also build a small relationship with another patient who shares the same room as you. This individual can be male or female depending on what gender you pick.
However, ” The Inpatient” then nosedives into monotonous walking from A to B kind of game with very little happening. So it wasn’t long before my fear turned into boredom, but I luckily wasn’t bored for long because the game put itself out of misery and ended.
The butterfly effect supposedly provides so many possibilities, take a left turn, and it could change everything. Well, that’s the premise that the game is said to offer. However, after playing through the game twice with one good ending and a bad ending, there was very little different...So it all comes down to whether a character lives or dies.
However, even when that happens you’ve hardly been around them long enough to actually care. So there is not enough depth to the cast (which was such a strong part of “Until Dawn”). I was hoping to see something very different with each play through, perhaps maybe something different entirely, especially with your character suffering from memory loss, Super Massive had a good way to do some interesting story telling here but failed to capitalize on that.
Sure, there are a few redeeming qualities to be found in “The Inpatient”. For example, visually the game does look good and the idea of being in a virtual space felt great. Why? Because as your flash light lights up the abyss, and that make you wonder what lurks in the darkness, and that gives a rather scary and creepy feeling to the game.
There was also a net moment where I had to literally hold still and not move my head or arms when an enemy was close, but that’s where the positives end unfortunately. The game only made use of the freeze feature once! Just one time I got experience that fear, it was never used again in a different scenario.
Free exploration is incredibly limited as well. So you don’t actually get to explore much of the sanitarium or come across many other patients. That’s also why I find it to be a huge let down as I was half expecting “Shutter Island” in a “Until Dawn” setting, but this wasn’t even anywhere close to that.
Long story short. I simply can’t believe how the game completely loses all its momentum halfway through the second act, and it does so after that you’ve been introduced to some new characters as well. I found myself just walking from place to place and fighting with trying to hit buttons on an elevator. I felt like I was on a boring tour where you couldn’t wander off to see the really cool dangerous stuff.
The dreams you experienced earlier on don’t repeat themselves and that’s what I wanted to experience more. Because those dreams include everything from following a wolf or a rabbit to some weird deer stalking you. I mean, it really made for some seriously creepy stuff. So this needed to carry on for the third act, or at least add some darn length to the game because the whole thing is over all too soon…
So truth be told. I don’t think I’ve ever been so disappointed with a horror title in my whole life. Especially one that had so much promise. The entire thing just falls apart after an hour, the long silent walks through corridors with stale characters kill the immersion, while “The Inpatient” dabbles with some good ideas it fails to deliver more of them for the end-game, which in turn provided an incredibly flat and disappointing finale.
So if you could actually move faster than a snail, you could actually run through this game within an hour, not at all worth the £30 admission price. I expected so much more from Super Massive games, especially with how good Until Dawn and Rush of Blood were. To put it simply “The Inpatient” is a poor excuse for a horror game. So for me personally this is one of the worst PS VR games I’ve played through. Simply put, avoid “The Inpatient” like the plague.
+ First hour is good
+ Dream sequences stand out
+ Good sound design
– 2 Hours long
– Falls apart after an hour
– It’s like being on a crap tour
Replay value: 1/5
You know, even with the Inpatient’s multiple endings I still forced myself to sit through just two hours to play it again. Well, I was hoping for a horrifying experience, but the only thing horrifying about this game is that it cost me £30! Yes, this game is that darn bad. So just avoid it.
Title: The Inpatient
Developer: Super Massive Games
Format: PS VR
Release date: 23/01/2018
Spent time: +5 hours
Average grade internationally: 58.11% Gamerankings.com
PEGI age rating: Pegi +18
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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