October 14, 2016
Sony Interactive Entertainment
I love a good horror game, indeed horror games and I go back a long way. Virtual reality has one of the greatest potentials in horror games in my opinion, and my first taste of this potential came in the form of Here They Lie.
Here They Lie plunges you into a dark, nightmarish world that you are forced to explore to reclaim your memories and piece together what exactly is going on. I’ve heard the game described as a walking simulator, but that would only hold true for someone rushing through the game without taking the time to explore all the side rooms and dark areas. There are points in the game where decisions that come full circle at the end take place, but the game doesn’t require you to think too deeply, which allows you to experience it better.
The settings of Here They Lie range from twisted cities to darkened subways and more. The graphics of the game are somewhat blurred, but I believe this is an intentional decision given the premise of the game, rather than a design flaw. The inhabitants of the game are well designed and distinguished from each other. It was really interesting to sit back and observe the interactions between them all, chaotic as they were.
The audio of the game is what brings it to life and compliments your adventure. The sounds of the creatures that patrol the streets and corridors maintain the suspense. The phone ringing from sections that are pitch black, requiring you to wave your torch around while praying that nothing is going to be revealed really get the blood pumping.
Here They Lie had me jumping in my seat within the first 5 minutes, and the tactic isn’t used to excess, so is also successful during the rest of the game.
One of the most terrifying moments I had was walking down a set of stairs lit by a floodlight from behind. As I descended, a second shadow with horns and claws joined mine, instantly causing the hairs on the back of my neck to prickle. Eyes fixed firmly in front, it was one of the most exquisite moments of horror I have ever enjoyed.
I love that the direction of your movement is controlled by the direction you are facing and was how I got through most of the game. The back up thumbstick control was good in a pinch, but the fact that it blocked out your field of view temporarily was annoying. I understand that it is there to reduce motion sickness while turning, but I feel like I can handle that.
- Great tension throughout
- Well structured/ linear gameplay
- Game is broken into well sized "chapters"
- Collectables seem a bit pointless at times
- Loss of immersion when turning manually
- Graphics are a bit blurry
Here They Lie manages to create a VR horror experience that is immersive and fun (which equates to racing heart and sweaty palms in horror speak). The fact that it isn’t overly complicated makes it easier to take in the world that has been created and simply enjoy playing the game. There is also the potential for re-runs to try and get different outcomes should you desire. A great introductory VR title for any player, unless horror really isn’t your thing.