Last year, PlayStation 4 owners were treated to the terrific horror title Until Dawn. This year, PS4 owners who buy into the virtual reality space with PlayStation VR, will have the opportunity to experience horror in a whole new way with its spin-off Until Dawn: Rush of Blood.
Rush of Blood is an on-rails shooter, literally. Players sit in a minecart/rollercoaster equipped with two guns and shoot their way through various levels. Each level intensifies the spooky factor and difficulty. This is way more fun than it may sound.
Players start off in the minecart and listen to a carny as he explains the simplistic nature of the gameplay. “See the targets, shoot the targets and try not to die, of course.” From here the minecart moves forward, shuttling players off to test their shooting skills on the horrific ride. The first level is tame, scuttling along in the cart, shooting duckies and targets.
However, as the player progresses, the duckies turn into heads, and the targets are now madmen trying to kill you. Every level players complete they will receive a grade, which they can compare to their friend’s and the worldwide leaderboards. This little addition of competition is welcome for those with a competitive streak. I apparently suck at shooting the targets, but I’m good at shooting things that aren’t targets. With my 37% accuracy, yeah, I’m no Clint Eastwood. In my defense, a lot of the shooting was to test how much of the environment was destructible. Shooting is 99 percent of the gameplay, the other 1 percent is physically leaning to avoid objects such as buzz-saws, acid, fire and low wooden beams. Please keep your head inside the cart at all times.
There is a story to Until Dawn: Rush of Blood. On its own, it doesn’t make much sense, but if the player has played Until Dawn, it will make far more sense. I don’t want to discuss it too much, for fear of ruining Until Dawn for those who have yet to play. Rush of Blood is just a journey through the psycho’s brain. I even took a second to investigate the clothing my virtual double was wearing, and even the outfit looks familiar. To be fair, people could play Rush of Blood and never truly learn what happened in Until Dawn but I still highly recommend players play the original before rushing into this blood bath.
Rush of Blood is intense. One minute players are enjoying a simple shooting gallery, the next players are intently staring forward, trying to avoid smashing their face into ill-placed wooden panels. And of course there are jump scares. While I wouldn’t call Rush of Blood scary-players won’t scream in terror- it is a treat for those who lean towards the macabre.
The attention to detail in Rush of Blood will fulfill any Until Dawn fan’s dream. Almost everything from the original is represented in some shape or form. I enjoyed scanning the landscape for little details, which caused a couple of horrible virtual injuries. There is no shortage of things to look at. I would repeat levels just to try and glimpse more of the details. The graphics are fantastic and felt on par with the original title. One thing I appreciated was the inclusion of arms on my character., which helped with the immersive feel. The visuals were creepy, lending themselves to the overall spookiness factor. Spookiness which will quickly turn into terror and “holy fudge, what the heck is that?”
The sound design perfectly compliments the environments. Creepy slow carnival music, aided by crying babies, screaming and sobbing. The hairs on the back of the player’s neck will stand up as they sit in the dark and listen to the heavy breathing close by.
Technically, Rush of Blood gave me few troubles. Sometimes shots had a difficult time registering, but were usually spot on. Although, at one point when I was calibrating my Move controllers, I had clicked accept with the left controller rather than the right and this appear to have switched my arms. The left controller was aiming the right weapon and vice versa. While this made me look like a badass action hero, it did not help my accuracy whatsoever.
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood is a ride Jigsaw himself would have built. A torturous ride through Hell, filled with decomposing pigs, creepy dolls, and enemies with any number of limbs imaginable. This is an easy recommendation for horror fans, even more so for those who truly enjoyed Until Dawn. Supermassive Games has managed to recapture the feel of Until Dawn while pulling off a first-person, on-rails shooter, centered around a masked psycho and whatever craziness haunts their mind. This ride is definitely worth the price of admission.