Narcosis hands on (E3 2016)

Survival horror games, they’re perfect for virtual reality, especially when you’re seeing it through a first person perspective. While there are already some top-notch survival horror titles developed for virtual reality, Narcosis from the team over at Honor Code, is set beneath the sea where you’re an industrial diver who happens to survive a catastrophic accident – thus, making your way back up to the surface somehow. Unlike those other survival horror titles, Narcosis seems to mess with the mind more with its psychological bending of the mind, as the vast isolation of the deep sea begins to affect our character.

We spent some time checking out the game during E3 2016, which is coming to the Oculus Rift sometime during the second half of this year. In our demo, we see the result of the accident through the eyes of our character, who is safeguarded from the pressure of the deep sea thanks to the diving gear he’s in. The VR experience is very much predictable, as we can look around our diving suit to see what’s in front of us – as well as the HUD panel in our suit that displays our oxygen level.

Narcosis hands on 2

Using the gamepad, we’re able to guide our survivor through tight corridors as we fight for survival – and before the oxygen runs out. Moving forward/backward is done using the analog stick, while the other buttons allow us to throw flares, interact with object, and fend off unwanted creatures. Who knows why, but after several minutes of navigating through the game, we began to feel a bit nauseous. Maybe it’s due to the confined nature of the game, or maybe the fact that we know that our body is just sitting in the real world and not being thrusted forward at all like in the game? Regardless, it’s something that we experienced in our time checking out the demo.

Besides that, we find the graphics to be average at best. Combat in the game, however, feels a bit unpolished due to how creatures seem to be unfazed by our swatting. Plus, the animation for that also seems to be a bit lazy – as in there isn’t much movement with the action. This game definitely is more story-driven than anything else, seeing that the character begins to slowly lose his mind trying to survive. Unlike those traditional survival horror games we’re accustomed to playing, like those rampant zombie ones, the setting beneath the ocean and the psychological torment that the character endures makes it a different experience.

Narcosis hands on 4

While the VR element here is in the same capacity as other first-person shooters, the closed off feeling of being in a diver’s suit helps to maintain that level of confinement that the game is going after. Who know, but if they’re able to add in some additional action scenes, as opposed to simply focusing on figuring out clues about what’s going on, it’ll provide a tangible level of pacing to the game. We’ll find out soon enough, given that the game’s release is nearing.

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