Supermassive Games‘ upcoming VR title called “The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR” will showcase the features of the PlayStation VR2 (PSVR2) in an interesting (and horrifying) way. The horror VR game will make use of the PSVR2’s eye-tracking system to face you against enemies that move when you blink.
In an article from EDGE magazine (issue #380), we learn more about the hinted eye-tracking gimmick that Switchback VR has. A certain type of enemy will move while you’re blinking, and you have to use this to your advantage in order to take it down. Here’s the full explanation:
A door painted with the instruction ‘don’t blink’ opens up into a room of blood-smeared mannequins in harlequin masks, their bodies twisted into unnatural poses. Eventually we can’t help it any more, and let our eyelids flutter closed. When they open again, the mannequins have been rearranged – or have rearranged themselves. Another blink, and it happens again, except that one of them has now come to life. As we repeat this process, we learn to use our eyes tactically, only blinking once our guns are readied.
This sort of gimmick is pretty popular in horror media, with arguably the most famous example being the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who. And while the concept itself is scary to read or watch on a TV screen, experiencing it for yourself adds a whole new level of immersion and fear.
Game Director Alejandro Arqué Gallardo also mentions in the article that the studio isn’t obligated to make use of PSVR2’s hardware features. “We were basically creating the design of the level itself and then asking: how can we make it more real, using everything that we have at our disposal?” he states. So while Switchback VR does highlight the VR headset’s advanced hardware, it’s done in a natural and impactful way.
The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR is a launch title for the PlayStation VR2 and will launch on the same day as the VR device on February 22, 2023.
Source: Edge Magazine