Insomniac Games will be releasing three new virtual reality games for Oculus Rift devices in the year 2016- Edge of Nowhere, The Unspoken, and the Feral Rites. Conceptualised mainly To leverage in the 360 degree video experience coupled with snazzy effects provided by virtual reality, the new VR-focussed games are an exciting prospect for hardcore gamers. We briefly delve into details of one of the three virtual reality games, ‘Edge of Nowhere’.
Edge of Nowhere is a thrilling game, for, as the name suggests, you are at the ‘edge of nowhere’ trudging your way across snow-capped mountains. At the very core, ‘edge of nowhere’ is an adventure game as it challenges you to make your way through the frozen pathway to the very top. There would have been no cause for complaints really had it been a straight path free from any kind of obstruction. Unfortunately, though, and as most might have guessed, that is not the case. Horror is as much an underlying aspect of the whole saga as much as adventure is, so that the player is guaranteed innumerable ‘thrills and chills’ (the game is replete with it)
The action begins in the snow-capped peaks of the Arctic mountain ranges with the main protagonist Victor Howard aiming to make his way to the top of the mountain. The game borrows heavily from HP. Lovecraft novella at the Mountain of Madness- a story about the travails of a bunch of university students on an Arctic expedition. The whole game alludes to the 1930s Lovecraftian theme. In what can be considered as a rare mix of horror and adventure, Edge of Nowhere packs in a blend of action and adventure with a dollop of Survival Horror thrown in.
On his way to negotiating his way through a cliff totally covered in ice, Victor is shown as initially indulging in a calculated jump with the utmost dexterity, and this is accompanied by the sounds of metal on ice as his ice-pick plows its way through the ice-this action sequence sort of heralds his further forays into the snowy expanse that lay ahead.
The whole game has a cinematic feel to it, wherein, for a change, you are the centrepiece of all action. All of what Victor’s experiences is transmuted into something that the player himself might experience. So, as Victor gazes skywards, you are treated to the sight of the azure blue skies. Likewise, Victor staring at an abyss is meant to evoke the same eerie feelings that you are used to experiencing when you yourself encounter some kind of abyss. The various monsters and creatures thrown in the way provide the much-needed element of scariness-which is what mainly constitutes the horror.
Sound and spatial awareness techniques are incorporated to the maximum extent in way that the present range of Virtual Reality gear can afford. Vivid Camera angles are meant to aid in creating that atmosphere of realism, lending an almost visceral effect to the unfolding drama. Add to that, stereoscopic sounds differing in range and texture to mimic the hissing Arctic air and the creepy sounds uttered by heathen monsters, and what you have is a game boasting of the best audio-visual experience on offer.
As Victor continues to climb up the ice-soaked walls, he comes across mutiliated corpses strewn across the pathway, which strangely appear non-human. He also encounters crab like creatures dangling from the caves of the walls, most of whom he can knock off by a single swish of his ice-pick. As he meanders his way through, he comes across weird looking creatures with rickety legs. Interestingly the sense of sight has been withheld from the horrid looking creatures , so that they rely on sounds only to pinpoint and destroy their enemies. Here is where, Victor is required to act smart by throwing stones in different directions as a means of distracting the slug-like creatures.
The monsters are all-pervasive; not only do they differ in size and appearance but also in their attacking techniques. Appearance wise, They range the entire gamut-from the wildly obnoxious human-resembling creatures to the utterly despicable crustaceans. Victor is required to get rid of all of these creatures in a tactical and methodical fashion with minimum strain on his resources ( which happens to be very limited).
As if the entire ordeal consisting of characters and settings was not enough, the game makers have added an extra element-the sanity aspect. A very honest embodiment of strivings that anybody in Victor’s shoes might undergo, Victor is also seen to occasionally lose his mind as he slips into alternate realities; take, for example, the scene showing him enter a university lecture hall with books flying all around.
Feelings of discomfort and ‘edginess’ that we are used to experiencing while playing these kind of games are sought to be amplified by the use of Virtual Reality devices. So get ready to be ‘shaken and stirred’ in a never before way playing the new virtual reality game, Edge of Nowhere.