The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR is a rail shooter video game developed and published by supermassive games for the PlayStation VR2. It was released on 16 March 2023. It is a spin-off of The Dark Pictures Anthology and features the player riding a horror themed roller coaster.
It is a spiritual sequel to the 2016 VR game until Dawn: Rush of blood, which was also a launch game near the original PlayStation VR’s release.
The game is a spin off from the dark pictures anthology and features various locations from the four games of its first season.
In February 2022, supermassive games filed trademarks for six potential future entries, including switchback. Unlike previous entries of the series, it is not published by Bandai Namco entertainment, instead being self-published by supermassive games. The game was supermassive games announced in January 2023 that the game’s release would be delayed until 16 march 2023.
I’m not exactly sure why a developer best known for quiet , choice –filled games that border on interactive movies is so interested in turning them into arcade-style rail shooters, but supermassive games is taking another crack at exactly tat – this time with the help of the new PlayStation VR2 headset. Like until dawn: rush of blood before it, the dark pictures: switchback VR focuses less on storytelling and more on action to mixed results.
While it’s fun to blast through ghouls and bats in my path, tis spinoff is plagued by many of the same issues as its predecessor, including a disappointingly short runtime.
Switchback VR’s story feels like an an afterthought, putting you in the role of an unnamed protagonist on a hellish rollercoaster ride across ten different stages. Most are locations featured in the first season of the dark pictures anthology us you are never really told much about why the protagonist is visiting them or any of the few supporting characters they meet. That’s partially because switchback VR is very short only taking me about four hours to complete but it’s disappointing all the same given own good of a job supermassive usually does providing backstory and depth to its characters.
But what it lacks in story switchback VR mostly makes up for in gameplay. While te on rails nature of its action naturally limits where you can go you are able to move your head to look AROUND in any direction in vr. It was fun to quickly turn each time I heard eerie screams or enemies creeping up on me in the background or occasionally having to physically duck to avoid falling beams and leaning pillars. That situational awareness is key as enemies will sometimes sneakily appear to the left and right of your peripheral vision.
You will always have to guns to fend off enemies; each independently controlled with the PS VR2’s sense controllers. While you start every level with the default pistols, you can grab ammo-limited alternatives like revolver or a machine gun by shooting red crates that appear in convenient sections of each stage. It’s annoying that these special weapons are locked into the hand you initially shot the crate with, with but you can still have some fun switching up your strategy for a bit when you find them. For example you could use a machine gun to swiftly remove enemies close to your cart and conserve ammo by firing the pistol at enemies further away. other weapons like a flare gun are required to solve certain puzzles and progress further they do not require a lot of thought to solve as you just need to shoot at certain objects to keep the track moving forward but it is a nice change of pace from just shooting orders of enemies.
The shooting mechanics themselves have been simplified for VR, with firing and reloading bot mapped to two beyond on each sense controller since so few are needed overall. That’s not a bad thing as possible in a short period of time then nuanced gunplay. Still shooting in switchback VR feels responsive and the nation controlled aiming is very accurate which made headshots extremely rewarding each time I pulled one off.
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