Now Playing: The Inpatient (PSVR)

A horror VR game from Supermassive Games, creators of Until Dawn and Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, and is also apparently some form of prequel to Until Dawn? Wow, how can this go wrong? Well, you probably already see where this is going…this is an incredibly disappointing game. I’m ok with interactive movie type games like Until Dawn, where there’s very little gameplay outside of a handful of timed choices and quicktime events, but this is like if they took that formula and said “what if we did that again, but made there be EVEN LESS story AND interactivity?”.

The Inpatient starts with you bound to a chair, forced to answer a series of questions that don’t really have much impact when you have no idea who you are or what’s going on here. You’re in an asylum, you have no memory, and you would assume that bad things are going to happen at some point or there wouldn’t be much point in this game existing (and if you’ve played Until Dawn, you can make a pretty good guess about what it will be). You’d better get used to being confined with nothing to do but answer trivial questions if you want to play this game though, because there’s not really anything else to it.

Hope you like this room, because this is what you’ll be staring at most of the time.

The game goes like this: “cutscene” sequence where control is removed from you while someone comes into your room and asks you some completely irrelevant questions that your answers don’t seem to matter much to, control is given back, but you’re still locked in the room with nothing to do but look around for the one item to look at that triggers the end of this sequence, and then you go to sleep and have spooky dream sequences where you walk down green hallways and cheap, and extremely loud jump scares pop out at you. I went through this same boring process 3 or 4 times and it never got any more interesting.

To make matters worse, the controls are painfully bad too. The Move controls are supposed to be beyond awful so I didn’t even try that way, but man they must be really, really bad because the DualShock controls were pretty abysmal. The problems mainly seem to stem from the fact that you’re not just a floating head like usual in a first person game, you have a physical body below you, and that body controls like a broken tank. You can turn your head around any which way, but your body has a tendency to not want to cooperate with the movements you’re trying to do. Backing up and strafing don’t seem to work quite right, so if you’re blocked in the front you’re going to have to rotate your body away from it and walk forward.

That doesn’t sound all that bad does it, but wait, there’s more! The body below you also loves to get stuck on just about every surface, AND its alignment tends to constantly shift away from center so that you might be facing perfectly forward, but your body, and by extension your walking direction, are going to soon be walking in a different direction. Turning your body with the thumbstick takes your head with you and like with most PSVR games, the default button to re-center your view doesn’t actually work, so even the simple task of walking across your tiny room becomes an awkward mess.

So if you haven’t already noticed, I didn’t like this game too much. It’s only supposed to be something like 2 hours long and I couldn’t even make it that far. After an hour of rolling my eyes at how dry and boring the cutscene and room sequences were, with nothing to break the tedium but green hallways with the kind of cheap, shitty jump scares I expect from something like the Insidious franchise, I was already wanting it all to stop. Then I got to another green hallway that it took me several minutes to walk down because I couldn’t get my guy to walk in a simple fucking straight line, and I just gave up. It’s hard to believe that Supermassive went from the incredibly detailed and well-produced Rush of Blood, one of the best PSVR launch titles, to this cheap, broken snoozefest. Oh well.

3 comments on “Now Playing: The Inpatient (PSVR)

  1. Mr Backlog says:

    Sad. I want a PSVR headset, but aside from Mages’ Tale I’ve seen very little software that made me think it could be fun as well as interesting.

    • It definitely doesn’t have a full console sized library, but if you can’t find ANYTHING at all fun, and I say this in the nicest way possible, then you’re not lookin’ very hard!

      • Mr Backlog says:

        Heh – I guess to be fair to VR, I’m not. It’s not a practical purchase with a toddler right now, so I just read the odd review. I was interested in this one because I quite enjoyed Until Dawn.

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