A GEARVR NEWS BULLETIN
DREADHALLS is now quite a famous game for GearVR, with almost everyone having at least heard about it, if not played it at some point. Although not everyone can claim to have played it a lot! This is because many fell by the wayside within 20 minutes of daring to walk those nefarious halls of dread, never to dare play it again! No way!
It’s a game that is so scary, only the most hardened of gaming veterans have dared to give it its pound of flesh: namely a pound gouged from your own heart if you aren’t careful. It’s infamy lies in a pure aesthetic of sheer uncompromising terror. It has stunned, shocked, and delighted the VR community over and over again, with each new update, each new twist in turn which began way back in 2012 as a standard PC game initially called “Prison Thief“. That game got shelved because theft-based-play style was not conducive to its randomly-generated level structure. But fast forward to VR JAM 2013 and Oculus was looking for developers with the fortitude and adeptness to move into mobile gaming for the GearVR’s debut launch in 2014 on the now-defunct Note 4. White Door Games answered that call, and “the rest…” as they say “…is history!“
Prison Thief was re-titled to DREADHALLS after going through a number of other names that didn’t pan out. It turns out White Door Game’s Achilles heel lies in naming their games successfully, haha. But as a programming team, they are quite adept at solving problems and overcoming adversities. And it turns out that initially DREADHALLS was quite a challenging game that required a number of solutions that hadn’t been seen before on GearVR in order to pull it off. But they saw it through, and it has gone on to become one of the biggest titles in VR to date. In fact, their ingenuity helped the GearVR developer community enormously in the process, as did the hard work and dedication of so many other great companies who came first in these pivotally important “early days” of VR’s resurgence.
YouTubers like PewdiePie have reviewed and raved about it. It received “Honorable Mention” at Oculus’ IndieCade VRJam. It also won “Best Sound Design” at The Proto Awards. The accolades for this game just keep stacking up. It turns out people really like to be scared well, and this title demonstrates that horror games and VR definitely go well together. This game’s success may have just single-handedly opened the door (the white door) to a whole slew of other horror titles that we haven’t even heard about yet.
Now, fast-forward 2 more years and as of today, March 28th, 2016, DREADHALLS goes on sale for the PC, for the Oculus Rift’s forthcoming CV1 coming out this week. This is amazing news, as this is one game that really delivers what it promises to deliver: scares and frights galore. And now an even larger audience has access to those chills than ever before.
The PC version as it exists today promises a much more solid experience than the GearVR version. It doesn’t have any newer monsters or anything different like that, but it does have the best visuals it can for PC, with updated and smoother mesh modeling, higher-res textures, a fully real-time lighting system (one that’s way better and spookier looking than on the GearVR) and an entirely new positional-audio system that works more amazingly than the GearVR version to rock your spine even harder than it did before.
All of the additional changes, they say, serve to add quite a bit more scare factor than what’s on the GearVR version, if possible. That makes the decision to purchase this game again, this time for the Oculus Rift, a very easy decision for me.
I’ve loved DREADHALLS since the beginning, as a free demo on GearVR, watching eagerly as each new update provided slightly crisper graphics and faster frame rates. White Door Games continued improving the experience loooong after it was released, like so many other great developers on the GearVR. In addition, the latest GearVR version update added localization for French, German, Spanish, and Korean gamers around the world. So now … more people than ever can get freaked out and throw their HMD’s across the room in a fit of terror (shouting in other languages!) Hopefully when they do toss them, it’s into a soft soft pillow or cushion … if they’re fortunate.
So. If you are an Oculus Rift owner as of next week, and you want a game that will scare the pants off your friends and leave them a shallow, huddled mess in the corner with a lot to talk about when they go home, you might consider adding this one to your collection.
There are certainly other scary titles out there, but so far, DREADHALLS is easily the freakiest, most heart-racingly scary title I’ve personally ever played in my life. I both hate it and love it simultaneously. I put it down and an hour later, find myself begging to go back and go through all of that nerve-wracking exploration again. I’m in a constant state of revulsion of it’s almost-scientifically-delivered scares … and yet a desperate need to be scared again. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, hahaha. But if you’re anything at all like me, then this is the one sure game which will provide you your adrenaline fix.