​Dying: Reborn Hands-On Impressions (PSVR)

Dying: Reborn is the first PlayStation VR game that I played that used traditional left analog stick to move around the environment. This has been discussed to death when both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive were released, but develop Nekcom believes it is the best way to experience the game. If you aren’t aware, using the left stick to move while wearing a virtual reality headset can cause motion sickness, as you mind sees yourself moving, but in actuality, you are sitting or standing still. Your brain doesn’t know what is going one, and you may feel queasy or develop a headache. It will vary from person to person, so it goes go without saying that everyone won’t experience this the same. For myself, I never felt motion sick but did notice that my body was leaning forward while I was moving to compensate for the fact I was moving in-game. Perhaps, I should try walking in place while moving in the game next time.

With all of that said, it is best to move slowing in Dying: Reborn, and I hope that developer Nekcom makes the movement even slower, or at least has an option to slow it down. Finding myself alone in a dirty room with a bed in the center, I looked around by moving my head. The game plays like an escape room. Peering over my shoulder, I saw the door to exit, but it was caged off. Out of my initial view, I was told to look above the bed, only to see creepy doll parts staring back at me. I took a step back and took a moment before looking away to ensure nothing else was going to occur. It’s these types of moments that I wished games to give me, and through the use of the PlayStation VR, I finally get my wish. At any point, you can also turn around using the controller, so you don’t have to spin yourself around constantly. Considering the wires that are connected to the headset, this is a reliable working solution to having to turn around. I was told that I did turn 90 degrees multiple times while playing, but never did I turn fully around.

Nearby I found a bottle that dropped a coin once I shook it enough. To move the demo along, the presenter played a nearby piano to unlock bolt cutters, which I used to cut the chains barring my exit. Using the coin in the slot, I was presented with a three wheels of letters. On a nearby poster were the letters “MUR” and finishing the word “MURDER” solved the puzzle and turned on the nearby television. I learned more about the narrative in Dying: Reborn when listening to the voices on the television and found myself couching down to face directly in front of the display. This was close to the end of the demo, as it only contained the single puzzle room, but I was able to peek down the foreboding hallway before the demo ended. Although developed using Unity, Dying: Reborn captures that gritty feel needed to give the illusion that you are trapped alone.

Dying: Reborn is going to be released on PlayStation VR, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita early 2017. While the PS4 and Vita versions will contain more chapters than the PSVR version of the game, it is possible that the missing chapters will get added to the PSVR version at a later date.

Dying: Reborn