I am all about Horror in Virtual Reality and I welcome any twists that may be used with it. From a story based on real events to even from a different culture view. But as important as the story being told is the environment that you are put into with the sounds that you hear to the immersion that surrounds you all make up the experience. So how well does Developer LITCHIGAME and Publisher Winking Entertainment plan on scaring you? Let’s find out with Paper Dolls for the PlayStation VR.
Before I begin, I am going to point out something that you should be aware of and that is the controls. Paper Dolls can be played with both Move controllers or the DualShock 4. However, if you decide to play with the Move controllers and then decide to switch the DualShock 4, be warned that after making the decision of which control scheme you would like to go with, if you decide to change it later, the game will overwrite your existing saved data and you will have to start a new game. So I suggest before going too far, in the beginning, is to try each one for a good five minutes or so. So please keep that in mind. The other thing about the controls is how you move. With each step you want to take, you will need to hit the trigger button…for each step. Left…Right…Left…Right. If you pull the trigger button too quickly that will have you turn.
I just wanted you to be aware of going in what to expect. With all that said…let’s continue.
I also want to point out that when you are given a flashlight just to help read the warning, then either it’s going to be very dark or it will be the light you pray you can go into because it will be scary…either way…good times are to be had.
Now when I first started Paper Dolls, there was something about the controls. This is full locomotion and there is a reason for this. Yes, it is awkward to have to pull each trigger to generate a step and I started to think really? But after about 20 minutes or so, I started to get used to it. But the reason for the full locomotion is not to just throw it out there just because, the Developer was actually thinking about how not everyone tolerance in Virtual Reality can be different. How I may have a zero motion sickness level, others may have a strong one. Some people do have to build up to a level where they can play for longer periods of time. Yes, there are other movement styles that could have been used, but with that in mind, the full locomotion does work. And again, once I got used to it, it really wasn’t that bad. Just like people can learn in different ways, moving in Virtual Reality can be done in different ways. But I want to applaud the Developer for taking a chance and sticking by what they thought was best for everyone in general.
If you decide to go with both Move controllers, you will have two hands that will be visible. Using the DualShock 4, you will have one visible hand. Because I was messing with the Move controllers with my first attempt and then decided to try out the DualShock 4 controller style, I was already too far in that I didn’t want to have to start over. But I will say, if you do go with the Move controllers, just stand and swing your arms like you were walking and get a little workout in as well. You will also move in the direction you are looking, so take that into account as well as if you press the triggers too quickly, it will make you turn. So like I mentioned, after some time, you start to get used to it.
But let’s get to why we are here and the question I am sure everyone is asking. What is Paper Dolls all about? Playing as a Father who had everything one could hope for. The love of his wife and his daughter. But for some reason, his wife started to become this estranged person. Then as you are driving your daughter to your estranged wife’s house, an accident happened. You wake up in this place, this temple of a palace. So the objective is simple, find your daughter and get out alive. Sounds easy right? Well, thank again.
There are also puzzles that will need to be solved in order to help you progress. For example, near the beginning, you will find a record and as you move around you will find the player, but now you have to go find the crank in order to wind up the player. Some are simple and some will take some thought. But each one seemed to have its own identifying mark. But you know what is great? Moving around this place that is very dark with your flashlight and trying to solve the puzzles so you can progress in the story. What is not great is trying to solve the puzzles in this dark place where the sounds are very immersive that it almost plays off your fears and to top it off, you know you are being watched and not just by one thing…no no no…that would be too easy. At times with the sound, I felt like I was being watched in multiple directions.
One thing that I found very interesting and I am glad it was put in was interaction. There are tons of things that can be interacted with and that just helps in an experience when playing Paper Dolls. Lots of items can be picked up and smashed. Yes, I will admit when I heard the noises and what seemed like breathing on my neck from behind, I was hoping that the number of items I was breaking would make them go away. I can say this now, my hope was all lost, it was a false dream, and those sounds still are evil. Of course, when you break things, some items can be found while others just may be on a table or in a drawer or in a cabinet just waiting to be collected. But the good thing is you don’t have to just hold onto the items, you do have an inventory system that you can place the items in like it was a bookcase.
But the sound is not the only thing that will try and get you, it’s the small jump scares that add to it. I mean to try and open a cabinet only to have a cockroach fly onto your face and making you jump a little bit in the dark, its these small things that really add to the experience.
I don’t want to spoil any more surprises but be prepared, you may spend some time trying to figure out what to do and where to go. My advice would be to look around all that you can and always be on the lookout because you never know what you may discover as you may never know where you may find the pieces of the information that you may need lying around even if they are torn. If there are some things I have learned from Paper Dolls is that no matter what obstacles in life may be thrown your way, never be afraid to try something out of the ordinary as it may just end up working. And no matter what may appear and how scary things may seem, face your fears as you might just become a better person for it.
Paper Dolls is out now. A review copy was provided. To learn more about LITCHIGAME, please visit their site and make sure you like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. To learn more about Winking Entertainment, please visit their site and make sure you like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I’m going back in.