A Myst opportunity
As Patterson, a vlogger out for a morning stroll, you stumble upon a dilapidated mansion in the woods. Your vlogger instincts and deep sense of entitlement encourage you to nose around, and soon you’re on the trail of a story that unravels at a steady pace, teasing nuggets of weirdness to keep you interested. 1
Your guide through the house is a floating ball of ‘posh’ light with perfect diction. Each room in the house is a large circuit board: hidden wires lurk behind the walls and under the floor, and using an acquired torch gizmo you can follow the lines and plug in furniture and ornaments to connect the circuits. The physics-based puzzles are fun, if not demanding, and any time you get to push, pull, and throw things around in PS VR is a joy.
Connect the electrical dots in each room and a machine whirrs into life. This sends your consciousness to another realm where you meet Dr Lawrence Talbot in the ‘flesh’. The more puzzles you solve, the more ‘memories’ you collect, and the more of the house’s history the Doc reveals.
While Torn occasionally adds new conundrums to the mix, they’re little more than moving pattern puzzles, and it’s incredibly slow – originally released on Oculus last year, the game is a step behind newer PS VR releases. 2 That said, visually the house is a beautiful place to explore, and Garry Schyman’s soundtrack is impeccable.
The real issue is there’s no sense of tension. You’re trapped in an abandoned mansion hidden in the woods, surrounded by ‘dark science’, at the beck and call of a mysterious imprisoned being, yet at no point do you feel threatened. Torn? More like slightly frayed. Ian Dean
The script is co-written by BioShock’s Susan O’Connor, so expect quirky ’50s-style sci-fi. Even the teleport movement setting is slow, only beaming you a foot ahead at a time.