Experience New Nightmares In Bad Dreams

I spent a lot of time these past few weeks in Virtual Reality. First, playing around in Half-Life Alyx for the first time since launch, running through Saints and Sinners one more time before Retribution was released. Then finally to blast through Saints and Sinners Chapter Two: Retribution, once it finally let me play it, that is. After that, I decided to keep the VR train rolling and started to check Steam out for some new excellent indie VR games. Woah, there is a lot of porn VR on Steam. That was a little unexpected. But eventually, I came across this interesting-looking game titled Bad Dreams

Once again, these indie VR titles are such a pleasant surprise. Back when the HTC Vive was the key player in the headset market, I found that a lot of VR games were nausea-inducing nightmares. I am happy we are, for the most part, past that era. Developers are also trying new things in the VR space now. Bad Dream is an excellent example of how it has its players control their avatars in the game.

After a long day, you fall asleep, only to wake up on a lovely sandy beach. In the distance is a bunker that we walk towards. As we draw closer, the bunker doors open up. This is when things take a turn. We aren’t alone, and we will have to fight for survival. You will have to conquer your fears, solve puzzles, and use some truly innovative controls to escape the nightmare-ridden bunker. 

To start off, Bad Dreams has a sanity meter attached to your wrist, which you’ll have to be ever vigilant on as it dips lowers with your sanity, and the worse it is, the more complex the game will be. Mixing this with having to leverage your battery life with your flashlight and the rare matches you can find lying around to keep you in the light. Although the most interesting thing Bad Dreams has going for it, and what really pulled me in deep, was its innovative control style and one small but very refreshing detail in its combat.

Combat-wise, you’ll be given a plethora of options for fighting, but the crowbar was always my favorite. I’m a sucker for melee weapons in VR, as there is just something to the tactile nature of close quarters. But as you hit the creatures and the blood goes flying, it’ll actually splash onto the screen covering your view. It is a small but nice touch. Now for the big stuff. In Bad Dreams, the way you have to deal with situations, as an example: if you are in a room filled with gas, you have to physically cover your VR mouth and nose by moving the controller over your face to pass through the room. Or is there a loud creepy noise going on? Cover your ears!

It’s an interesting addition to the usual VR movement that does a lot for immersion. Not to mention that the game itself is very well designed. From the creepy as hell auditorial nightmare. In the best way, the environments here sound amazing. Along with the creature design, it’s very inspiring. Now there is one thing in Bad Dreams that scares the hell out of me, that almost made me rip off my headset. THE GIANT SPIDER….WHAT THE HELL, MAN. As a person suffering from arachnophobia, standing still while a giant spider walks around was enough to cement Bad Dreams in an echelon of games that scare me. 

Overall Bad Dreams does a great job of trying out new innovative things in VR, from its use of senses to more minor things like the blood splatter affecting you. For a smaller studio, this is the perfect example of indies trying out new things in the medium. Creative VR 3D did a fantastic job with this one. You can follow them on Twitter to keep up to date with what they have going on, and check the game out on Steam!

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