The Inpatient: Beauty in Ordinary
Mystery is one of the key elements of Supermassive Games stories. You act as a man who has absolutely no memory of his past. In addition to a short memory cut that shows a man and his eye flashlight, you don’t know who you are. Only two information you know today – that you now live in a hospital called Blackwood Sanatorium, and second? You are under the guidance of an old doctor who, so far, seems to be trying to help you regain your memory.
Continuing to wake up because of a nightmare that refused to leave, the effort to find health was not as simple as imagined. At one point in the process, you also come to a ward friend who, like you, doesn’t remember much about himself. Suddenly a strange event arrived. Locked behind the cell door without the ability to escape, you only had time to hear cries of grimacing and panic with electricity that started not working properly. Hospital staff who are supposed to treat and feed you are no longer returning. Hunger struck, psychological and physiological conditions worsened, and the end seemed to arrive. Until the opportunity to re-reach your life, suddenly returns.
So like VR games in general, it is impossible to give you a clear picture of you, what the real visuals of The Inpatient look like if you are facing your face directly. Because the screenshot feature for the Playstation VR only captures one image on one side of the lens, and will never be able to represent the “in the world” sensation of any VR games, including the Inpatient itself. In terms of visuals, it is one of the PSVR games with pretty amazing quality, especially for the existing character details. An extraordinary one is in its ability to offer a tense atmosphere, even though in a relatively limited scope. The design of the sound that moves around you, the haunting silence, until the small sounds that are enough to make the hair on your neck creep will be found throughout the game.
One of the unfortunate things about this series, even though it is a VR game, is the lack of interactivity in it. You can indeed play DualShock 4 or Playstation Move with it, but the existing level of gameplay does not offer much content where you have to interact with various objects actively. Unlike Resident Evil 7, for example, whose scale asks you to find objects, play them, solve puzzles, or shoot, The Inpatient is offered in a more linear portion. That this is a game that requires you to walk or just play in a limited space, and enjoy the cut-scene to continue the story.
For business presentations, The Inpatient does offer concepts that should be anticipated. The good news? For gamers who are quite sensitive about dizziness that often occurs because the camera is too close or moves too fast, The Inpatient does not produce this one effect. The movement of the camera is done with a corner system in the style of Resident Evil 7. Given the movement is also counted passively, then you will not be faced with enough fast action to make it difficult for your brain to capture the illusion of visual reality that exists. Coupled with the not too long gameplay time, you will be able to enjoy it comfortably, even if it includes newcomer VR gamers.
Until Dawn’s Taste
Then most of your gameplay will end by choosing one of the two offered by each conversation. Actually there is a third choice, which is to let time run out and decide to be quiet by not choosing any response. For this “secret” option, NPCs will also usually have specific reactions related to it. Like the concept injected at Until Dawn or as it is also often offered by the interactive story game series from Telltale Games, your choice will determine the line of story you will get. This feature called “Butterfly Effect” will appear on the screen once you choose something that does have a significant influence. Choose who must live and die? Choose who should move first? Choose what to do when faced with a precarious situation? It is not too difficult to guess how much choice you will make ends, even before this effect appears. The good news? The Butterfly Effect will also be shown through a clear diagram to help you choose different lines of story if you are curious.
His own experience was indeed passive. There are not many objects that you can access interactively. The story will move in simple progress, where you only have to do one particular action to trigger it. The “extra” exploration process that you do, which usually also occurs in a small space between the ward or the corridor road you pass through, will usually end up opening an item that will give a clearer picture of the background of the character you are using. These memory pieces will not open the story explicitly, but will help you capture a clearer picture of what happened.
Like a game that was forced to be connected with an inadequate adhesive, this is the kind of experience we found on The Inpatient. Because basically, this one game is divided into two big story arc. The first arc focuses on your efforts to find out who you really are and why you are trapped in a ward without clear memory. While the second arc appears to be a bridge to the story of what you know from Until Dawn before. The good news? Both of these arcs have the opposite attraction.
The first story arc of The Inpatient is fantastic. As a game that makes mystery an attraction, he successfully explores the side of horror effectively through the scheme of nightmares that your character continues to experience. Plunge into a world like a hospital but with a tense green lighting, this first arc touches all aspects of the horror game you are hoping for. A world that has a super creepy atmosphere, the silence that is ready to make your heart beat fast, you must overcome the anxiety that you will be faced with a jump-scare, and of course the jump-scare itself. The first arc centered on your life in this ward is the higlight of The Inpatient, a horror sensation in a VR format that deserves to be pursued. Unfortunately, the experience stopped halfway.
As soon as the journey escapes from the ward and begins to enter the “universe” of The Inpatient itself, the second arc loses a fantastic content offered by the first arc. There is no world of nightmares and jump-scares that are ready to make you scream like a girl. It moves in a straight line line that is super linear, with interactive content that simply asks you to push or close the door and one point, to keep silent. For gamers who had tasted Until Dawn, the second arc that became the bridge to this story ended up offering a source of threats that certainly felt familiar. It’s hard to feel scared, if you already know what you’re up against and what formulas are about to be used to make you scream. So this second arc runs like a walking simulator game that in our eyes fails to produce an impressive gaming experience.
The result, is a half-horror game. In the first arc, the gameplay experience with the horror concept that became the base appeared so intense, creepy, and also full of curiosity to explore and find out what was behind the mystery. While the second arc, moving in a cliche story plot, is too “in line” with what you know about Until Dawn, and fails to offer the same atmosphere. For this second business, the fact that you are also adventurous with other NPCs together also decreases that factor.
It’s a pity, indeed. Because the implementation of content like this makes the two fan groups end up not getting full experience. Gamers who are not familiar with Until Dawn and want a quality VR horror game, only get half the content. While gamers are familiar with Until Dawn and want a VR game that explores the universe of the story more strongly and in detail, it also only gets half the content. A design that in our eyes is questionable.
So with all the content and features he offers, unfortunately, The Inpatient must be categorized as a VR game that is not too special. It again feels like a concept test product that seeks to merge many things in the same space, while losing the identity that the gamer’s heart is like to show its attraction. The story with different consequences is indeed the essence of the universe Until Dawn, but juggling it into just an answer to the choices offered seems like a waste of potential. That of all the things that they can offer to make that choice decision more active, for example based on what you succeeded / failed to do, they decided to streamline it in the text choice format, supported by the voice recognition feature that was not significant.
Content that is also divided into two separate arcs with separate attraction also ends up confusing. For gamers who enjoy the horror sensation that is so intense in the first arc, the second arc becomes a “pampering” story that is no longer interesting because of the clash of story content and the more predictable jump-scare planned. While for gamers who enjoy the story sensation like Until Dawn in the second arc most likely will not enjoy the first story arc content because of the different experiences he offers. The Inpatient is seen as a product that is confused with its own identity.
If you are a Playstation VR gamer who happened to have played Until Dawn, we would recommend you wait for him at a more affordable price before plunging into it. But if you are not too familiar with Until Dawn and hope this will be a mystery game with a solid story, then chances are, you will end up disappointed.