VR dread all around you.
Brookhaven: the location where everything started. Experience: defending yourself from a wave of horrific creatures that are coming for the player in every direction. This is exactly the type of gameplay players will get, nothing more, nothing less. It doesn’t sound like much of a game or experience taken at face value, but throw in the fact that this is a VR title, that breathes new life into what could otherwise be a standard affair on a TV screen.
The core gameplay hook in Brookhaven is fairly simple. Players stand, using two move controllers. One for weapons, another for a flashlight. Some storyline dialog is usually presented through the headset giving story beats to the player. They are interesting enough, but it’s hardly the reason to play. Once the waves of enemies begin appearing, things that look like genetic zombie freak mutations start coming at the player from every angle.
Price I’d Pay: $19.99
How long to beat: 2+ hours
No area is safe because in the VR world, attacks come from all around. With increasing amounts of enemies being thrown at players, it soon becomes a bit overwhelming and absolutely chaotic at times. Luckily, there is plenty of unlocks to gain, from laser assisted aim attachments, to more powerful weapons.
With a proper set up and lighting with the PSVR camera and play space, aiming feels solid and works well enough. Turning around can cause a bit of issues as the camera can then have a harder time seeing the move controllers to work properly. Luckily, the devs opted to put into place a button that turns the player view around completely. This way players stay face forward to the camera, and giving the optimal view point for the camera and tracking to work efficiently.
Waved based fodder
Brookhaven Experiment is a fun title that, while not offering a ton of depth, provides a lot of arcade type fun, and with scares. The environments are dark, spooky and atmospheric. The enemies look nasty, and when they get extremely up close, could potentially really scare or freak players out depending on their handling of nasty enemies swiping at their faces. The biggest factor I take away from the entire game was that I never felt safe. Sure, when enemies where not really approaching I had a somewhat sense of calmness, but that aside, when the action gets heavy, it’s very easy to forget that enemies come from all around and suddenly players find themselves taking a ton of damage from another direction.
There are a few issues I had with the game. First, it doesn’t do a very good job of letting players know right off the bat that enemies come from behind. I sat there my first time just literally getting hit, not knowing what was causing it and got a game over screen almost immediately. I learned, but it would have been nice to get a bit more direction from the start. Also, I had an extremely hard time trying to throw grenades, with them either dropping at my feet or barely moving forward. Could this be attributed to my new experience with VR, perhaps? Yet still, going back, I found myself having the same issue again and again to the point of frustration.
Scary and simple
Brookhaven is a fun place to visit. It can be a bit traumatic for some players, or scary even. I was more tense than scared, but it accomplished what I feel the devs were going for. A simple, yet fun new experience for PS VR players. It’s easy enough to grasp the concept, hard to master, and provides unlockables to work towards. It’s not super deep, but for the prices and the new VR concept for most PlayStation players, it’s worth taking a look into. I have no doubt that a game like this might wear out its welcome 2 to 3 years into VR, but as a starter, it’s worth your time.
Did it make me sick: No issues with nausea or motion sickness.
Favorite moment: Getting that flawless run where enemies don’t touch you.
Worst moment: Grenade throwing, I just can’t get it to work reliably.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.