VR allows you to separate from the outside world and ultimately become a character in the story. You no longer feel safe compared to watching the character through TV screen. You will be isolated, hunted by some extraordinary forced. All you can do is run, hide, find an explanation, or die. But not all VR horror is similar. Rise of Insanity is a specific sample for psychological horror games but does not need to run or hide.
On the grand marketplaces like Steam, you can find hundreds of games with indie and 4K graphics, psychological dread versus straight-up gore; there is always something that leaves a deep haunt in the player’s mind until end game.
I do not expect to inspire you to bring a sensational horror experience but hope this indie horror game will be an alternative entertainment for you after hard working days. Enjoy!
Spoiler alert: My Rise of Insanity review may accidentally reveal twists related to the content and gameplay. Please consider carefully before reading, but if you have experienced, comment below to share with me your thought.
Psychotic disorder or pitiable patient?
Take places in 1970s, Rise of Insanity invites players to be a psychologist named Dr. Stephen Dowell, who spent a fair amount of his professional life probing his patients’ psyche, explored fragments of the past looking for answers to his wife and child death.
You will dive deep into fractured mind of a man who is experiencing quite a few uncomfortable mental issues. There is an extreme possibility that this man murdered poor Dr. Dowell’s wife and children or maybe by himself? I do not know.
In Rise of Insanity, we will be in turn lead through each stage of his life in his own house. Each step through each room of the house contains many dark mysteries that players need to learn to explore other areas. The game is two hours long, but it seems to be longer, not due to fear, but the monotony.
At first glance, this psychological horror game reveals a short film about nature, plants, and animals. There will be nothing special until something distorted the image. Colors become more monstrous and murkier. Background music is also more intense.
I could hear the voice of a man calling himself Dr. Stephen Dorwell and was currently treating his psychiatric patient. Then the video disappeared. The working room came out at first sight. Much evidence proves that the character we are playing is Dr. Dorwell. If so, who is the man in the video?
I was also confused about that. But when I went into the experience, I realized it was just the disease. In addition to just moving, looking, and interacting with particular objects in the game, none of the riddles you experience will twist your cerebrum to its limit. Regardless of whether you do get baffled, you will probably discover a discreet hint that will point you the correct way.
The puzzles require players to interact with objects or move to different houses. It is too predictable and allows players to trigger animations to move to other locations, making the game look unnecessarily linear and restrictive.
As you walk around his home, you pick up notes, playback tapes on a Dictaphone, and experience a few out-of-body experiences. Unfortunately, I worked out where the story was going in the opening minutes.
You can do nothing except waiting for the next tasks. In the end, there will be a twist that will never be in your imagination.
Reality or illusion?
The doctor’s twisted memories make the scene multidimensional. He needs to find out the perpetrator who killed his family. But evidence gathered across many places shows that he murdered his family.
During the 2-hour-gameplay, Rise of Insanity gameplay made me found myself a little lost and disjointed that there was not anything to do.
Most of the time, I was searching for some random collectibles dotted around the game. Newspaper clippings and medical files, rubber ducks, etc., but you will always be kept in the dark about the reason why.
It can be more tedious when I unbolted the kitchen cupboards hoping to find some clues but nothing to interact with, reading notes that are easier to read as is. But you can skip over most of the letters as they do not add anything, and most of the time, they have similar details.
Rise of Insanity consists of three to four scenes, such as designers trade-in sterile hospital corridors, peculiar picnic spots, and greenhouses bathed in autumn light. Come the latter third of the game; the scenes take a very twisted turn; spatial dimensions are distorted. I think the main character’s memories are becoming vaguer and more insane.
However, I could not always be cynical about this game. There are still some good points here. I really like concept of the game. Sometimes, Rise of Insanity freaked me out, especially “the head” stuff.
There are not many riddles in this game. One problem to solve involved using duct tape; I must go back to the available tape location and solve it.
Other than the main character, there are dream sequences I mentioned and an ongoing theme of birds that do not altogether tie-up.
If you have played games such as The Park or Layers of Fear, you will find Rise of Insanity game play’s format familiar. I must say that the graphics are not bad at all; there is just nothing to do.
The areas are the house, the garden, and a few other locations, and you can only go one way. All entrances, stairs are blocked, and you are only allowed to walk forward or move backward until something new happens. Jump scares were timed well and often drop my heart while still feeling relevant and not entirely out of place.
There is nothing eerie about it, and anyone familiar with Outlast or anything set within an asylum area will know what to expect. Well, I had hoped certain things would happen, but they do not. In Rise of Insanity, the threat is sort of inconsistent. There’s going to be a shadowy figure hovering around sometimes, some paranormal experience, then nothing happened.
As a first-person puzzle type, and with VR, you will see through your eyes, and when it is done well, it becomes a fantastic way to build tension and fear.
A game does not need to have 4k graphics, to be fair, and for a title like this one, I expect more simplistic art style. However, the right level of depth is a significant need for the game. This is not compatible with Rise of insanity.
I was always well conscious that I was playing a game, but the audio only served to further push me out of story. The sound motif is too familiar with the genre, and Rise of Insanity is no exception. The breathing, footsteps, rushing rhythm, announce jumpscares, etc. Discrete sound, scene by scene with different sound types.
This indie horror game does not need blooming soundtracks, but it needs something to connect to enhance the players’ mood. The voice acting is fine, but to be honest, you can skip over most of the similar notes as they do not add anything. On the other hand, I think the discrete sound is also partly related to the psycho personality of the main character.
Rise of Insanity was developed by indie team Red Limb Studios and published under Pineapple Works. It was established on PC/VR with official release date in 2018 and was ported over to the PS4 with optional PSVR support in 2019.
Since this game does not support motion controllers, using mouse and keyboard is essential to experience this game. Priced at $ 9.99 for VR and $ 12.99 for PSVR, Rise of insanity will give you a bit of entertainment after a tiring day of work.
There was not anything to hold my interest other than the game has a lot of bad points. However, I should give an objective assessment to have a chance to experience this game.
We should praise developers for their effort. Well-designed with excellent vistas, and some of the game’s admittedly cheap jump scares will, in fact, make you jump. It certainly delivers good scares wrapped up in a solid story at a brisk two-hour pace as a gamepad-only VR title.
However, despite the single bright spot of generating atmosphere and spookiness, Rise of Insanity fails to be engaging. The driving narrative certainly worked to the detriment of the game. All of the above is tell a story that genuinely chills the blood. Above is my Rise of Insanity review. Download, enjoy and let me know what do you think about it.