Ever since VR really began to take off, horror fans have been waiting for more immersive scares. Outer Brain Studios is attempting to flex their indie horror muscles by calling back to the slow, methodical survival horror of the ‘90s with their new project, Organ Quarter.
Seeking just $6,500 on Kickstarter, the campaign promises labyrinth environments, balanced puzzle-solving, and strict resource management. Players will undertake this terrifying adventure through a hand-tracked and room-scale VR world.
The player takes on the role of a shut-in protagonist who must suddenly leave their squalid home and journey into the city beyond. Unfortunately, during their confinement, the city was overrun and twisted by grotesque creatures that would give David Cronenberg pause. The trailer features a particularity vaginal monstrosity that would probably land us on an FCC watch list if I shared it in this article.
It’s Not All That, But It’s Something
Despite getting major points for being highly gross and unsettling, the monsters aren’t what sold me on this project. Really, the graphics aren’t the worst, but they certainly aren’t innovative either. Rather, it’s the careful balance of survival mechanics and VR controls that drew me in.
There is an Organ Quarter alpha demo which has already gotten attention over on Youtube. The alpha is buggy and full of glitches, but the VR movement and controls show promise. Player movement looks fluid and, when the grasping controls finally work, the puzzle-solving looks satisfying.
Rather than take the easy route of eliciting horror by throwing an endless barrage of monsters in front of your eyes, Organ Quarter attempts to take a more nuanced approach. The world is creepy and VR keeps the evil from ever being further than arm’s length away.
To be fair, this wouldn’t be the first time I was more impressed with a project’s potential than by what its campaign actually showed. I still think the developers are on the right track with this. If they manage to hit the right survival horror pacing and polish their VR controls a bit, I can see this game doing relatively well.
The developers are planning to release Organ Quarter on HTC Vive in July or August. They also expect to release an Oculus Rift version shortly after by late in 2017. Eventually, they want to launch a non VR version as well. The development timeline is a bit short, for a fully polished game. If you’re into indie horror and want a quick return on investment though, this might be worth checking out.