The 7th Guest VR review: a spooky ’90s remake just in time f…

Dolls are sitting at a table in The 7th Guest VR.

“The Seventh Guest VR suffers from clumsy motion controls, but satisfying puzzle design keeps this ’90s PC remake alive.”

Pros

  • funny, interesting story

  • The classic mansion has been thoroughly reimagined

  • Diverse, tactile puzzles

Shortcoming

  • clumsy controls

  • frustrating late game puzzles

How do you save a game? seventh guest, The PC Classic was a groundbreaking release in 1993, offering an unusually dark game for the time with some impressive pre-rendered 3D graphics. Play it today, however, and that fact would be hard to grasp. By today’s standards, it’s easy to mistake this for a boilerplate puzzle adventure from the era filled with poor acting. There’s only so much a simple remaster can do to preserve the oohs and ahhs of that old release.

Perhaps sensing that tension, Vertigo Games takes a very different remake approach Seventh Guest VR, Rather than putting a refined version of the original into a headset, the new release is a ground-up reimagining. It features the same spooky mansion, now recreated as a fully explorable 3D location, but that’s about all it has in common. A more elaborate murder mystery and an almost entirely original set of puzzles aims to imagine what seventh guest This is what it would look like if it were built with today’s technological advancements.

It’s a creative remake approach that gets mixed results. Seventh Guest VR The intuitive escape room works best as a campy haunted house adventure filled with puzzles. That tactile fun is complicated by the quirks of virtual reality, as the fiddly motion controls create the biggest scares.

return to the haunted mansion

Whereas Seventh Guest VR It’s a fairly radical reimagining of its predecessor, sharing a lot of the same basic DNA. Players are summoned to a spooky mansion on a dark and stormy night where they encounter a haunted house filled with ghosts, puzzles, and creepy puppets. The VR remake has a lot of fun expanding on the story of the 1993 game, turning it into a full-on murder mystery as players discover what happened to a handful of guests who were mysteriously invited into the house. I went. It’s full of old horror stories and supernatural campiness, making for a fun genre throwback.

The story was an important aspect of the original 7th Guest due to its heavy use of pre-rendered 3D video. It put real actors into a PC game – a remarkable feat for 1993. The VR version wants to recapture that wow factor with its own magic trick: volumetric video. This brings the ghostly actors to life, as players can move around them in full 3D. It’s not a groundbreaking technical feat, but it does help enhance its cinematic appeal by putting players at the center of an interactive horror film.

There's a ghost standing around a living room in The 7th Guest VR.
Vertigo Games

The immersive nature of VR does justice to the spooky tone of the original game, as here the old mansion gets a fitting 3D makeover. Each room is a Halloween delight, filled with thick spider webs, scratched-up paintings and dusty furniture. Where are all these artistic joints Seventh Guest VR Works best as a remake. In 2023, it’s hard to explain how irritating an old PC game with a goofy MIDI soundtrack and clichéd visuals actually felt at the time of release. The VR version does a great job of modernizing the ghost story, balancing mild horror and playful camp. It’s more like Disney haunted Mansion instead PhasmophobiaBut that tone matches the original exactly.

vr weirdness

While its campy horror aesthetics make for fun set dressing, Seventh Guest VR It’s a mixed experience when it comes to puzzles. The main gameplay loop is quite simple: each room in the mansion is its own mini escape room filled with interconnected puzzles. Some of them find a great balance by mixing cerebral brain-teasers with tactile solutions that make great use of VR. In a dirty bathroom, I’m chasing roaches across a spider-infested wall by sweeping away the insects and closing holes in the wall with my hands. In another, I’m putting my hand in a magician’s hat to snatch items I can’t otherwise reach.

There is a lot of creative interaction here, no two puzzle rooms look alike. Some also pay homage to the more board game-like nature of the original puzzles. A familiar logic puzzle asks me to place a handful of queens on a chess board, taking care not to place them on top of each other. In the kitchen, a piece of frozen meat turns into a puzzle as I reconstruct it for a witch’s brew. Puzzles like this are reminiscent of an earlier era of PC puzzles, while still using the more modern tactile experience of VR to their advantage.

Seventh Guest VR Many times one feels behind the potential of technology.

technology is often seventh guestHowever, this is the biggest hurdle. During my playthrough, I experienced several subtle motion-control moments that had me pulling my hair out under my PSVR2. In one room I place the dolls in guillotines, attach the heads to other dolls, and place them in the correct seats at the tea party. In theory this is a great logic puzzle, but it is extremely difficult to get the dolls into their proper positions.

In some ways, I feel like I’m criticizing the VR platform more than the game itself, but Seventh Guest VR Not always designed to meet technical quirks. Many of the puzzles I played late required precision as I pressed the keys of the piano or carefully tapped the little rings in the jewelery box. These aren’t exactly easy tasks when using fat-fingered motion controls. The previous section is full of annoying conversations like this, which ultimately made me spend coins to automatically solve puzzles. It was not difficult to locate them; I was tired of wasting time on implementation.

A character shines a light on a wall in The 7th Guest VR.
Vertigo Games

Perhaps those technical hiccups lead to a more reliable experience in the end. After all, the PC had its frustrating limitations in 1993; Perhaps it’s perfect that the VR remake also comes with the early aspects of the new gaming era. I can appreciate it at a high-concept level, but Seventh Guest VR Many times one feels behind the potential of technology. It’s a messier experience than that The Room VR: A Dark MatterAn excellent horror puzzler from 2020 that nails clean, motion-controlled escape room gameplay.

Although I was eager to escape the mansion when I reached the frustrating series of final challenges, I still admire it Seventh Guest VR As a left-field remake. It’s a thoughtful reimagining that does an admirable job of capturing the haunted house energy of a PC classic, while also delivering an experience that’s entirely its own. If nothing else, it’s a great way for trick-or-treaters to spend Halloween hiding from trick-or-treaters.

Seventh Guest VR The review was conducted on PlayStation VR2.






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