I’m still not completely happy with the virtual reality headsets that I own, but games like The Exorcist: Legion VR make me glad that I have them.
Set in the Academy Award-winning world created by William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist: Legion VR is an episodic experience that combines investigation with horror. And it does so rather masterfully. While many other VR horror games rely on jump scares, The Exorcist: Legion VR instead manages to create a feeling of unease quite unlike any other game I’ve played. Though that’s not to say that there isn’t the odd incident that will make you jump out of your seat.
Now on PS4
Previously only available on PC, the first three chapters of The Exorcist: Legion VR are now available on PS4. The last two chapters are set to follow later this year. You’ll obviously need a PSVR headset to play, and for the best experience it’s ideal that you have a PS4 Pro as well. Each chapter takes about 20-30 minutes to complete, which may seem a little brief considering that they each cost £6.19/$6.99, but by buying the whole season in one go you can make a saving. You’re also likely to play through each episode multiple times, trying to discover new secrets and easter eggs while also improving your performance. And of course, you’ll probably try and get everyone who visits you to play a chapter too. It’s always funny seeing friends and relatives scared out of their wits.
All three chapters currently available on PS4 follow the same formula, though that doesn’t make them any less fun. Finding yourself in a new environment, your first port of call is to explore and investigate your surroundings. Creepy stuff will happen as you cast your eyes over evidence and solve puzzles, and once you’ve done enough to progress the story forward, hell will literally break loose. We’re talking demons crawling on walls, strange voices, unnatural shadows, snakes, arms reaching out for you; that kind of thing. It’s unsettling, unnerving, and sometimes downright freaky. It’s everything that a horror game should be.
You’re not defenceless in the world of The Exorcist: Legion VR either. In the first chapter you pick up everything necessary to take the fight to the demons you confront. A cross and holy water prove to be the most useful of your tools, as well as what is essentially a little blowtorch. Using the right piece of equipment at the right time quickly becomes imperative for your success, and I have to admit, I had to resist shouting “The power of Christ compels you!” as I held up the cross to disperse demons heading my way.
My time spent playing The Exorcist: Legion VR on PS4 hasn’t been flawless though. While you can play with a Dualshock 4 controller, it feels limiting. You’re definitely better off playing with a couple of Move controllers so that you can use both hands. By default the game has you playing with teleportation movement and snap rotation too. Change them both to free movement to make gameplay more intuitive. Be careful, however; The Exorcist: Legion VR sometimes doesn’t like it if you accidentally walk into walls or doors. It’ll say that you’re out of bounds, and if resetting your view by holding the options button doesn’t free you, you’ll have to quit the game.
A mature experience
It’s indicative of exactly how compelling The Exorcist: Legion VR is that I’d easily recommend it despite these issues though. It’s perhaps the most mature VR horror experience I’ve had the pleasure of playing. Building respectfully on the world it inhabits, it’s wonderfully presented and finely balances each facet of its gameplay in each bite-sized chapter. And, ultimately, while it doesn’t shove its narrative in front of your face, there’s enough there to give the action meaning and substance should you need it. Suffice to say, I’m looking forward to the events that unfold in the final two chapters.
Chapters 1-4 of The Exorcist: Legion VR are available on PC right now. Chapters 1-3 have just been released on PS4.