It’s safe to say that Supermassive Games’ The Dark Pictures Anthology: Switchback VR has been one of the biggest disappointments of the year for us. After Rush of Blood made an impact on us with the original PSVR, Switchback was perhaps our most anticipated PSVR 2 title, and when it arrived we were unexpectedly underwhelmed. Now, more than three months after the game launched, a meaty update has been released that aims to alleviate some of its issues. And you know what? It might just be the time to jump into this VR-driven roller coaster of a horror game.
One of the biggest complaints aimed at Switchback VR was that for a game launching on next-gen VR hardware it was excessively blurry. Thankfully, that’s now a thing of the past. Thanks to features such as Foveated Rendering and FSR being implemented, Switchback VR now offers a much clearer and crisper visual presentation. And that’s just the start. On top of that, things like excessive pop-in have also been addressed, and the graphics have have been improved in numerous ways.
Those who are already familiar with the game may notice enhancements to things such as lighting and decals while playing through it again with the latest update. More notable, though, are the improvements to certain enemy character models: they were previously very sub-par. The smiling woman in the Man of Medan section of the game, for example, now looks a hell of a lot better. Along alongside the visual upgrades, many enemies now also sport improved animations, pathing and hit reactions.
The final thing the patch addresses are the overly long loading times, which have now been drastically reduced. All in all, everything makes for a much more enjoyable experience. It’s simply easier to get drawn into the action as everything around you is so much clearer. It helps bring out the horror, too, as it feels more atmospheric, and you can see the monstrosities you’re up against in greater detail.
Not every issue you might have with Switchback VR has been addressed, though. Some underlying problems remain, such as the fact that levels are simply too long, and many enemies feel like bullet sponges. More disappointingly, there’s still only the one game mode, with little in the way of extras to keep you going back for more. Nothing in fact: go to the ‘Extras’ option in the main menu and you’ll simply find the game’s credits. It would at least be nice to be able to play through stages with the weapon of your choice.
Still, if you already own Switchback VR or have been interested in picking it up, there’s never been a better time to give it a go. We gave it 6/10 in our original review, and the latest update easily bumps it up to 7/10. It’s still not quite the Rush of Blood follow-up we were hoping for, but with the latest enhancements, Switchback VR at least now allows you to experience its unique brand of roller coaster-based horror without wondering if something is wrong with your vision or PSVR 2 headset.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: Switchback VR is available exclusively on PS5, and requires a PSVR 2 headset and Sense controllers.