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Preview: MADiSON VR makes a scary game even scarier

MADiSON Review 2 (1)
Image: Bloodius Games

MADiSON is one of the scariest games we’ve ever played. In fact, it might even be the scariest. But now its terror is being turned up even more, thanks to a new VR version that is literally likely to scare you silly.

Bloodius Games has been hard at work on the VR version of MADiSON for a number of years now. The original game released in 2022, after all. As you’d expect, its core aim is to immerse players into its dark world like never before, using VR to heighten the game’s many scares and generally build on the game’s atmosphere. Having recently given MADiSON VR a try, we can state that Bloodious Games has achieved that with aplomb.

Donning a PSVR 2 headset and booting MADiSON VR up, we were impressed by the visual clarity that Bloodius Games has been able to achieve; it’s essentially photo-realistic. We are aware that the developer might have to make some small concessions regarding the game’s resolution, however, in order to pursue more consistent performance that will reduce stutter in some areas and make for a more comfortable experience overall. Hopefully it won’t be impacted too much.

MADiSON Review 1 (1)
Image: Bloodius Games

In any case, visuals aside, as always with VR it’s the added interactivity that really sells the experience. MADiSON VR lets you feel more like a part of the world than ever, with realistic actions used to perform a wide range of operation. You need to pick up and wield a hammer to destroy boards blocking your path early on in the game, for example, and you can nosey around locations, taking a look in drawers and suchlike to see if there’s anything of use.

One aspect of MADiSON that’s really brought to life in VR is the use of a camera to solve puzzles and gain clues. Gaining possession of the camera early in the game, you can retrieve it at any time by placing your dominant hand over your shoulder and grabbing. You can then take pictures by aiming the camera and using the trigger on your Sense controller to activate your shot. All that’s then left is to grab the Polaroid that emerges with your other hand and give it a shake to expose the image.

MADiSON Cathedral
Image: Bloodius Games

But as much as we enjoyed spending time with MADiSON in VR – if enjoying it is something you can actually to when its atmosphere has you fearful of what lies ahead – its controls did annoy us on occasion. Sometimes things are just a bit too fiddly, like when trying to stow items away in your inventory for later. Often they’d just end up snapping back to where they lie in the environment. Hopefully these actions will be a bit more reliable in the finished product, or we’ll simply get more adept at them.

Even with its occasionally frustrating controls, however, it’s clear that MADiSON VR is a labor of love; a mission to make one the best horror games of recent years even more hair-raising. If you’ve already played MADiSON are are keen to do so again while upping the ante, we’re confident that MADiSON VR will have been worth the wait. And if you’ve never played MADiSON before but are keen to jump into this VR enhanced version: be sure to have some clean underwear at hand. Just in case.

MADiSON VR launches 29th March on PC and PS5.

Editor in Chief // An avid gamer since discovering the wonders of the Acorn Electron in the '80s, Rich has nearly played more games than he's had hot dinners. Not one to put all his eggs in one basket, Rich is happy to play games of all genres, but he particularly enjoys racing games and anything that's full of non-stop action, especially if it includes a good dose of humour, horror or crudeness!