Review: The Invisible Hours (PSVR)

Review: The Invisible Hours (PSVR)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Oculus Rift
  • HTC Vive

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • PlayStation VR Required
  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move Optional (2)
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Title: The Invisible Hours
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (6.4 GB)
Release Date: October 10, 2017
Publisher: GameTrust
Developer: Tequila Works
Original MSRP: $29.99 (US), €39.99 (EU), £34.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 16
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

The Invisible Hours is something quite different and very special indeed, a new genre that makes use of the Playstation VR in a way that I hoped would appear ever since I played the awful Dactyl Nightmare VR game back in the 90’s and imagined the possibilities.

Gameplay:
The Invisible Hours can be played in either one of two ways or a combination thereof. You can either highlight an individual and automatically follow them around, jumping to different locations as if watching a movie, or point to where you want to move and do whatever you wish.

Controls are very easy to learn and uncomplicated. I didn’t realize until the second chapter that I could highlight objects of possible interest and have them float up near my head, allowing for closer inspection. If there’s text a simple press of a button has it read out to you.

You’ll be finding letters and important objects help to flesh out the intriguing story and uncover the mysterious goings on at the Nikola Tesla Mansion. There are many sides to this captivating story and it’ll take some time to sift through it all.

That being said, the actual length of the story isn’t that long compared to other games, but this isn’t like other games. The need to watch from other perspectives and locations feels like untangling some balled up Christmas lights. It will take time to get rid of all the knots along the way.

I have gotten ahead of myself and should mention the Theatre as it plays an important part in rifling through every step and interaction between the guests. You’re able to view where you’ve been on a map and who was present at the time. You can move the timeline forwards and back to any point you wish and jump to it. This is really handy for making sure everything has been covered.

I thankfully chose to follow each person. It was a slower way and there were a few quiet moments where a guest would be mulling over the harrowing events that took place minutes earlier or scheming their way out of a tricky situation.

I could pause, fast-forward, and rewind time if I wished and will probably start doing so once I have fleshed out most of the story but for the time being, I’m content with sitting back and watching things play out. Pausing the game is great for examining documents and objects that might not stick around for long.

I could spend ages going into wonderous detail about each one of the enigmatic group, my theories, and findings, or unraveling the marvelous interwoven story but that’s what makes this so enjoyable. I won’t because I hate spoiling things and that is a huge part of this game, the discovery.

The Invisible Hours can also be controlled with two Move controllers. Their visual representation on-screen looks as if Tesla himself had designed them. With floating descriptions on each useable button it quickly becomes second nature and much easier to use than the DualShock 4.

Visuals:
Because I can only watch and not influence the story and characters in any single way, it feels like I am a ghostly presence trapped in a groundhog day of murder and intrigue. The Invisible Hours is a nice looking game and the actors and animation artists are able to convey just enough emotion through the visuals to help the story and not hinder it.

Audio:
This game features some great voice work such as the excellent Henning Valin Jakobsen as Gustaf Gustav, Grahame Fox playing Victor Mundy, and Fiona Rene as Sarah Bernhardt to name but a few. They all do a great job and put on believable performances and I can see great things from them down the road.

Sound plays a big part in the game, mainly in the conversations you hear. To be privy to these discussions you have to be close enough, unless they happen to be shouting, then you can hear what is said from the next room, although it might be slightly muffled.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only with no online component.

Conclusion:
The Invisible Hours is a groundbreaking step into immersive storytelling and interactive theatre. It’s like the ultimate murder mystery weekend from the comfort of your home.

Being able to watch and follow everyone at any time is a truly remarkable feat. No longer are we confined to the seats staring at the stage or screen, we are spirits in the thick of it. Take note as this is the first of many in a wonderful new genre that others will struggle to beat.

The excellent writing from the masterful Rob Yescombe tells me so much about every character in a succinct and memorable way. Combine that with great acting from a talented group of people and The Invisible Hours has managed to gain a spot on my Game of the Year list.

I cannot fault it, except to desperately want more of it.

Score:
9.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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