Review: The Exorcist: Legion VR (PSVR)

Review: The Exorcist: Legion VR (PSVR)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Oculus Rift
  • HTC Vive

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • PlayStation VR Required
  • DualShock 4 Recommended (1)
  • Move Optional (2)
  • PS VR Aim Controller None
Title: The Exorcist: Legion VR
Format: PSN (2.7 GB)
Release Date: June 19, 2018
Publisher: LegionVR, LLC
Developer: Wolf & Wood Interactive Ltd
Original MSRP:
Complete Edition: $29.99 (US), €29.99 (EU), £24.99 (UK)
Individual Chapters: $6.99 (US), €7.49 (EU), £6.19 (UK)
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 12
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

In The Exorcist: Legion VR Complete Series you will face a variety of supernatural entities. The series spans five chapters, all of which can be bought separately. And seeing as the last two were not available straight away I held off on scoring and reviewing the game.

Gameplay:
The description in the store lists “Enhanced play with 1 PS Move controller” so I stupidly took that as gospel (excuse the pun) and booted up the game with a solitary Move controller in hand. It made me create a save game and then load the save, then a blank screen appeared and I waited. I waited some more. I checked the TV to find that too had nothing on it. I rebooted the game and loaded the save again because that was all I could do. The same thing happened. Not a good start.

Review: The Exorcist: Legion VR (PSVR) Review: The Exorcist: Legion VR (PSVR)

I then turned on the DualShock 4 and loaded the game again. Success, I made it to the calibration screen. Yet, somehow I was about two feet from the floor looking up at a whiteboard full of information. Just barely managing to do what it asked, the game loaded but I was still really short and when I pressed the inventory button everything appeared above my head.

After turning everything off and loading the game again I was able to calibrate it properly, as I appeared at the correct height right off the bat. So everything should be fine now. Well, no, something still isn’t right. Looking at anything up close in my virtual hands or bringing up the inventory and selecting anything has to be done with the Move controllers (yes, two controllers) just above the VR headset. I must look crazy.

Locomotion using the Move controllers can either be achieved by teleporting or a clumsy set of button holds culminating in a smooth gliding movement. While the latter is complicated at first I soon got the hang of it. I’m not sure if I’ll be saying that later on when I’m trying to run away.

If the smooth movement option is chosen the game employs a tunnel vision effect to avoid any nausea and I must say, the darkness encroaching in from edges of the screen does work. It also makes the game a bit more unsettling. This can be turned off in the menu.

Placement is key in a VR game and not being in the correct place means important things might be missed. This happened to me a few times in the second chapter, and somehow I also failed to trigger a door to open and so I was stuck in a corridor with nothing to do. After backtracking twice, it worked and I got to witness the last part of the chapter.

Review: The Exorcist: Legion VR (PSVR) Review: The Exorcist: Legion VR (PSVR)

Enough of the problems, for now at least, let me get into what The Exorcist: Legion VR is all about. You begin the game on a late shift as a Boston homicide detective, your office acts as the hub where you can jump into any owned chapters by selecting their case or just mess around with the photos and pencils and even cups of coffee from the vending machine in the hall. I was surprised to see how many things I could balance on a piece of paper.

I also annoyed my boss, by continually rattling his door handle, but he gave up shouting at me after a minute so I returned to my office. All of the important items are catalogued on the crime wall in the office and a completion percentage is viewable allowing you to easily see if you missed anything.

Chapter 1: First Rites
The clever use of light illuminates the play area in a dark and foreboding church. Maybe play is the wrong word. The crime scene is full of evidence, which you can grab and mess around with. After accidentally dropping a vial of liquid, which turned out to be holy water, and smashing it on the floor I decided to be a bit more cautious.

Most of the evidence you come across can later be found in your inventory menu. I guess this detective cares little about spoiling and tampering with evidence. He isn’t even wearing gloves on his disembodied hands.

Although as the night goes on I doubt the worry of Internal Affairs breathing down his neck will even cross his mind. After finding the slain victim I did consider how this game is only T-rated in the US and 12 in the UK. Maybe it won’t get any worse than this?

After rummaging through the priest’s office and swiping a few handy items I began to appreciate the level of detail in the rooms and objects within. You can pick up a scribbled note and read it in a natural way, the quality is that good. Although, I’m not too happy with one book that later appeared in my inventory as the handwriting is difficult to read.

After finding the victim there are a few jump scares, which got the heart going a little faster, but nothing that made me question the age rating again. I must admit I was more shocked at the last moment when the chapter finished quite abruptly and I felt somewhat shortchanged.

Review: The Exorcist: Legion VR (PSVR) Review: The Exorcist: Legion VR (PSVR)
Chapter 2: Idle Hands
The first part of this chapter looks great and I liked the idea and anticipated a nerve-shredding encounter with a homicidal maniac. It didn’t quite go as expected and after I left the first room it was rather dull, to be honest.

I already mentioned not being able to trigger the next part of the game, well this was very annoying and might have contributed to the lackluster final part that was over all too quickly. In fact, the entire chapter would have been finished very quickly if it weren’t for the issue I had.

Review: The Exorcist: Legion VR (PSVR) Review: The Exorcist: Legion VR (PSVR)
Chapter 3: Skin Deep
Once I returned to the precinct there was a delivery on my desk, it contained some light reading material and a CD, which only contained one short ominous track. The tone it set was quite unsettling.

I grabbed the case file and began the Third Chapter. You’ll appear inside a nice quiet home. A bowl of fruit, a baby monitor, and a fallen photo frame adorns a small cabinet top to your right. After rummaging through the cupboards I only found a matching photo frame containing the same loving and happy couple as before.

Your only path leads up some stairs to an attic. I opened a door leading into the dark room but before I could make my way in, the door closed and locked. Everything tells me I should be in that room. Thanks to the magic of actual physical movement I was able to lean my head, and therefore the camera, through the door and look in the room. A crib is illuminated by a large window behind it in a dark and ominous room. The problem with the locking door happened several times and a new issue arose that continued throughout the entire game, more on that a little later.

Once I finally got into the room, by almost barging my way in before the game had a chance to stop me, I explored the eerie space and said hello to the sleeping baby, then gave it a few toys and things I thought it might like. The story of this chapter works well and was quite emotional. While I wasn’t a fan of the doll-like baby the story that surrounds it was more memorable than the others.

Review: The Exorcist: Legion VR (PSVR) Review: The Exorcist: Legion VR (PSVR)

When the game updated around the same time as the last two chapters, a strange thing happened. The grab command on each Move controller swapped, and there is no possible way to fix this annoying bug. This is a big problem because if I want to hold anything in the right hand I have to press the button on the left controller and vice versa. It infuriates me and I cannot get used to it no matter how much I play.

Chapter 4: Samaritan
For some reason the only way to progress in this chapter is to use a hammer to break some emergency glass, nothing else, no matter the object will even scratch the surface. I was smacking this thing with my hands, a metal cross, and everything else I could find until I accidentally stumbled upon the hammer.

I’m starting to sound like a broken record but I was surprised again to find such a macabre environment with two gruesome encounters in this chapter considering the rating of this game. This included scenes of a disturbing nature that I wouldn’t let any twelve-year-old I know witness, especially considering how immersive the VR headset is.

After I mutilated a corpse in the morgue I found another when I strolled into the back room. The scene would be quite distressing for a teenager. I messed about with a few things but when I attempted to leave the room an Out of Bounds Warning appeared and I was forced to quit and try again. The problem happened a few more times but by sheer luck, it sorted itself out.

Review: The Exorcist: Legion VR (PSVR) Review: The Exorcist: Legion VR (PSVR)
Chapter 5: The Tomb
I will always remember Indiana Jones saying, “Only the penitent man will pass.” I am reminded of that moment in this chapter as I explore the caves with my flaming torch, which luckily doesn’t hurt my character. Sadly, this has to be the dullest chapter yet, at least the beginning part anyway.

Disappointingly, I happened upon the same problem as the previous chapter, the dreaded Out of Bounds Warning followed by a black screen. I couldn’t move and seemed to be stuck in a wall. This happened many times and sadly I gave up on the game. It was also the “grab” bug that pushed me over the edge. After I accidentally dropped my torch, which mysteriously disappeared, I had lost hope and couldn’t be bothered to fumble for my cruddy lighter. Just like in many treasure hunting films, the bugs overwhelmed me and I gave up.

Review: The Exorcist: Legion VR (PSVR) Review: The Exorcist: Legion VR (PSVR)

Visuals:
The Exorcist: Legion VR has some great graphics for a VR game. The detail in a framed photo or police report is excellent. The lighting, or lack thereof, is very effective in creating an unsettling and creepy atmosphere.

Yet some parts of the game lack the attention to detail I expect and seem to be rather dull. The developers at Wolf & Wood Interactive intended to have a big scare happen at one point, which left me mildly unnerved. Unfortunately, it happens several more times until it becomes mundane. There isn’t enough puzzle solving or enough reasons to use the assortment of exorcism tools that are carried around in the hollowed out bible.

Audio:
Using headphones with the VR headset is a must as the sound design in The Exorcist: Legion VR greatly adds to the immersion and helps to put the player on edge. Although, the vile language is part of what I associate with The Exorcist, but the age rating means there isn’t anything I would expect to hear from the things I encounter.

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

Review: The Exorcist: Legion VR (PSVR) Review: The Exorcist: Legion VR (PSVR)

Conclusion:
There is an option to buy each of the five chapters of The Exorcist: Legion VR individually which, in total, works out to be more expensive than the complete series. There is also an option to buy the first chapter, and then if you like what you’ve played, you can get the Season Pass containing the remaining four chapters at a reduced price. I would suggest going with the latter if you’re interested in this title. Don’t stop here, as the rest of this conclusion might change your mind.

Each chapter seems to build up to something but it never really delivers because it either holds back on what should be horrific and putrid scenes or they’re all over too quickly and never with any excitement. With the latter, I fear many people will feel shortchanged.

I was unsure of Chapter 3: Skin Deep but found it to be more meaningful than the rest. I just didn’t enjoy all the other chapters and found them uneven. It was all either too gruesome or too dull. This game might be fun for some people but I just couldn’t get into it.

Score:
5.0

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

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

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

If you send a friend request please add ‘PS Nation’ in the subject area.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook