Developer / Publisher – Insomniac Games
Price – US $39.99
Release Date –June 6th, 2016
Input – Gamepad, Touch (as gamepad)
Play Area – Seated, Standing
Store – Oculus
Reviewed on – Oculus Rift
Edge of Nowhere may have come out in 2016, but it is still my favorite VR game to date and I still go back and replay it from time to time on different difficulties. The stealth sections are perfectly crafted. Platforming and climbing is tight, the environment looks gorgeous, the horror builds at the perfect pace, and even though it is third person, the story progresses in such a way that you really do feel like you are the main protagonist.
Set in Antarctica, you play as Victor Howard. Without giving too much away, you have arrived in Antarctica to rescue your fiancé, and soon find out you are not alone with the penguins (whom I stood looking at for a good ten minutes as they waddled around). The game even inspired me to turn up my ac unit, so I felt colder, which added to immersion.
Edge of Nowhere is greatly inspired by H.P. Lovecraft, and the monsters of the mind and universe are explored to great effect. The game is a good length to let the slow burn of tension build up to the finale, and boy what a finale it was.
You control Victor through your standard thumbstick movement. There is a small inventory to keep track of consisting of rocks and bullets. While there are only a few key mechanics, Edge of Nowhere has them refined to a fine point, and the further into the depths of Antarctica you get, the more complex the problems you must solve are. Do you shoot and hope you kill your enemy, or do you throw a rock to distract it while you sneak around past it? There are only a few types of enemies, but each one feels distinct and causes mild to severe panic when you encounter them unexpectedly. One particular instance I found myself freaking out a bit and pulling off the headset. I had tunnel visioned, thought I knew what the game had to throw at me, and then everything changed.
Insomniac got the atmosphere and location perfect in this game. Every twang of music, or crunch of Victor’s footsteps on the snow felt important and keyed me in to what was happening in game. Every moment of horror had the right amount of music or lack of music. The voice acting was well done and not over the top, with the great Robin Atkin Downes voicing Victor.
Visually the game is a feast, the Antarctica looks beautiful, the penguins look cute, and when ice sheets fall threatening to crush you, it looks like cold icy death. Enemies look more terrifying the longer you look at them, and clothing looks like it is real, not digitally created. Playing through I felt like I was really in the Antarctic struggling to survive.
No challenge or loss in Edge of Nowhere feels cheap or unfair. Every time I had to start a section over, I knew it was because I had planned poorly and had not been patient. No section kept me frustrated for too long on the Normal difficulty, and playing through on the Hard difficulty was a fun challenge that I hadn’t expected. I also liked that with the ability to have 3 save slots, I could let my friends try the game without plowing over my old save files.
Edge of Nowhere is my favorite VR game, and is even in my list of top games ever, VR or otherwise. I was mildly interested in H.P. Lovecraft before I started the game so I was familiar with the types of stories that he inspires, but after beating the game I was inspired to buy his complete works and read them all. A game convinced me to read! How often does that happen? This game is a must play for everyone.
What would I pay? I’m happy with $40 price tag for Edge of Nowhere. This game may have released a while ago, but the quality here is something that needs to be seen. If you have a rift and are into survival-horror, you need to buy this.