‘Lies Beneath’ is a Comic-inspired Survival Horror Game Exclusively for Rift & Quest


Lies Beneath is an Oculus-exclusive survival horror VR game from Drifter Entertainment, the studio behind Gunheart (2018). The studio has honed in on a unique comic book / cel-shaded style which looks like almost nothing else in VR to date.

Lies Beneath was just announced at the end of last week but is set to launch very soon; published by Oculus Studios (and exclusive to the platform), the Lies Beneath release date for Quest is March 31st, followed soon after by a Rift launch on April 14th. Like most Oculus exclusive titles, the PC version of the game is expected to be playable on non-Oculus headsets via the third-party Revive mod.

The game is described as a “single-player survival horror game with a heavy dose of action:”

Something’s gone horribly wrong in the sleepy town of Slumber, Alaska. Now, returning college student Mae must fight to save her father (and her sanity) from the terrifying townsfolk and creepy creatures infecting her hometown. Experience a living comic book full of frightful scenarios as you uncover the secrets of Slumber… and Mae’s past.

With a full arsenal of melee and ranged weapons, Mae will fight monsters across the menacing remnants of her hometown. Along the way, she’ll need to solve puzzles in her surroundings and find lore objects that uncover hidden truths. LIES BENEATH features several difficulty levels and comfort options so you can tailor the experience to your preferences.

In an interview on the Oculus blog, Drifer developers cited franchises like Silent Hill and Resident Evil as strong influences in the gameplay design, which suggests that Lies Beneath will focus on a slower pace, creepy atmosphere, and narrative.

Image courtesy Drifter Entertainment

Lies Beneath has been in production for nearly two years, the developers said; part of that time was figuring out how the game should look and feel, which led Drifter to a very unique comic book aesthetic which the studio says fits the theme of the game and the graphical limitations of Quest. The developers cited a range of artists and works which inspired the game’s visuals and narrative.

We looked at Bernie Wrightson’s articulate, spooky linework, Mike Mignola’s bold, graphic black and whites, Junji Ito’s stomach-turning body horror, Shintaro Kago’s savage surrealism, the painterly genius in Warren Publishing’s Eerie and Creepy anthologies, Sanjulián, Esteban Maroto, Dave McKean, Sandman, Hellblazer, DC’s Vertigo line, and EC Comics—most importantly, EC’s stamp on anthology-style narrative.

Though Lies Beneath will launch on both Quest and Rift, Drifter says it was built as a “Quest-first” title.

We knew from the very beginning that we wanted to create a combat system that was visceral and active, and the cordless nature of Quest makes it the absolute best in class for motion control-based games.

Image courtesy Drifter Entertainment

Lies Beneath seems like quite the shift for Drifter Entertainment; though the studio is well experienced in the VR realm, its prior work has been much more action-oriented. The studio is behind the VR shooter Gunheart (2019) and Robo Recall: Unplugged (2019), the Quest port of Robo Recall (2017) a VR shooter originally developed by Epic Games for Rift.

Drifter isn’t the first to make such a pivot, though; for instance, Cloudhead games is a veteran VR studio behind the VR narrative adventure series The Gallery, but followed up recently with Pistol Whip, an arcade-focused rhythm shooter which has seen wide acclaim.

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  • Zantetsu

    Horror games are really hard to play in VR. They are so unnerving as to be not even fun. It was quite difficult to get through the original Brookhaven Experiment demo, and I noped out quite a few times before finally finishing it. Then I bought the actual game for reasons I still can’t quite explain and … I didn’t get past the first round. It’s just not fun to be so nervous.

    Heck I even hopped back into Fallout 4 VR to test out my Index and went into an as-of-yet-unexplored sewer area. After a couple of feral ghouls attacked I was really feeling quite unnerved. Not sure I would call it fun …

    I think it’s awesome that VR can deliver such a visceral experience but … VR horror games are much, much scarier than anything that people are used to on flat screens, for sure.

    • martin

      Horror is a very divisive genre, either you like it or hate it. and don’t try to force yourself to like it, i dont quite think it’ll work.
      personally i like the rush of blood when watching or playing a horror title. it is strange something unpleasant can be enjoyable, and that its enjoyed by a large contingent.

    • Thinker

      Hah. Somewhat agree with you. My daughter was daring me to play a scary game in VR. To which I replied, I just don’t get scared with this sort of stuff.

      Shattered lights had me scared a little more than a little bit lol. Of course I Had my poker face on the entire time, to my kids I’m supposed to be a rock. Inside, I was rethinking my choices…

      I still had a lot of fun.

  • I love this creepy comic-like style!

  • Andrew Jakobs

    Looks great

  • Ces

    argh!! Damn console exclusivity to hell!

    Looked really cool, love the Cell shadered / cartoon style too but I only have a vive

    • Jake Richardson

      You should check out revive. Makes oculus exclusives playable on vive. I hear the button mapping can be a bit off but apparently it works quite well.