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.
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.
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.