Face Your Fears (2016) is a collection of horrifying experiences ripped straight from your nightmares; creepy clowns, monsters in the closet, dangerous heights, and now the world of Netflix’s hit show Stranger Things.
In a new update, the Gear VR app promises a peek into the show’s sleepy town of Hawkins, Indiana, the idyllic small town that plays host to a rip in reality, opening up a passageway to what the show’s protagonists dub ‘The Upside Down’ – “a dimension that is a dark reflection, or echo, of our world. It is a place of decay and death, a plane out of phase, a place of monsters.”
While only about 8 minutes long, the experience is surprisingly well-done for a TV show tie-in, showing Turtle Rock Studio’s clear capability hone in on the level of ‘creep factor’ they’ve cultivated since the launch of the most well-known game Left 4 Dead (2008).
Taking you through a unique mini-narrative, you travel to the Upside Down, come face-to-face with a Demogorgan and sit helplessly as the world decays around you. It’s more than just jump scares and screaming monsters though. Like with all Face Your Fears experiences, it dials in the growing disquieting feeling with a great use of music and positional audio to keep you guessing.
Locomotion through the real-time rendered experience is on-rails, meaning you go wherever the experience wants to take you. There are some misgivings with this, as the experience makes a brief use of forced rotation and camera bobbing, two ‘VR no no’s in Oculus’ Best Practice Guide. These are brief though and only slightly distract from the mounting terror of the Upside Down as it throws everything it has at you.
Face Your Fears is also available on Rift, but unfortunately doesn’t include many of the Gear VR app’s horrifying scenes like the Stranger Things experience, making this a Gear VR exclusive unless Turtle Rock deems it otherwise.