Antarctica, 1935 (I think). Lost expedition, hero in search of his fiancée, strange ruins and impossible creatures inhabiting them. Lovecraftian setting. All of this in VR. Also made by Insomniac Games – studio in charge of few very successful AAA projects. Is there anything more to wish? That were my thoughts, when I heard about the game.

First thing after I setup Oculus Rift, I paid a full price (40$) and downloaded the game. 3 hours, 24 minutes later (that’s the time it took me to finish the game on easy setting) I could say it’s a very tough game to review...

Story:

Edge of Nowhere has all the usual elements one can expect from Lovecraftian story – set in the beginning of the 20th century, Got-hit-on-the-head main character, Providence and Miskatonic University connections, threat to human civilization from the dark corner of the Earth, hallucinations, The Old One, sleeping beneath the ice… Cliché that can still work. Alas, this work-of-weird-fiction-wannabe lacks one, most important aspect – the fear of the unknown, the suspense. Probably, not an easy thing to pack into action game that can be beat in bit more than 3 hours. After first few minutes of a story player gets a shotgun and starts blasting fleshy creatures left and right.

This happens around the end of a game and only for a short time. Edge of Nowhere is in desperate need of such locations...

Gameplay:

Very simplistic. Like most current VR games feels more like a demo of VR hardware capabilities than a full game. We have: 2 shotguns, rock for stealth approach (throw a rock, run behind the creature), 1 melee weapon, medkits. Main character can walk, run, jump, crouch (automatically) and climb ice walls. A usual set for an adventure game. Works very good, but seen and played in every adventure game since early 200X. The only interesting mechanics involves throwing a rock to lure the creature to a certain plant and then throwing a stone on the plant, making it to attack and kill the creature. This can lead to some fun situations.

This is how 85% of the game will look like

Graphics:

Not bad, but can be much, much better. Most of the game is set in Antarctica, so surfaces are white, empty and covered with snow. Visibility is pretty low, and there is no need for a long view distance. Well played Insomniacs. Semi-cartoon art style allows for low-poly characters, simple effects and in general, doesn’t add much to the atmosphere of a Lovecraftian game. Such graphics could be praised around 10 years ago, of course, not on VR platform.

Is it worth it?

Edge of Nowhere should be viewed only as an early VR experience. A kind of a technology demo.

Short story: in general, I enjoyed it.

Long story: in absence of better titles this game works well as VR experience for players who search for adventure/horror game in VR. I felt mild discomfort (nausea) for whole time of a gameplay, but it was manageable (not that I want to manage nausea while playing videogames). It was fun to explore caves and huge monster encounters were OK.

6/10