With Halloween just around the corner, what better time could there be to dive head first into a virtual reality experience set in William Peter Blatty's Exorcist universe?
Assuming the role of a police detective, your job is to investigate a series of crimes, with each part of the five standalone story chapters revolving around a different demonic entity. Together, these supernatural beings comprise the Legion of the title, and it's up to you to rid the world of these evil creatures once and for all.
Each chapter takes around 30 minutes to complete (we say “around” - bear in mind that it could be considerably less...), and some are, of course, more terrifying than others. The opening chapter, set in a dark bloodstained church, sets things off in grand style, as whispering voices echo around you (and, most unnervingly, right behind you) and fear quickly creeps in the second you realise you've no idea what you might find down that darkened corridor. Sometimes the things you can't see is scarier than the things you can, and Exorcist: Legion uses this idea to great effect.
Later chapters take us through a jail, a creepy attic, a Haitian morgue, and finally a Mesopotamian tomb. While all have their plus points, there are a few appearances from some of the more over-used horror tropes that some might find a little tiresome. Are moving mannequins really still scary? Corpses sitting up inside a bodybag? Or a sleeping baby that suddenly wakes up? If your answer is “no”, the tension and atmosphere are still good enough to warrant picking this one up, but if your answer is “yes” then Legion is absolutely going to be right up your street.
There isn't a huge amount of gameplay going on - the focus here is mainly on exploration and wandering around until you trigger the next scripted event, so it might be worth treating this more as a virtual horror experience rather than a game. There are definitely scares to be had, although it's often more psychological than full-on terror, staying true to the movie's roots. While maybe not quite up there with the best titles in the VR horror library, The Exorcist: Legion VR manages to pull off some of the most oppressive environments we've seen so far, and for that alone, we reckon it's well worth picking this one up.
THE EXORCIST: LEGION VR / DEVELOPER: WOLF & WOOD / PUBLISHER: FUN TRAIN / PLATFORM: HTC VIVE, OCULUS RIFT, PLAYSTATION VR (REVIEWED) / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW