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The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR Features Frightening Eye-Tracking Support

Supermassive Games outlined how The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR makes terrifying use of PSVR 2’s eye-tracking support.

One of many PSVR 2 games arriving at launch, The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR is a rollercoaster horror shooter similar to the 2016 PSVR exclusive Until Dawn: Rush Of Blood, you’ll try and survive this nightmarish ride by dodging obstacles and shooting fiends. Speaking in EDGE Magazine issue #380, game director Alejandro Arqué Gallardo begins by detailing how it uses PSVR 2’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers.

“With the haptic feedback, you feel the motion of the rollercoaster on the rails. You feel the wind and the rain on your hands. Then we used the adaptive triggers to create the feeling of guns being very different, with different levels of resistance,” explains Gallardo.

However, it’s Switchback VR’s use of eye-tracking which sounds particularly terrifying. Reminiscent of Doctor Who’s Weeping Angels, one room features a set of mannequins that only move when you blink.

A door painted with the instruction ‘don’t blink’ opens up into a room of blood-smeared mannequins in harlequin masks, their bodies twisted into unnatural poses. Eventually we can’t help it anymore, and let our eyelids flutter closed. When they open again, the mannequins have been rearranged – or have rearranged themselves. Another blink, and it happens again, except that one of them has now come to life. As we repeat this process, we learn to use our eyes tactically, only blinking once our guns are readied.

It’s an intriguing use of the tech which holds significant potential for future VR horror games, and Gallardo advises developers aren’t obliged to utilize PSVR 2’s unique hardware features. The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR arrives on PSVR 2 on February 22 for $39.99.

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