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Grave is an ever-changing surrealist nightmare with Oculus Rift

7:45 PM on 03.19.2014 // Steven Hansen
  @dtoidsteven

Dali-ghtful

The sensory deprivation the Oculus Rift provides is great for immersion. And immersion is great for moody, atmospheric, scary games like Grave. Though there is a non Rift version coming, so if you haven't sold your eye souls to virtual reality, don't stop reading yet.  

I'm very glad I've put my face in several strange contraptions, including Rifts, this week and I still have my eyes. Someone is going to get their eyes stolen soon.

Grave is inspired by the surrealist deserts of Salvador Dali. Or the Simpsons episode with the chili hallucination and Johnny Cash coyote if that's more your speed. You wander through a desert and try to solve its central mystery, anyway.

The problem is that the freaks come out at night and in Grave night comes often.

This is why my Dali-ghtful joke is even better than you were already thinking it was. Because Dali and delightful and daylight -- it's all there. There's a truncated day and night cycle -- each lasting under five minutes at a time right now. During the day, you're safe to scavenge and explore and find gasoline and matches and other light-producing things. Which you will need at night, which is dark and scary and has monsters.

I always feel total darkness is underutilized in games because it's disorienting for players. But that's what's good about the effect. I loved the cave early in Snake Eater (and how your vision slowly acclimated). So I like Grave's core shtick.

The weird thing about Grave, however, is that during every new day break, more structures are procedurally generated into the world. New mountains, new houses -- new things to explore just pop up. It's a neat idea, though I never made it far on the central story thread.

I also found a really, really weird light-producing machine in the dessert that was neat. I hope to find more neat things in Grave at some point.


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Steven Hansen, Features Editor
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Steven watches anime & sports, buys meat out of trucks, dates a Muppet, and is only good at cooking. He stands before you bereft of solace and well on the road to perdition. ('^ω^) more   |   staff directory

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