First-person VR lets players see the world the same way that their in-game avatar sees it, putting us right into the character’s shoes and immersing us in the sights and sounds of the virtual universe. Putting a spin on the standard formula, Italian studio Tiny Bull is using the same technology not to enhance visual immersion, but to limit it in their upcoming narrative-driven psychological thriller, Blind.
In Blind, players must guide a girl named Jane safely out of a mysterious mansion, where she awakes to find that her sight has mysteriously vanished, along with her memories of how she got there. Using a version of echolocation to maneuver and solve puzzles, Jane quickly finds that she is not alone as she attempts to unravel a mystery about the mansion’s true nature over the course of four to five hours of gameplay. The enigmatic character of the Warden promises to be an unnerving presence throughout thanks to his nightmarish, almost-human appearance. He is a constant during Jane’s dark journey, summoning her ever forward and showing her disturbing visions even as she begs for him to stop.
Based on an earlier idea by the team that won them the Best Game award at the 2014 Global Game Jam, Blind presents players with a heavily stylized black-and-white aesthetic, taking the concept of echolocation and embellishing it for flair. Thus, the game’s protagonist can actually see more than just faint outlines of objects, distinguishing even fine details like patterning on carpet, buttons and lapels on clothing, and minute variations necessary to solve puzzles like the gear and pipe challenges seen in the game’s first trailer.
We’ll have to wait until next month to find out what exactly happens to Jane in this eerie mansion, and only VR users are invited, with Blind releasing first on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, with a PS VR version coming later in the year.