Image: Vertigo Studios
The 7th Guest VR combines a mysterious story with atmospheric visuals and challenging puzzles.
The VR adventure is a remake of the classic CD-ROM game from the 90s and was developed from scratch for virtual reality. I played The 7th Guest VR with Playstation VR 2 for about an hour and will give you my impressions below.
At the beginning, you find yourself in an old barge and have to row to a musty dock. In front of you is a small island with an old, dilapidated mansion on top of it. A ghostly child’s voice speaks to you from beyond the grave and guides you up the path to the mansion as you light the way with a lantern. You yourself are a ghost, as your ethereal bone hands make clear.
The 7th Guest begins with this highly atmospheric entry. The art style, the voice acting, the music: Everything fits the setting perfectly. Vertigo Studios (Arizona Sunshine 2) did a good job and you can see the high production values.
A dark and ghostly fairy tale
The good first impression continues inside the abandoned mansion. A magic light emanates from the lantern you carry. It can restore broken, old objects, uncover hidden clues, and reveal what the mansion once looked like. In the lantern’s cone of light, peeling wallpaper shines again, wilted flowers bloom, and dusty porcelain shines as if freshly polished. That something dark is at work here becomes apparent as soon as the paintings are illuminated and the motifs and faces eerily change.
The 7th Guest is scary, but tolerable for the faint of heart. At least in the parts I played, there was no violence, attacks, or jump scares, and I never got so tense that I wanted to take off the headset. Something that usually happens in mere seconds when I play something like Resident Evil Village. The 7th Guest is more of a dark fairy tale than a horror movie.
After the first few minutes, you learn that you are in the house of the wealthy toymaker Henry Stauf, who once invited six very different guests to his home. They appear ghostly in front of you again and again, giving you a glimpse into the events of the past.
The guests are not animated, but real actors captured with volumetric cameras. This is a technique that is rarely used in VR games, and it fits the ghost story perfectly. During these sequences, you can walk around the characters and view them from all sides from a medium distance.
The 7th Guest makes a great first impression
As the game progresses, new rooms will unlock, allowing you to gradually explore the multi-story mansion. The rooms are filled with puzzles like those found in escape rooms. The 7th Guest VR reminded me of the excellent The Room VR: A Dark Matter, although the new game has much stronger story elements, which makes it even more appealing to me.
What to expect in the other rooms and floors, and whether the gameplay will go beyond puzzles, I can’t say yet. But I’m excited to play The 7th Guest again. After all, I have to find out what happened to the house and the guests, what the toymaker is all about, and last but not least, myself, the mysterious 7th guest.
I played The 7th Guest on Playstation VR 2. One can tell that the VR game was developed with Meta Quest in mind and later optimized for Sony’s VR headset. But the world is still beautifully designed and rich in detail, has a lot of atmosphere and is rendered in high resolution. The only thing that bothered me was that the VR game looks too bright, so that the OLED displays and dark areas do not really come into their own.
The 7th Guest VR will be released on October 19, 2023 for Quest 2, Quest 3 and Pro, Playstation VR 2 and PC VR compatible headsets on Steam. The price is $29.99.
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