The horror of Lovecraft has become synonymous with a genre of mindbending, existential terror that seeps into the soul and leaves the mind shattered. This brand of horror has spread across multiple mediums including video games. And with the development of virtual reality, the player can be put right in the middle of the horror. That’s exactly what developers Arcadia is aiming to do with their new horror VR title, Hinge.
The game takes place during the early 20th century, just after the Spanish flu epidemic during the height of the Roaring 20s. An eccentric millionaire (who happens to be an occultist and head of a cult) has just finished his construction of a skyscraper full of Art Deco apartments in the middle of an American metropolis. To celebrate, the millionaire invites all the new inhabitants for a party. On the night of the party, the inhabitants are all transported to a nightmarish realm where the rules of time, space, and physics have all been broken and reality hangs by a thread.
In an interview with Upload VR, Arcadia’s Oleg Smirnov stated their intention of choosing that particular setting. “We decided that the player should be placed in the Great Depression because that era is fraught with something depressing and desperate,” Smirnov said. “It didn’t seem difficult for us to fit these things together. The player can find similarities between 2020 and the 20s of the last century [and] these three components work great together because [much of] the work of H.P. Lovecraft falls precisely in the Roaring Twenties.”
The player takes the role of five of the unsuspecting inhabitants as they go about unraveling the mystery of the sinister skyscraper and the truth about the mysterious millionaire and his cult, all the while trying to escape the building and the ghoulish creatures within. Throughout the game, the player will come across physics-based puzzles that Arcadia boasts will have a degree of freedom when it comes to the solutions.
“The rules of the game are obscured for players,” Smirnov said to UploadVR. “You will not be able to fully understand what is happening in the game. You’ll have to put all pieces of the story together from scraps that you’ll find in the game and make conclusions by yourself.”
Hinge is expected to be released in a 3 part episodic format where the player will be able to explore the narratives of each five characters across the three episodes, spanning three to four hours. Hinge will be coming out on 27 November on Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality.