Rush of Blood Vs Switchback VR
Supermassive Games recently released its latest on-rails shooter, Switchback VR, a spiritual successor to 2016's Until Dawn: Rush of Blood. Question is, which of the two is visually, mechanically, and aurally better? Well, therein lies a question that fans of the brand have been asking ever since the PlayStation VR2 first adopted Switchback VR a couple of weeks back. Us? Well, we're still entwined in an ongoing war with it, volleying back and forth between the two.
Anyway, if you are wondering which of the two is worth picking up in 2023, then we'll go ahead and break it down. From the stories to the gameplay, the motion controls to the graphics — here's everything you need to know about the two. Until Dawn: Rush of Blood or The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR: which one is better?
What Is Rush of Blood?
Rush of Blood is an on-rails shooter that draws elements from Supermassive Games' Until Dawn. As a lone rider on a rundown coaster in a derelict carnival, you are tasked with venturing off the beaten tracks and facing off with not only flesh-eating hordes, but even the dreaded Wendigo themselves. From Hannah and Beth's fatal accident, to the Wendigo-filled mines, Rush of Blood hands you a fresh perspective on one of the best horror games of its generation.
What Is Switchback VR?
Switchback VR is yet another on-rails shooter that pays tribute to the first season of The Dark Pictures Anthology. Its purpose, which bases itself on the four games in the series, has you traveling through various key locations and engaging in full-frontal combat on a horror-themed roller coaster.
To put it short, both Rush of Blood and Switchback VR foster an on-rails approach, meaning the entire gameplay experience involves you gradually moving forward. Both games, too, feature a multitude of arenas—locations in which you must eliminate every enemy in the room in order to get the train moving again. And that's really about it, as far as structure goes, so there isn't a great deal to explore outside of what it says it is on the tin.
Rush of Blood and Switchback VR both hand you a weapon, with which you can use to shoot other crates to unlock additional weapons, and destroy collectibles that help tally up your points. This is all textbook arcade shoot 'em up stuff, and it shines best when submerged in an atmospheric world that bleeds suspense. Ammunition is often plentiful, as are the variety of weapons you can scout out during the chapters. To this end, both games hold up incredibly well, leaving no stone unturned over each of the relatively short three-hour journeys.
Of course, we do have to take into account the motion controls here, a nifty gadget that was purposely crafted to make things like shooter games sparkle. And it does, tenfold, which makes us truly believe that Switchback VR provides the most life-like on-rails experience out of the two. A matter of opinion, sure, though we can't exactly shoot down the PlayStation Move controllers, either. But for the sake of selecting the journey that supplies the most immersive and satisfying gameplay experience, we'd have to wager the former.
Aesthtically, neither Rush of Blood nor Switchback VR break the fourth wall. Truth is, they're both a little dated, and stand reminiscent of rundown lazer tag arenas from the mid-90s period. And it shows, too, more so when the brightness settings are adjusted to shed light on the darkest of objects. In the darkness, however, is where the graphics truly shine, so to speak. But then, being an on-rails shooter, chances are you'll never really be around long enough to acknowledge the shoddy quality of the graphics, anyway. So, you know, that's something.
Of course, we can see what Supermassive Games tried to do here: it composed a love letter to the beloved arcade art style that shook the world way back in the eighties, maybe early nineties. And while it does pay tribute to hits like The House of the Dead, it does go without saying that, when you're equipped with a VR headset, such nostalgic elements can mesh with an overwhelming amount of motion sickness. Dial down the settings, though, and this isn't a major issue.
Granted, neither of the two on-rails shooters are worth writing home about. That said, if relatively short arcade sequences crammed with bullet-riddled action and hit-and-miss jump scares is up your alley, then take your pick — Rush of Blood and Switchback VR are both equally rife with elements for you to soak up. If it's a well-orchestrated narrative that you're longing for, then you may want to divert yourself to an alternative saga—one that doesn't squeeze The Dark Pictures brand for all its worth.
Fan of The Dark Pictures or not, there's still a lot you can enjoy here—especially if you're after a short two-hour experience that never exactly lets up on the brakes. But which of the two is better, aurally, mechanically, and visually? Safe to say that it's Switchback VR, mainly down to the fact that it's slightly easier on the eyes, and not to mention that the PlayStation VR2's newly revised motion controls compliment the action surprisingly well.
Bottom line is, if it's bread and butter on-rails horror you want, then fire for Rush of Blood. But for an all-round experience that divides its attention over a variety of elements, then there's no doubt in our minds that Switchback VR is the superior choice in this case.
So, what's your take? Have you had the chance to play either of the two VR on-rails shooters yet? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.