If you’ve ever wanted to tip-toe through some of the world’s most famous haunted houses, flickering flashlight in hand, in search of the scariest ghosts from history, I’ve got news for you: thanks to the power of virtual reality, you’ll soon be able to do just that without ever leaving your couch.
Ghost Theory is a new virtual reality videogame being developed for the Oculus Rift by Czech developer Dreadlocks, who say their goal is to create a interactive ghost hunting adventure “with an immersive atmosphere, to produce a chilling experience – whether you’re using a VR headset or a classic monitor or TV.”
The game puts you in the shoes of a psychic paranormal investigator with a bag of ghost gadgets at your disposal, tasked with gathering evidence of famous hauntings and clearing them out once and for all. There’s only one problem: these ghosts can kill you. Only a combination of “careful observation, stealth, exploration and logic” will get you out of these famous haunts alive.
As scary as it sounds, Dreadlocks has upped the tension by making the game as realistic as possible, even scrapping 3D models to use real actors as their terrifying phantoms.
“In order to make those ghostly encounters as terrifying as possible”, they write, “we are filming live actors in front of a green screen, and seamlessly integrating them in the game. Combined with VR headsets’ native support of stereoscopic 3D, this technique results in the most intense scares you’ll ever experience.”
Gameplay will be varied and challenging. Even though you’re a professional ghost hunter, don’t expect to run around with a proton pack on your back, shooting wildly at everything that moves!
Instead, you must rely on stealth and observation to get by, and avoid direct contact with ghosts at all costs. Invisible and omniscient, they react to your actions and choose their moment to strike, making you feel vulnerable at all times.
However, vulnerable does not mean defenseless.
- Your Clairvoyance gift allows you to catch a short glimpse of any ghost nearby, or experience flashbacks of past events to reveal clues.
- Drops in temperature, indicative of a ghost’s proximity, can be noticed when exhaling and watching your condensed breath.
- A range of ghost-hunting equipment can also give you the edge: a UV lamp to reveal what your eyes cannot see, a pendulum to locate buried objects, holy water to cleanse your surroundings, an EVP recorder to record otherworldly communication, and many more.
- And if the terror gets too intense, there’s even a button to close your eyes for as long as you need.
With tools like holy water, clairvoyance, and even the trusty EVP recorder, this looks like it might be the game that fans of Ghost Adventures have been waiting for. Here’s hoping that, in their search for a truly realistic and immersive ghost hunting experience, there’s just one thing they leave out: the hours and hours of evidence review.
Dreadlocks is targeting the game for an initial release on PC and Mac, with support to the Oculus Rift head-mounted-display (HMD), and if the crowdfunding performs well, we might even see it come to PS4 and the Xbox One down the line. Ghost Theory officially launched on Kickstarter earlier this month. For more information, check out their official crowdfunding campaign.