Monday , 5 June 2023
PSVR2 GamesReviews

The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR Review

Until Dawn: Rush of Blood was a game I was waiting for either a sequel or more content to come after playing it in the first few days of the release of the original PSVR. Now, Supermassive Games have returned with Switchback VR, releasing a rollercoaster, come horror, come light gun style game based in the The Dark Pictures universe. As soon as this was announced I was so excited to finally be getting a sequel of sorts to one my favourite PSVR games – the question is; could it live up to the expectations set?


Switchback VR’s gameplay is exactly what it says on the tin… a rollercoaster action horror shooter. Where this might sound like it’s something that is outdated for Virtual Reality with how long the medium has how been available – it still holds up in some areas, where falling off track in others.

The main element for your gameplay is the shooting and this really is the standout part of the gameplay for me. With the rollercoaster element allowing for slow down in areas or coming to halt as waves of enemies spawn in for you to kill. In order to dispatch these you will be given a basic set of pistols like in Rush of Blood, and creates strategically placed that will give you guns like shotguns and smg’s – until the magazines deplete and then you are back to your pistols.

They then introduce a horror element to the rides making them more like a ghost-train than a general rollercoaster. However, for me Switchback VR seems to rely on cheap jump scares that soon become old, and it seems after the rides based on Man of Medan they get less scary overall as you moved further through. Which for me is a shame, as someone who has played all The Dark Pictures games, I personally feel Little Hope had the most potential to mess with you in a horror aspect.

Throughout the first playthrough, I would say there was only two times in total where I felt totally freaked out and the over-used close up in your face jump scares got boring quickly. It seems like the team have relied more on the game just going dark or taking your guns off you to build tension – where Rush of Blood seemed to build it up without relying on these sort of things.

Supermassive Games have brought in some elements for The Dark Pictures to make it feel more in the games universe, but these two elements to me sort of took away from it, as in most cases the rollercoaster slowed down or stopped. This sees you trying to save characters from each game – making the decision to help them or not and bringing in multiple paths on the rides, sort of giving you that choice the standard games offer. The next is puzzles, but these are very simple to solve and not that taxing and in most cases stop the ride still – which drags you away for the rollercoaster experience.

This leads to the actual rollercoaster element of the game and in most cases to me it feels more like a ghost-train over a rollercoaster. It just seems the amount of high speed elements and big drops have been reduced in Switchback VR, which is a big shame – as the carnival rollercoaster ride feeling and the fast-paced dodging segments were a big part of Rush of Blood.

One area they used on the trailer was the Don’t Blink element, which is using the eye-tracking feature in the best way I have seen on PSVR2 so far. However, these sections do no present themselves enough, and some areas feel perfect for the use of it – but, instead they use the aforementioned make it dark feature to mask the movement. Another part of the new hardware they use is the headset rumble, but this again falls into a mixed bag category. This is because at times it works great and you feel every rumble, but sometimes it seems there is slight delay in when you hit obstacles to feeling it – and it feels a missed opportunity to not have a slight rumble when picking up speed, this would have been great for immersion.


I was very excited to see what they could with the graphics for the PSVR2, and I was instantly underwhelmed as you enter the train at the start of the game, as everything seemed to have a little haze over it like like Rush of Blood, but I would not have expected this on PSVR2 given the new hardware and it being powered by the PS5. 

Then heading into the first rides this did not improve, although some of the haze seemed to have reduced it was still there, a decent number of the textures seemed low quality and despite this environmental objects like trees and bushes still seemed to be suffering badly with texture pop-in. Again given what has been shown is possible on the PSVR2, this is not something I would have expected to see on a game in the style of Switchback VR. A really impressive element of the presentation was the use of the lighting, and the real-time shadows caused by the flashlights on your guns – adding a little bit of atmosphere and immersion to the game.

Even though these issues are visible, in the action and the faster moving sections these are very easy to overlook and dont take out of the immersion of the game.

One of the most impressive parts of the game is they have used the 3D audio really well to build up some of the horror elements. Allowing you to hear enemies moving around you, coming up beside you and in those jump scare elements. Mixed with the music, it’s used well to build the suspense and personally this offered more a scare than the aforementioned over-used and sometimes easy to predict jump scares.


When it comes to comfort, with you being on a rollercoaster it is made to be played seated. With the next big question being; will be suitable for everyone when it comes motion sickness? This is up in the air really and depends on the user, as with Rush of Blood and other general rollercoaster experiences in VR motion sickness is a very possible outcome.

Controls are kept really simple given you are in a rollercoaster that is controlling your movement. Meaning you are only concentrating on the shooting and using your triggers. The only other buttons are Square and X to reload if you decide to reload that way, other options are flicking your wrists or a auto reload system. I personally just found myself using the buttons, as sometimes the flicks seemed unresponsive.

However, the ace up the sleeve when it comes to guns are the PSVR2 Sense Controllers, as is it brings those adaptive triggers to make firing each of the five guns you get to use feel different and match the spray pattern of the guns.


All of the rides took me around three and half-hours to get though, but they do offer reasons to return after you have been through them all. With the game coming with combat difficulties, global and friend leaderboards and every track having multiple paths to chose from. With the path choice meaning you can at least get a different experience for an additional run.

However, if you take the light gun action and the leaderboard system there is plenty of reason to keep returning and taking runs of each ride – which was the main pull of Rush of Blood.


For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a review code provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a press code does not affect my judgement of the product.


After being really excited for Switchback VR and waiting for another game like this from Supermassive Games for so long, unfortunately it does not live up the exceptions Rush of Blood set despite the age of the game. However, it does bring a good mix of the light gun style action on a rollercoaster that I wanted, with some extras which work in places and fall off in others. The use of The Dark Pictures series allowed them to make rides in all the different locations from the first season of games and use some of the horrible horrors you face in those games. But again, some of the settings worked better than others.

It was really difficult not to go into Switchback VR without rose-tinted glasses given my fondness for Rush of Blood, and feel if I did my review straight after finishing it this review would have been different. After sitting down and reflecting on it, I find it hard to recommend picking the game up at full price, but certainly worth a look when it goes on sale. Although, I will still find myself returning to game, this is more due to my love of and wanting a new Rush of Blood.


Release Date: March 16th 2023
Developer: Supermassive Games Ltd
Publisher: Supermassive Games Ltd
Price: US $39.99 / CA$ 53.49/ €39.99 / £32.99

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