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Review: Intruders: Hide and Seek (PlayStation 4)By Sasari At 06.04.2019 12:39

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Intruders does a great job of introducing their players to the game. A small family is at the heart of the story and the young son, Ben, is the playable character. After a car ride home, Ben is just experiencing another day in his life. Happy at home, playing a game of hide and seek with his sister. This, of course, acts as a basic tutorial sequence for the fundamentals of the gameplay. Showing how Ben can sneak, hide, and run. Essential skills he's going to need very soon. As the day goes on, and after a nice family meal, the parents explain there's a huge storming coming in, and that the kids have to get to bed. Shortly thereafter the kids are following their Dad through the suddenly powerless house, and stumble upon a hidden panic room, a room filled with screens, showing every corner of the house. While watching on these screens the children see three creepy strangers bust into the house and drag their parents away.

With Ben's sister playing watchtower from the panic room, Ben has eyes everywhere to try and avoid the danger of his attackers and reach safe hiding spaces, to make it to their parents. Between him and his parents are the three intruders: a little man wearing a deer skull mask; a punkish-looking young lady with a bad attitude; and, finally, a Solomon Grundy-looking hulk of a man. These three intruders have easily learnable movement patterns through the house that have to be learned to succeed.

These patterns are a little too simple, meaning anyone paying a little attention can easily extrapolate the best route and totally avoid their would-be assailants. Should the worse happen, and an intruder draws too close, there are also plenty of cupboards, grates, and boxes that Ben can hide in to wait as they pass on by. His heart starts to hammer should an intruder approach his hiding spot, and the DualShock has to be shaken to keep him calm.

Sadly, when trying to avoid the enemies, there are some game-breaking bugs that happen far too regularly, absolutely destroying any immersion the VR instils. The worst offender for these either happens when an attacker catches Ben, or when Ben tries to hide inside a box. Suddenly Ben can't exit the box, and is stuck just able to look around but not move. The only way to proceed in these situations is to exit to the main menu and reload a save. Very annoying!

As the game progresses, the story develops some extra layers. Ben gets to his parents, but he can't get them free. His guide needs help too. Ben's sister suffers from a strange illness. She needs medication for it and there's none in the panic room. Meaning Ben has to backtrack and get it for her. Each little extra thing that Ben suddenly needs to have to attempt ramping up the tension and the difficulty, as the intruders begin moving faster and roaming further.

The gameplay is simple enough, and the whole experience can be finished in a few hours. There's little to expand the lifespan like an alternate ending, as well as some collectables scattered through the house to hunt down, but with a chapter select, these can quickly be mopped up in the postgame. The story is enjoyable at least. There are some interesting twists. The intruders whisper and mumble things that hint at why they're really there and who they are. Not to mention Ben's father has some dark secrets in his past and a secret lab built into the house in addition to the escape room.

The presentation all looks a little low budget. When roaming in the dark, this looks fine, but there are few scenes in the daylight that show the cartoonish style to the world. The voice acting sounds amateur throughout too, with the main villain practically twirling a comedy moustache. Perhaps things were better in their original Spanish.

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Final Score
Horror continues to be a real winner in VR. The tense atmosphere and the utter helplessness in playing as a child really translates through the headset. While the core gameplay is basic hide-and-seek, it's still a memorable, if short, experience. Though definitely one that is only worth experiencing in VR. While the whole game can be played without VR, it removes almost all of the tension in doing so. However, [i]Intruders[/i] is horribly overshadowed by glaring technical issues. The repeated crashes and getting stuck destroys the immersion completely, something disastrous for a VR title.

6

/10

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