Preview: Nevrosa: Primal Ritual – Why all the Spiders?

GexaconVR’s Nevrosa series has always been dark, with the last instalment an escape room style experience which VRFocus did enjoy. For the next episode Nevrosa: Primal Ritual, the studio is ramping up that scare factor whilst expanding the gameplay in new ways. And to demonstrate this GexagonVR has released a little teaser demo for you to enjoy, just beware of what’s scuttling around the floor.

While you don’t necessarily need to have played Nevrosa: Escape, Nevrosa: Primal Ritual does continue the story of a scientist who’s created a teleportation device that takes you to a strange and dangerous realm dubbed Mist World. In the previous title there were brief sections in this haunting place, now you get to spend more time exploring.

The studio is promising an open world adventure with role-playing game (RPG) elements for Nevrosa: Primal Ritual with this demo giving a brief introduction to some light puzzle work and action. It throws you straight in – no menu or anything – into a lift, which needs a fuse changing before it starts to ascend. Things then start to get weird as the walls of the lift begin to fall away revealing a misty expanse with giant creatures that resemble six-legged arthropods wandering around looking rather creepy. Apart from being able to move your massive, gangly hands, there’s not much to do until what’s left of the lift reaches the top.

Once there you can choose teleportation or smooth locomotion with further settings in the options menu. While there were plenty, including being able to toggle a vignette on and off for comfort, it was impossible to actually select any. None of them highlighted at any point, only ‘back’ was available to return to the menu. Unable to play with the options it was time to move on, with a rather dramatic vignette offering tunnel vision when walking around.

Ever play the original Turok on the N64, it was a while ago? For those that do remember the heavily fogged levels Nevrosa: Primal Ritual seems to have gone for that effect, only with the dimmer switch turned down too much. It can be a tricky line to tread using mist for dramatic purposes. When done well the effect gives a location a suitably eerie effect where players can wonder what’s lurking in the haze. The rest of the time you can feel as blind as a bat, with dread turning to annoyance. It’s not too bad in Nevrosa: Primal Ritual but on occasion, items do ‘pop’ into view.

After a quick walk, and picking up what can only be described as a Blood Gun – ammo is technically unlimited, it’s your own blood – you find a teleportation device. It needs switching on which only takes a couple of steps but at the moment the grabbing mechanic isn’t 100% reliable, taking a number of attempts at the moment.

Once completed the real fun (horror) starts, as you have to defend the location for a couple of minutes. This is where anyone with even the slightest fear of spiders will scream and rip the headset away from their faces. Lots of various sized jet black monsters with plenty of legs that just so happen to resemble everyone’s favourite eight-legged friend will run across the floor and jump at your face. They only take a single shot each (even the big ones) but when you’re surrounded by five or six of them then it does get a little intense.

The demo only lasts around 5-10 minutes and gives a little feel for the gameplay, but not the experience as a whole. Improvements certainly need to be made – the gun holster was permanently on the left which is awkward when right-handed – before the summer release. While Nevrosa: Escape was a much more contained experience Nevrosa: Primal Ritual is a far grander undertaking, hopefully, GexagonVR can pull it off.

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