Narcosis is an underwater horror game by Honor Code in which you must use any means necessary to escape from your watery grave.
Narcosis is a story about an underwater diver who is caught in the middle of an earthquake. This quake destroys the underwater lab he’s working in, leaving him stranded under the sea. After this destruction, you have to make it to the escape pod which is located in another facility.
The story itself is rather depressing, but it is interesting with plot twists helping to push you to the end of the game.
Narcosis looks amazing. The environments are all incredibly detailed and are fun to look around in. Everything from the sea floor to the labs are all interesting. The visuals are all great, that it’s easy to get immersed in this world. I wish the game would give you more time to look around, but O2 is incredibly limited and taking in the view might kill you.
The limited visibility of the environments and the sea life, help set a really surreal mood, which are probably enhanced way more when playing the VR version of Narcosis.
The sound effects are amazing and help build atmosphere in excellent ways. The sounds of the ocean and how calm everything is make the game much scarier to play and in moments it’s terrifying. In general, voice acting is used very little in the game. It’s only used to explain the situation the main character is in. Still, even with the very little voice over there is, it’s done pretty well.
Playing with a good pair of headphones makes this a super immersive experience. Each sound is drowned out by the water, like your footsteps, your boosters and the enemies swimming around. Even your in suit breathing, when you start panicking is extremely well done.
Before I start talking about how Narcosis plays, I have to address that the game just begs to be played in VR. You notice the VR control scheme as soon as you start playing. Unlike other games, movement controls follow the orientation of the protagonist rather than the camera which takes some time to get used to. Your character is equipped with a knife which you can use to fight off the sea life which want you dead. Also, you have a flare which you can use to distract enemies or light up darker sections of the game.
Your suit is equipped with a dash mechanic which lets you jump over bigger gaps and get up on some higher ledges. Your suit uses up O2 which you need to replenish frequently as you use it really quickly. It’s used up particularly fast when you see enemies or the dead bodies of your crew.
The main character often has hallucinations and these act as the game’s jumpscares, but they aren’t loud, ear piercing noises. Overall, these are handled incredibly well.
Narcosis is a really great horror game. It’s terrifying, it’s immersive and the story is intriguing. It’s kind of short and the story/ending is incredibly depressing which makes the game kind of hard to play. Still, I suggest checking out Narcosis on a sale and you will have a great time.
Note: this game was reviewed with a code provided by the publisher/developer.