The impact that sound has on videogames is often overlooked, despite the considerable impact it can have on the experience, especially in virtual reality (VR). However, sound isn’t something you can possible overlook in Stifled, as it is intrinsic to the entire experience – as Steam users can now discover for themselves.
Stifled was originally released on the PlayStation VR, where it offered a unique take o the idea of survival horror in VR. Now developer Gattai Games have made the same terrifying experience available to PC users.
Though the developers have stressed that VR is optional in the Steam version of Stifled, the immersion of VR offers a more immediate and terrifying aspect to a title where the only way you can perceive the environment around you is by making a sound – but those same sounds mean that the monsters lurking in the dark can find you.
This is due to the main mechanic of Stifled, in which the player is surrounded by darkness, and only by making a noise into the microphone can the shape of the world around you be shown, using a kind of echo-location effect.
The story puts players in the role of a man called David Ridley, a man who is suffering from the aftermath of heartbreak that is slowly causing his mind to fracture under the pressure, making his perception of the world turn dark and ominous.
The original idea for the title first took shape in 2015, when the developers were experimenting with how a blind character could navigate through the world using echoes. Realising that the concept made for a great horror videogame mechanic, the team began fashioning Stifled into what it eventually became.
Stifled is out now on Steam for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, and can be played without the VR element. Further information can be found on the Steam store page. As usual, VRFocus will keep you informed on the latest updates on new and upcoming VR projects.