Parents' Guide to

Edge of Nowhere

By Jeff Haynes, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

VR adventure has good plot, but camera issues limit scares.

Game Oculus Rift 2016
Edge of Nowhere Poster Image

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This game tries to bring a creepy horror vibe to VR, but its design decisions keep it from truly scaring up a classic. Edge of Nowhere tries to run shivers up a player's spine over the course of its tale, and certain elements wind up working extremely well. For instance, the desolation and danger of Antarctica and the scattered remnants of base camps you come across really reinforces the impression that something bad has happened here. Early on, you catch fleeting glimpses of monsters that make you question your eyes; this becomes more horrific and disturbing when you realize that these things are real. Even worse, you have extremely limited resources: Health kits are spread out, and there are only a few shotgun shells to be found in sections, so you'll need to rely on stealth and the environment to outmaneuver these otherworldly threats. Coming across a cave full of creatures when you only have a rock left is enough to truly give you an anxiety attack, which is exactly what the designers were going for.

Unfortunately, some design flaws keep this from being truly great. While VR games can be incredibly immersive and put you in the middle of the action, Edge of Nowhere chooses to make the gameplay take place from a third-person perspective. This is fine, especially when you need to see and navigate Victor around many of the pitfalls and other hazards he has to sprint through or across. But it also has the side effect of reducing the immersive nature of the game, making you more of a spectator (and an awkward one at that) to the action. As a result, some jump scares that should be terrifying are just mildly creepy. What's more, the camera tends to be somewhat locked in place, so if you need to maneuver around or backtrack, it's not particularly easy to do without frequently getting you killed and forcing you to start over at another checkpoint. This is infuriating and unjustifiable, and it can make you walk away from playing the game. That's unfortunate, because the story is actually rather good, and takes a new spin on a well-known horror franchise. Overall, Edge of Nowhere tries to push the edge, but it's really the design issues that keep it from fully going somewhere.

Game Details

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