Developer: MAD Virtual Reality Studio
Publisher: MAD Virtual Reality Studio
ARAYA is an atmospheric horror adventure that takes place inside an extremely creepy Thai hospital. I played the game on my desktop, but it’s also available in VR.
You play as three different characters throughout the game. From these three perspectives, you explore and find information that gives you some insight into the murder of Araya. By putting all the pieces together, you uncover the truth behind her death. I found it was a little bit confusing to be jumping back and forth between the different character perspectives. The story was fine though, and by the end, I think I understood most of what happened.
Most of the gameplay is walking around the hospital, and exploring each room to find clues about what happened to ARAYA. You’ll need to find keys, or other objects to progress. ARAYA also has thrilling chases sequences where you run for your life, crawling under and hopping over obstacles as you search for an escape to safety. There are also a lot jump scares as well, and some of them were very well placed, and got me really good. There were so many of them that I started to anticipate them, and the majority of them didn’t even phase me.
- the majority of ambience, and sound effects are done well, and are effective at creating the creepy and often tense atmosphere
- no worry about draining the batteries of your flashlight as you move through the dark, and immersive environments like in other horrors
- chase sequences are enjoyable, and the music makes it very exciting, and somewhat terrifying (these were easily my favourite parts of the game)
- some well placed jump scares that are sure to get you
- environments look decent enough, and there are a few unique areas, and the character designs and animations are alright
- opening doors to the rooms feels clunky, especially when you are running for your life; also, if you get too close to the doors, it’s hard to click on them, and you have to take a step back to open them
- (nitpick) no controller support, and the keybindings are not customizable (most people will be fine with the defaults though)
- (nitpick) while the voice acting is fine, some of the text is a bit different from what is actually being at times
- (nitpick) the footsteps sound is way too loud, and is the exact same on all three characters
- (nitpick) most areas looked like more of the same hallways and waiting rooms though, and the characters aren’t as realistic or appealing as the environments are
The game took me around 4 hours to complete. I don’t feel the need to replay it, but people who want to experience it in both VR and on their desktops, or those who didn’t fully understand the story the first time might want to.
ARAYA is a decently made game. Sure, there are small improvements they could make, and the game is by no means perfect. Overall though, it’s not a bad pick-up for those looking for a combination of spooky atmosphere, jump scares, and tense chase sequences.