Green Hell (Incuvo, Creepy Jar) was initially released in 2019 for PC. Later, the virtual reality (VR) version was developed for Meta Quest PC VR, and in August 2023, it joined the PSVR2 library.
Green Hell VR for PSVR2 transports us to the heart of the Amazon jungle, providing an immersive and challenging survival experience. As a game that tests our survival skills against the elements, it presents an intriguing proposal for virtual reality enthusiasts. However, while Green Hell shines in some aspects, it falls short in others, resulting in a divided experience.
Game Mechanics: Realistic Survival
Green Hell VR stands out for its realistic survival mechanics. It requires meticulous health, hunger, thirst, and energy management, creating a deeply immersive experience that simulates the fight for survival in a hostile environment. Tool creation and resource management are central to the game, as is the uncertain search for materials to build tools, weapons, and shelters. For example, taking a branch and a stone to make an axe, bringing them close together; cutting wood requires a movement similar to reality with an axe, and all these realistic movements provide incredible immersion. However, they bring a considerable learning curve and an accuracy that leaves something to be desired. From the start, there are notable problems with the precision of VR interaction, particularly with collision detection. Something as simple as picking up the notepad on our chest or interacting with tools we can carry becomes a nightmare. The game fails to accurately detect the hand position to activate the collision box, leading to several frustrating attempts to interact with the object.
Apart from these issues, facing the challenge of surviving in the Amazon jungle was a delight. On my first attempt, I wandered aimlessly, looking for a suitable place to build a shelter, despite multiple warnings, and I didn’t even realize that I had parasites and was fighting a fever. I quickly learned the importance of cooking food properly to avoid diseases. Collecting all available resources is crucial, as you never know when something might be essential for survival. The Notebook accompanying us is critical to crafting recipes and a guide to the plants and materials we find; the best way to find out if a plant is poisonous… is to try it.
Survival vs. Story Mode: Different Approaches for Different Players
Green Hell VR offers two distinct gaming experiences: the single-player mode (or Survival) and the story mode. The Survival Mode is less structured and focuses on the core experience of survival, allowing us to test our skills against the challenges of the jungle.
Green Hell VR’s story mode is an excellent way to first experience the jungle, offering a more orderly adventure with an engaging narrative. We step into the shoes of Jake Higgins, an anthropologist who finds himself in a survival struggle in the Amazon, searching for a lost tribe and a mysteriously vanished colleague. It’s an excellent way to begin understanding how to survive. The story is well-crafted, intertwining themes of survival, the past, and self-discovery with gameplay. This narrative approach provides clear direction and objectives, making the experience more structured than survival mode. On the other hand, survival mode focuses solely on survival without any guiding lore or narrative. It is ideal for those who enjoy forging their own path, surviving, and building whatever they want.
There’s also an online challenge mode with a leaderboard. Unlike the PC version (VR and non-VR), the PSVR2 version does not offer co-op mode. However, its release is expected in a future DLC, with no date yet.
Graphic Presentation: A Mystery
Graphically, Green Hell VR for PSVR2 had the potential to be showcased as an example of a game that demonstrates the advantages of high-end hardware. It could be a fantastic game, allowing for an open world or even faster loading screens for games on SSDs. This is why I often choose a game for one platform over another when I own both. There’s no reason for Green Hell not to be an excellent game. Yet, it needs to catch up. The Amazonian jungle is rendered beautifully, with lush environments and detailed textures that bring the world to life. I even liked the ethereal effect in the landscapes, particularly the almost feverish palette of the sunsets. However, overall, the graphics are different from what one would expect from the platform it’s on.
Motion Sickness: A Concern for Players
I’ve played various VR games and haven’t had any issues aside from that fear of falling when running in standing mode. However, Green Hell VR was the game where I realized I got nauseous after playing for about 20 or 30 minutes. First, there’s no option to turn off ‘Motion Blur,’ even playing seated only delayed the onset of nausea by about 10 minutes before I felt the need to stop. The realistic movement and immersive environment can trigger nausea and dizziness, especially during actions like running. While this is a common issue in VR games, the lack of settings in Green Hell VR to mitigate these effects makes it a notable problem. Changing the walking movement to teleportation is possible, but it’s much slower and breaks immersion. I do not recommend this game to VR players prone to motion sickness. This made it impossible for me to play as much as I would have liked.
Conclusion: A Game with Potential, Hindered by Flaws
Green Hell VR for PSVR2 is a game with immense potential, offering a deep and immersive survival experience in the Amazon jungle. The realistic survival mechanics and engaging story mode are high points, providing a unique VR experience. However, the game is marred by performance issues and the lack of features like cooperative mode and settings to mitigate motion sickness. These flaws prevent Green Hell VR from reaching its full potential on the PSVR2 platform. Despite these issues, for those immune to some of these details, Green Hell VR still offers an adventure worth embarking on for the thrill of surviving in the Amazon.
survival adventure, marred by technical drawbacks in the PSVR2 experience.
In partnership with Moshbit Gaming.