VR is often at its best when coupled with horror, which The Brookhaven Experiment seems to understand, despite retaining issues from its original HTC Vive release and introducing new ones in the porting process.
Campaign is the meat of the experience, spanning ten locales as you journey to close the otherworldly rift that was opened when the titular experiment went awry.
As you collect new weapons and upgrades hidden around maps they become less of an issue, thankfully. Loadouts can significantly impact play, comfortably accommodating a range of gamers. All avenues of approach are satisfyingly empowering, whether you might choose to carefully pick enemies off at distance with a laser-sighted magnum, blast them Mad Max-style with a capacity-boosted sawn-off, or spray, without needing to pray, courtesy of a recoil-reduced submachine gun.
In these latter stages, scares somewhat give way to the power trip, though the age-old trope of limiting flashlight batteries and forcing you to face the dark unknown remains unnerving throughout. The same goes for taking your eyes off approaching enemies in favour of hunting bigger, badder alternatives first, inevitably leading to a slow turn back, filled with dread, to find them lurking within touching distance before filling your pants.
The Brookhaven Experiment won’t so readily fill your pockets, however, as it’s pretty light on content. Campaign is the meat of the experience, spanning ten locales as you journey to close the otherworldly rift that was opened when the titular experiment went awry. You’re guided by an involved scientist’s monotone narration, but you’ll probably phase it out - if not through disinterest, then pragmatism, as you focus instead on your surroundings - it’s total fluff, so there’s no real loss.
A Cloverfield-inspired behemoth makes recurring, obscured appearances throughout, menacing with its gaunt appearance and imposing size. The campaign culminates in an unsatisfying encounter with the creature, dragging on just long enough for you to begin wondering whether it’s actually taking damage.
Completing a game’s primary attraction is generally a graduation of sorts, leading into any secondary modes, but that’s somewhat backwards here. Survival poses very little challenge on normal difficulty when compared to the campaign - we exhausted the associated Trophies and continued to progress with no apparent end in sight on our first run. Definitely crank the difficulty up and opt for one of the later maps to get the most out of it.
You’ll take more from the game if you own a PlayStation 4 Pro console as well, thanks to a recent enhancement-enabling update. Having played both pre and post patch, resolution, lighting and colour depth seem improved, if not so much as to be immediately pronounced.
If you’ve played Until Dawn: Rush of Blood to death, then The Brookhaven Experiment is the next best thing. That’s not a knock; it’s an accurate and immersive horror shooter that transitioned to PlayStation VR surprisingly well, but, unfortunately, some irritating issues and a lack of content mean it just doesn’t have the legs that would otherwise make it essential.