Don’t Knock Twice review (PSVR)

It came out on PS4 through digital stores back in September, but Don’t Knock Twice has just gotten a physical release in North America. Time to check out this horror title by developer Wales Interactive.

Don’t Knock Twice is actually tied to a little known 2016 horror movie from the UK. I haven’t seen it and it’s a shame there isn’t a digital copy of the movie included with the game, because I have a feeling that it would have helped the game’s atmosphere to know more about the backstory. That’s not to say that you’re on your own with the videogame, since you get plenty of little text messages and documents you can find – both which help you fill in the blanks. Still, it does feel like the game relies on you having seen the movie, since the narrative delivery isn’t as fleshed out as it could have been.

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The story in Don’t Knock Twice is of the “seen it before” variety, as you head into a creepy house searching for a missing girl despite local rumblings about a demonic witch that supposedly haunts the mansion. And sure enough, the game doesn’t waste any time crafting an eerie atmosphere that keeps you on your toes. Wales Interactive has done this by making sure the house is quite well designed and full of little details, but also through the soundscape – it’s rarely completely quiet, with creaky sounds and ghostly whispers whenever you think you’re safe. All of this is especially scary when played with a Playstation VR headset, which is optional for this game.

Of course, this is a premise we’ve seen in more VR titles. The Bellows has a similar feel, and of course there’s Resident Evil 7 as well. While RE7 is easily the superior game in the genre, the gameplay in Don’t Knock Twice does feel more involved than The Bellows did – which largely felt like a walking simulator with good atmosphere and scares. In Don’t Knock Twice, there is a bit of old fashioned adventuring as well – finding items and using them in the correct spot.

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Movement is restricted to teleportation when using Move controllers, which I’d recommend because it makes picking up and using things far more natural even though it can be awkward to properly grab things. Normally I prefer free movement, but it works here because the game never forces you to turn and run away quickly – in that sense it’s quite different from Resident Evil 7.

What hurts Don’t Knock Twice the most is its extremely short runtime. You’ll get through the story in about an hour, and the game costs twice as much as similar VR experiences. With plenty of alternatives, and Resident Evil 7 not much more expensive in a sale, it’s hard to recommend it. Still, horror fans will likely enjoy it – and they’ve probably already seen the movie as well.

Score: 6.5/10

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