Wolf & Wood, who previously developed both A Chair In a Room: Greenwater and The Exorcist: Legion VR, had just released their latest VR title: Hotel R’n’R. It’s out for PC-based headsets as well as PlayStation VR – we tested it on the latter.
Remember the eighties and nineties? When some musicians were in the news more for causing trouble and trashing hotel rooms? Hotel R’n’R takes that concept and turns it into a fun destruction-filled VR game with an addictive gameplay loop.
The narrative setup for the game is simple. You play a not-too-talented rock musician, and in order to gain fame and fortune you make a deal with the devil. What does he want in return? For you to cause as much mayhem and destruction in each and every one of the hotels you stay in while on your world tour.
You’re under time pressure if you’re to meet your goals though, because before too long the hotel maid will come and check on you. You can keep her out by quickly turning the various locks on the door as she tries to open it, but even if you manage to get rid of her it won’t be long before the manager comes knocking on your door. Get rid of him, and the final visit is from hotel security, looking to put you down after nothing else helped.
There’s a sandbox mode where none of that happens and you can freely destroy everything you see around you, but the hotel crew checking on your makes for a dynamic where you don’t just blindly destroy what’s in front of you but actually strategize and plan for (almost literally) the most bang for your buck. Piling stuff together to destroy a ton of stuff at once is great fun, but causing a massive chain reaction of mayhem is even better.
The game gives you dozens of upgradeable weapons, from the obvious to the bizarre – you start with a foam hand, for example, and things lead up to a portable black hole. In between you can cause a lot of destruction with a load of C4, or you can slap hotel personnel in the face with a dead fish – they won’t know what hit them. Or they will, but they just can’t believe it. Unlocking all of these is done by saving up for them and buying them through a pawn shop, after which you can permanently use them. Multiple replays are needed and encouraged, and because new weapons unlock new tactics this is part of the fun and it never feels a grind to meet the objectives you get.
The earlier levels are actually the most fun ones, since it’s here that you’ll be able to set up big chain reactions since things aren’t as spaced out as before. In bigger hotel suites, time management also becomes a matter of getting around to the various corners of your accommodations quickly enough. There are a few movement options for this, but our favorite has to be the inclusion of 3dRudder support, keeping your Move controllers reserved for all the mayhem and simplifying the controls.
The visuals are fairly cartoon-like so they’re not as detailed as those in The Exorcist: Legion, but the cartoon-vibe works with the approach here. The physics work well most of the time, and when they don’t I usually at least partially blame it on the Move controllers not being precise enough. The soundtrack’s great though – another element that meshes really well with the theme for the game and the era we would associate it with.
We didn’t get to try this yet (self-quarantine and all that), but the game also supports local multiplayer where players take turns and share the headset, and that feels like it would be a fun party game. But even without that, Hotel R’n’R takes a simple concept, fleshes it out and makes it a lot of fun to play. Together with the recently released GORN, the PSVR is suddenly making exercise while staying indoors bearable.