"Nope! Nope! NOPE!"

That's what I found myself screaming as I played The Inpatient, a virtual reality experience that morphs from mysterious to creepy to heart-stoppingly terrifying faster than you can "Nope!" again.

The Until Dawn prequel, which you'll need a PlayStation 4 console and PlayStation VR unit to play, captures all of the scary goodness from the 2015 game, and amplifies it into an immersive VR experience.

Seriously, this interactive survival horror will give you nightmares.


Taking place in the Blackwood Pines Sanatorium 60 years before the events of Until Dawn, The Inpatient follows a "butterfly effect" story style. Your decisions affect what happens to you, making no game exactly the same.

After choosing the gender and skin colour of your character, you wake up strapped to a wheelchair, trying to piece together your amnesia-affected memories. The further you go into unravelling the secrets, the more thrilling and intense everything gets.

While it's the perfect companion to Until Dawn, The Inpatient manages to stand well on its own. The delightfully disturbing game plays into common thriller tropes, keeping you filled with fear, dread and adrenalin as you make your way down scary asylum corridors and open doors you really don't want to.

Interacting with in-game characters - who give you a choice of answers to their questions – can be just as frightening. The game's voice recognition adds an innovative, interesting twist, allowing you to respond aloud and feel like the characters really hear what you say.

Unfortunately, because VR technology is far from perfect, gameplay can suffer at times. The hand controls – which can be performed either with a DualShock controller or the PlayStation Move wands - can be buggy and clunky, making it tricky to turn over objects and twist door knobs.

VR is also known to make some feel nauseous, so it's a slightly missed opportunity to not have The Inpatient available for standard play. There is the option to look around your surroundings in 15, 30 and 45 degree angles and although this looks jolty, it at least doesn't give you vertigo.

With a 2.5 hour run time, The Inpatient is anxiety inducing and a lot of fun – if you enjoy being left in tears, that is.

Game: The Inpatient
Star rating: 3.5
Platform: PlayStation VR
Rating: R16
Release Date: Out now
Verdict: A dread-inducing horror that will unsettle you to the core.