The Brookhaven Experiment Review
If there is one genre that shines brighter than any other in virtual reality, it’s horror. Saying that you won’t jump or panic pretty much guarantees that you’re setting yourself up to be scared. The Brookhaven Experiment isn’t just a battle against virtual monsters, it’s a battle against fear itself.
You start off every level directly in the middle of multiple corridors, walkways, and huge openings that give zombies, horrific mutations and huge insects a direct path to you. As the waves of enemies come, you have to think about more than just taking them out, you seriously have to assign priorities of which enemies you need to kill first. Oh yeah, and there’s no tutorial, so make sure you press all the buttons early to figure out what they do. Here’s a quick tip, the circle button on the left controller is a quick turn around. Without knowing this, I was using the Start button to completely readjust my screen, which is not an effective way to play the game.
When you enter the level, you get to choose from a handful of weapons, attachments, and throwables. Early in the game, you fairly limited to what you can select but as you progress you have to start going into levels with certain game plans. It’s safe to assume once you reach the fourth level you’re probably going to a few times and you have to start really thinking about what worked and what didn’t work. This is where I feel a major issue starts to creep up its ugly head.
To get more ammo and throwables such as proximity mines, chemical grenades, and flares you have to complete levels that you’ve already finished. About halfway through the game, there’s a level titled Storm Drain, which has one of the highest difficulty spikes I’ve ever experienced in any game. Up until this point I felt that I was being challenged, but there was never a time where I questioned the actual impossibility of the game.
Now I understand that every gamer is different, but having played well over 500 games on my PlayStation consoles, being a person who likes difficult games I feel comfortable addressing the difficulty curve that The Brookhaven Experiment takes.
One of the first issues lies 100% in the PlayStation Move tech and I won’t fault the game for that too much, but there is a time when you have to aim directly above your head at spider enemies that are crawling down the walls. These spiders shoot webbing at you that can either disable your gun or blind you temporarily which renders you ineffective against the enemies who are quickly bearing down on you. Because the Move Wands can’t be recognized above your head (and I am not that tall) you have to hold them against your chest and angle them outwards. This isn’t a natural feeling, but once you get the hang of it’s not too bad.
The other issue is the lack of ammo and throwables that you have. Whenever you complete a wave you get to decide between health and an ammo supply that comes with a random throwable. These throwables are proximity mines, chemical grenades, hand grenades, stun grenades, and flares. When you go into a level and die whatever ammo that is used doesn’t get restored and whatever throwable you bring in completely disappears whether you used them or not. Now the simple answer is don’t die and don’t get hit, but as I mentioned before the difficulty spike is tremendous. The end result of dying and reattempting the same level is that you have to go back and grind for supplies. At one point I went into a level with 900 machine gun rounds that I was saving for the final two rounds. I made it through the first wave only using around 300 rounds leaving 600 for the final wave. I quickly ran through those 600 rounds and just had to stand there waiting patiently to die. They game will tell you that you can use the butt of your gun, your knife and you totally can when you’re reloading or if there is a single enemy, but you’re definitely not going to be able to make it through waves of enemies unless you’re a samurai.
I will say that I did eventually finish the Storm Drain, but it took probably 15-20 attempts where I would die late into the 3rd or final wave and it required hours of grinding ammo and grenades just to have enough supplies to finish it.
Overall The Brookhaven Experiment is a terrifying experience that requires users to keep a level head to succeed. The intense difficulty spike will probably end up frustrating a lot of gamers.
3.25 out of 5 Stars