I don’t think TianShe Media, the makers of PSVR horror game, Weeping Doll intended it to be a comedy, and I sure as hell wasn’t expecting it either. Creepy dolls are one of those things which are guaranteed to shit me right up, however the sheer awkwardness of the execution made me chuckle rather than jump.
Aping the likes of P.T. and Layers of Fear (minus the scares or lingering sense of dread) Weeping Doll places players into the cushion soled shoes of A’Tong; An innocent maid who finds herself embroiled in some bizarre family feud involving pretty much every eastern horror cliché going. Oh, and dolls, because dolls are creepy, right?
I think I basically got the gist of it but the narrative is so badly written and poorly acted that I found it hard to figure out exactly what was going on, let alone why I should care, or most importantly be frightened. In short: It’s the a-typical tale of an evil- twin with abusive parents. I think.
Underneath the awfulness though, there are some nice narrative beats that are very poorly handled. The doll-maker father could have been a genuinely creepy antagonist, and his obsession with aesthetic perfection, and the damage it did to his family could have made for a decent horror title (for proof see Layers of Fear).
The setting is also incredibly inconsistent which drags you right out of the experience, (a mighty feat considering this is VR title). Weeping Doll initially appears to be set in a Victorian mansion, and your character is dressed in traditional attire to match, but then then she pulls out a mobile phone, and the home is a weird mishmash of eastern and western design, (the guy that built it was either a genius or a wacko) as such you can never really get a grip on when Weeping Doll is supposed to be set, or where for that matter.
Then there’s the voice acting, oh god it’s bad, not so bad it’s good. Just laughably bad. In fact, chances you will be laughing you arse during key moments rather than paying any attention to what is being said.
Then there’s the gameplay, which has you bumbling round the mansion solving simple puzzles that are very easy to figure out ad you can only interact with a very limited number of items, and unsurprisingly 99% of them have something to do with a puzzle.
The controls are probably the best part of the experience, (and that’s not saying much) with the player moving a ghostly version of your character with the left analogue stick and then teleporting to that position. Considering that some first-person games on PSVR can have players reaching for a bucket in minutes, It was nice to find that the game didn’t make me want to wretch.
Weeping Doll is simply put, is a bit of a mess. You can see what TianShe were going for when they made it, but the end result isn’t up to snuff. There’s some good ideas here (that others have already done, better) and the disjointed, somewhat anachronistic setting could be overlooked, if Weeping Doll wasn’t so poorly written and the voice acting so laughable. Like a knock off power ranger you stumble across in Pound land, it’s more like a cheaply constructed imitator than a bonefide addition to the cannon.