Open world games are every gamer’s dream, allowing them to unleash their creativity — and making the gaming experience as close to real life as possible . What’s better than having the freedom to explore on your terms? Doing it all in VR, of course!
Green Hell VR is a challenging survival simulation game adapted from the original console version. Jake Higgins, an anthropologist, has come to the Amazon with his partner, Mia, to talk to the Yabahuaca tribe. But when Mia goes missing, Jake’s search for her reveals that both he and the forest have some secrets of their own.
This spoiler-free review will take you through the fun and frustrating problems you will encounter as you trek through the Amazon.
Giving you control of Jake Higgins, Green Hell VR tests your survival skills in the Amazonian rainforest, putting you against the forces of nature to see which will prevail. With no food or water, use real-life survival techniques to protect yourself from the natural elements of the Amazon.
Let’s dive straight into the ways you may meet your demise in the Amazon!
When things are going bad, you can always rely on your watch to tell you more ways to die.
Eating the wrong food or having not enough can kill you in Green Hell VR . You can check your hunger, or macroelements, from your wristwatch. Alongside thirst, there are three other elements that you need to keep up with — fats, carbohydrates, and protein. These can be replenished by eating nuts, fruits, and meat found throughout the forest. But be careful, as eating poisonous or spoiled foods can cause parasitic infections or food poisoning, which can also lead to death.
The Amazon is full of animals that run away when they see you — from armadillos and tapirs to cute capybaras. There are also animals that try to kill you, like jaguars, pumas, and black panthers. Be wary of the latter jumping out of the forest and ending your life with a few lethal swipes. Your fishing expedition could also be cut short by a caiman alligator’s chomp.
Nowhere is safe in Green Hell VR . A casual walk to collect nuts and fruit could end with a deadly scorpion, wasp, or rattlesnake attack. You could also be met with a passive wandering spider or a vicious birdeater spider that attacks when walking through the wildlife. These lethal critters can either do quick damage or leave you with a venomous wound, which leads to… you guessed it. Death!
The long list of ways to die in this game includes another force that might kill you (welcome to Green Hell ): wounds that can either drain your main health or your other health-based gauges. Wounds can be nullified with herbs, painkillers, sleep, or even a bone needle (used to pick the infection out).
Keep an eye out for hostile natives that won’t shy away from combat (unless they are calling for backup)!
During your expedition, you may encounter natives that will fire arrows or chase you with spears — large groups of them are particularly deadly. However, killing them can give you a considerable amount of helpful loot, especially in the early game. But why are the natives so hostile towards you? Maybe there’s something you don’t know…
While you start the game at 100% sanity, certain actions will raise or lower that number. Positive actions such as sleeping on a bed or next to a fire can increase that sanity, while negative actions like not sleeping, eating toxic foods, or having leeches stuck to your limbs can lower your sanity. Bad things start to happen when your sanity reaches zero — your vision darkens, and hallucinations of items, animals, and natives begin. These hallucinations can actually attack you, and, not-so-fun fact, the arrows that the imaginary natives shoot at you are arrows from your own inventory!
Saving the game is a key mechanic to take advantage of in Green Hell VR , as menial tasks or a casual trek could lead to sudden death. Dying takes you back to your last save and, if you do not have a habit of saving, a lot of progress could be lost when things don’t go your way. Therefore, making it a habit to save the game after every 10 – 20 minutes takes the pressure off exploring deeper into the forest.
Keeping your macroelements up is the secret to a successful Green Hell VR experience. Getting to run, heal, and hunt faster means that you get more tasks done in a day. Combining the bidon (a canteen made with just a coconut and rope) with soup, the most viable way to obtain macroelements or (cure parasites if you put in mushrooms), allows you to bring these nutritious soups on your travels so you won’t need to hunt spontaneously for nutrients in an emergency. You can also save inventory space, as one bidon can hold two bowls worth of soup!
Extra tip: Bone soup contains every macroelement but carbs plus another 15 points of energy, making it the most efficient soup to prepare.
Enjoy a cozy campfire that may actually warm you up in real life.
While your weapons and gear may change and be upgraded over time, there will always be one constant in Green Hell VR : fire! From small fires to campfires, and finally mud forges, many things you create will require fire as you progress through the game. Make medicine, regain sanity, cook your food and soups, produce charcoal, smelt iron, and even boil clean water (your personal Green Hell water filter!) — fire will quite literally save your life in every aspect of the game!
Protein is a hard macroelement to find, as there are no plants that offer enough protein for you to survive. This is why meat should always be in your backpack, as your protein level can dip fast with no quick way of replenishing it. A low protein level will not directly kill you but lead to higher energy consumption, hence slowing down your movements in high-pressure situations. Don’t be afraid of meat spoiling also! Spoiled meat attracts maggots, which can actually aid with survival. Maggots can be used to fight infections, as bait to catch fish, and even as food in emergencies.
Bang two items together and voilà! Too easy.
Seeing “unknown fruit” and “unknown mushroom” on your travels can be scary, especially when one wrong chomp could prove fatal. However, these unknown foods could potentially be consumed on the regular if deemed safe, making exploration and inventory management more effective. Don’t be afraid to try out unknown foods that you find, as knowledge is power! Consuming them once unlocks the name of the food so you know what to look for or avoid throughout the game. You can also combine this with the previous tip of saving the game so consuming the wrong fruit or mushroom won’t set you back detrimentally.
Green Hell VR has taken virtual reality to a whole new level by a dding a fresh dimension of realism to the original Green Hell world . It captures the essence of open world games, allowing every minor interaction with the world to be fun (like throwing bananas at caimans or chopping down trees) while also preserving the play style of survival games, forcing you to adapt and learn new tricks to explore and survive efficiently.
And Green Hell VR doesn’t feel like a clumsy port of a console game, but a cleverly designed experience, with its Resident Evil-style inventory management and unique crafting system (throwing materials together feels like real crafting). With small details like wrapping on bandages and checking your legs for leeches and parasites, immersion is inescapable. After long sessions, the lanyard on your VIVE XR Elite controller might even feel like a worm or snake on the arm during intense moments.
These ayahuasca trips are one of the most beautiful (and freaky) VR experiences ever made.
The storyline is not your average find-a-way-to-escape plot that is common in survival games. Consuming ayahuasca allows Jake to regain his memories through the most vivid psychedelic visions that look absolutely breathtaking wearing the VIVE XR Elite . These visions blend the Amazon with the modern world and, combined with spine-chilling visions of dead parrots and tribesmen, unravel the true story behind Jake Higgins and his past.
Green Hell VR is not just a step but a leap in the right direction when it comes to immersive VR gaming, and can easily suck your time away (just like those pesky leeches), leaving you unwilling to take off your headset.
Hope you enjoyed this review from HTC VIVE! Try Green Hell VR for yourself and give the Amazon a whirl! For a limited time only, you can get Green Hell VR and 4 other immersive titles with your VIVE XR Elite purchase , at no additional cost!