Do Not Open Preview: Hands On With the Creepiest Virtual Escape Room (PS5)

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A tense, eerie atmosphere, heart-pounding jump-scares and brain-tickling puzzles are all elements present in the Do Not Open preview which I was lucky enough to play through. The game releases next month in November of 2022 and promises to scare the living daylights out of gamers both on their TV screens and in immersive VR.

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This is the first title developed by new studio Nox Noctis and the Do Not Open preview suggests that they very much know what they are doing when it comes to crafting an immersive first person horror experience. The game is also being co-developed by Quasar Dynamics.

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Perp Games will publish Do Not Open and they are a publisher with a well-established horror pedigree at this point, having published terrifying titles such as Oxide Room 104 and the brilliant MADiSON, both of which released earlier this year.

Also read: MADiSON Review – Become Your Inner Photographer (PS5)

I played the Do Not Open preview on PS5 and the first thing which struck me was the level of graphical quality present in the game. Although it may not be immediately obvious from the trailer due to the low lighting, this game boasts some impressive visuals. I should also mentions that what I played wasn’t even the finished version of the game, so in actual fact the final product could be even more visually appealing.

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In terms of other unfinished aspects, I did notice some janky animations present in some of the cutscenes, however I presume these will be smoothed out by the game’s official release. The voice acting in the Do Not Open preview has also noticeably improved in comparison with the VO heard in the trailer above.

Also read: Cultic: Chapter One Review – Lock and Load (PC)

The lighting in the game is also used well. There were several times whilst playing through the preview where I was convinced that I could see figures lurking in the darkness, only to discover when I got up close that it was just a sheet thrown over a coatrack. The promise of something lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce is palpable throughout.

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There is definitely a monster behind this door.
There is definitely a monster behind this door.

Whilst the actual environmental modelling is fantastic and the textures are detailed, the game’s morbid art direction may have players averting their eyes away from the realistic onscreen visuals. This is all intentional though, some the disturbing imagery present in the Do Not Open preview is gloriously twisted and borderline distressing.

The game does look as though it will be tackling some heavy themes throughout its story, meaning that the experience will be emotional as well as scary. The personal connection of a man being haunted in his own home, potentially by his own daughter is also an interesting plot facet in a horror/puzzle game.

This note isn't just a puzzle piece, it's actually a fairly accurate description of the Do Not Open preview.
This note isn’t just a puzzle piece, it’s actually a fairly accurate description of the Do Not Open preview.

The puzzles themselves strike a pretty great balance in terms of their difficulty. They are challenging enough to pose a palpable threat whilst being pursued by a monster, whilst not being impenetrably difficult. Basically, as long as your brain is more wrinkled than a marble and you have the patience for some trial and error, then there shouldn’t be anything in here which will completely stump the player.

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The Do Not Open preview was a joy to play through and I cannot wait to get my hands on the full game when it releases. Although I did not play the game in VR, I can safely say that this title will be utterly terrifying in the VR setting when that element of the game is made available. Even in the oversaturated market of first person horror/puzzle games, Do Not Open stands out as something with huge potential.

Some of the decor in this house is certainly... unique.
Some of the decor in this house is certainly… unique.

Do Not Open releases on November 15th 2022 and will available to purchase on Steam and in the PS Store.

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Written by Daniel Boyd

Articles Published: 150

Dan is one of FandomWire's Gaming Content Leads and Editors. Along with Luke Addison, he is one of the site's two Lead Video Game Critics and Content Co-ordinators. He is a 28-year-old writer from Glasgow. He graduated from university with an honours degree in 3D Animation, before pivoting to pursue his love for critical writing. He has also written freelance pieces for other sites such as Game Rant, WhatCulture Gaming, KeenGamer.com and The Big Glasgow Comic Page. He loves movies, video games and comic books.