Hello Neighbor: Search and Rescue Review – A Quest Laden with Frustration
Hello Neighbor: Search and Rescue is an attempt to transition this pop culture phenomenon into a different medium, specifically VR. Hello Neighbor gained significant traction on social media upon its original release on consoles and PC, followed by a mobile version. It offered a somewhat appealing twist on an old formula: what if you were relentlessly pursued by a nemesis? This concept is familiar to those who have played video games since their inception and is still seen in modern games like the “Resident Evil” series.
Hello Neighbor: Search and Rescue introduces multiple playable characters, each carrying key items that can assist in solving specific puzzles. Players can switch between characters using the Walkie Talkie they carry. The game’s primary appeal is its VR functionality, but this is also a significant drawback. VR can be enjoyable when it’s truly immersive, but in “Hello Neighbor: Search and Rescue,” interaction with every object isn’t possible. The absence of invisible walls also means accidental deaths are more frequent, which doesn’t contribute to an exceptional VR experience.
Like other Hello Neighbor games, the premise is simple: avoid the creepy neighbor, Peterson, who may have a dark past, and rescue your friends from him. The main goal is to reach the basement inside the house, but the path is littered with puzzles and the constant threat of the roaming neighbor. If caught, players can simply try again, but be warned, there are plenty of jump scares. While children will likely enjoy this game, they may not appreciate the motion sickness that can occur due to the darker nature of some levels. The lack of invisible walls can also lead to confusion about the correct path.
Hello Neighbor: Search and Rescue was designed as a non-linear game, but I believe it would have been better as a linear experience. If the developers had scaled back some of their ambitious plans for a shorter, more focused story, the game might have been more successful. One quirk of having multiple characters is that many puzzles seem unsolvable until viewed from different characters’ perspectives. This means it’s hard to know which character will help solve which part of the puzzle unless you resort to an online guide.
As the game lacks a proper story, it essentially becomes a VR adventure where the player can roam. For a VR game that lacks immersion, this is a dealbreaker for me. However, I did find some enjoyment in playing it on the PSVR 2, thanks to the Dualsense controls. While the PSVR 2 doesn’t offer anything special compared to the PC, the game does look and play well, bringing its visual quality closer to the original Hello Neighbor.
Regrettably, the game isn’t without flaws. The non-linear structure can be confusing, especially for children who are fans of the franchise. They might get stuck multiple times due to the lack of clear direction in the game. VR is meant to be played in short bursts, and long stretches of VR, especially in dark areas like in Hello Neighbor: Search and Rescue, is far from an ideal experience.
In conclusion, your feelings about Hello Neighbor will likely be polarized: you’ll either love its non-linear approach or detest it. However, if you’re seeking a decent VR game that offers some adventure, Hello Neighbor: Search and Rescue isn’t a bad choice.
Hello Neighbor: Search and Rescue Game Information
- Price: $29.99
- Publisher: tinyBuild Games
- Developer: Steel Wool Studios
- Platform: PS5 (Reviewed)
- Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher