Do Elijah Wood and Ubisoft want to mess with your brain? Transference, a new VR horror game about VR says they would very much like to.

The fruit of Ubisoft’s partnership with the former hobbit had a demo at Gamescom 2018, so we decided to delve into this psychological horror title and see if we can learn anything more about it. You can see parts of the demo in the video below.

The game tells a story about Raymond, a brilliant scientist who’s experimenting with the digitization of the human brain. In his endeavors, he succeeds in capturing the minds of his son, wife and himself and uploading them onto a computer.

Their combined consciousness creates an unstable simulation of their home and memories. The demo takes you to what appears to be a haunted apartment building with an adorable little girl who is also the unwanted result of the little experiment.

During the demo, I played as both the father Raymond and his son Benjamin, who are trying to find each other in the corrupted simulated environment. I was trying to make the two family members meet through a series of puzzles involving light switches.

Switching the lights on and off shifted my perspective between the two characters, and allowed me to progress in the story. There wasn’t a lot to see in the Gamescom demo, but it still had its moment of uneasiness.

Transference has a horror movie vibe to it, which is expected from a game made in partnership with a film company. It doesn’t rely on cheesy jump scares but is more about setting the mood slowly through storytelling and subtle clues.

Transference spooky figure

Like many atmospheric horror games, the player is not able to fight back any monsters, only run from them. I wouldn’t recommend it though. You move around the VR world freely using a controller instead of teleporting around. It does help with immersion, but it can also contribute to VR sickness if you’re prone to suffering from it. While the game does have borders limiting your peripheral vision when you move, it does little to help with the VR sickness.

The demo itself was using the Oculus Rift Headset, but the game supports HTC Vive and PSVR as well. Transference will launch on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One next month, on September 18. It’s also available on regular TVs and monitors if you still use those.

If you would like to check some of the gameplay out for yourself, a free demo is available for PS4 and PSVR called The Walter Test Case. It is set 10 years before the main game, a time when the digitization of the human mind was emerging.

Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.