Aside from a fairly prominent pinball machine, a more or less unknown Amiga game, and some homages from 2010’s Alan Wake (which, to be fair, homaged everything), the sudden crash course between The Twilight Zone and videogames sure has been a curveball.
First this year was Oxenfree’s haunted-prop overnight horror—which was good. Then, BioShock’s Ken Levine decided to revive the classic sci-fi/fantasy series as an interactive film. Which I’ve got a baaaaaaaaad feeling about. And now the folks at Twisted Pixel Studios, who created ‘Splosion Man (2009) and The Maw (2009), are making their own VR sendup called Wilson’s Heart. Which I have a much better feeling about!
Twisted Pixel asks us to imagine a man named Robert Wilson (played by 1987’s Robocop star Peter Weller and the player), who awakens in the hospital to discover his heart has been removed and replaced by a bizarre contraption. He is surrounded by unusual characters, some played by Sin City’s (2005) Rosario Dawson and Spider-Man 2’s (2004) Alfred Molina, and other grizzly monsters looming around the medical complex.
Draped in black and white spookhousery, and with tinglings of Twilight Zone episodes like like “Eye of the Beholder“ and “The Invaders,” Wilson’s Heart’s pitch is that it can cast you in your own Rod Serling-branded intriguing nightmare. It’s also a safe bet that some of Twisted Pixel’s usual irreverent humor will be in force too—the hamming might be a subjective taste but I think I spotted a giant baby bust through a hole in the wall in that trailer.
The Twilight Zone is legendary for setting a certain standard for suspense. Beyond just legendarily clever endings, it also returned audiences to a world just out of step from the normal one. Where pedestrian places take a detour into something much more surreal, horror shows sparked by factors of morality and chance, with a few haunted radios and slot machines thrown in for good measure.
Now, more importantly, who’s going to make a Twilight Zone-ish game about a haunted Oculus Rift headset that, like, replaces all the real people with simulations or, I don’t know, secretly shows you a direct feed from an alien planet? Oh my god why aren’t I making that? I’m going to be rich…
You can find out more about Wilson’s Heart on its website. It’s coming to the Oculus Touch in 2017.