I once wanted to know what decapitation was like at 16 years oldth Century Germany? I probably wouldn’t say it, but that doesn’t mean the topic is too unusual to explore in virtual reality (VR). And that’s exactly what he’s done, creating indie developer Samuel Gordon Sentenced VR, an experience that makes you take on the role of executioner, with instructions to separate yourself from the body of these unfortunate souls who have fallen outside the law.
During a period of history in which life was not so long for many and there was much violence, the lords of the lands sought to keep the peace by public execution, beheading criminals for their crimes against society. And it is your job to carry out the punishment, in charge of carrying out the work for which you were hired, without questions.
Which seems like a very brutal and gloomy type of video game. Despite this, Sentenced VR it should not be seen as a game because it does not seek to entertain itself, rather as a historical and interactive experience. Because, as it sheds light on this era of history Sentenced VR it also challenges our own ideas of violence, obligation, and personal awareness from a modern perspective.
Tan Sentenced VR it is a kind of decapitation simulator with morale where you hear the crimes of each individual and then you are given the opportunity to say a few words in front of a crowd of people. Then you take them out of your head with a quick twist of your rather large and heavy sword; you wouldn’t want to make multiple attempts, would you? Initially, the scoundrels are thieves and murderers who make fun of the proceedings and even joke before they know their end. But as the experience progresses, he begins to sow doubts about whether some of these people are really guilty.
Once you have completed the task, the secretary will pay you, modifying the amount based on the cleaning of the death. Because you can completely eliminate execution, make too many changes, or kill them too soon. The final stage of each of them offers as much time to reflect as a macabre reminder of what you are doing. The head of each of the convicts moves flat to one side, while on a table he places his bloodied sword and a book. The latter provides a bit of light reading detailing the role of the executioner and the misconceptions of the story, all while cleaning the sword. Then head to the sharpening stone to prepare the blade for the next day; nobody likes to be killed with a blunt blade, right?
Unlike many modern video games that enjoy blood and bloodshed, Sentenced VR he avoids glorifying this barbaric act through his highly stylized visuals depicting real historical law and punishment. However, even though the experience lasts about an hour, it manages to immerse you in this fictional world and really makes you consider the purpose of this method of punishment. So you have the option to refuse and draw your sword (or even attack the guards), each decision will lead you to one of four possible conclusions.
As an RV title, Sentenced VR it’s very repetitive, but it’s meant to be. The controls can be a bit abrupt in points, but also the physics, spinning the sword, don’t feel as natural as it should seem and the coins seem to fall into the ether. You have teleportation and smooth locomotion available, but it’s the first one that provides a smoother overall experience.
Seeing this Sentenced VR is a solo virtual reality project by Gordon that manages to run a motivating experience, albeit a bit difficult in some places. While many players are likely to find the slow, repetitive nature boring, if you have a keen interest in the story Sentenced VR provides some fascinating moments. Titles like this are as horrible as they are educational, showing the unique didactic properties of VR that could eventually have a wider use in the future.