Top Critic Average
One thing to know is that when you finish the story, you won’t get the usual credit roll. Instead, the credits and the developers’ pictures will be visible in the starting room – just keep your eyes open for them!
I certainly didn’t come away from this game with any lost affection for dolls, and my Miku continues to own the living room. More seriously, though, Weeping Doll had a lot of potential, and it’s genuinely disappointing that it wasn’t able to follow through with it. This one you can’t chalk up as developer teething pains with VR; this game would be every bit as flawed, regardless of the platform it was on.
And a special mention for the ending. Or should I say what ending? I gained access to a previously locked room with a number of photos on the wall and found no way to progress. Wandered about the house for 20 more minutes looking for something I may have missed. Running out of luck I hopped on YouTube and watch a Let’s Play to see what I was missing. They did the exact same thing, running about the house looking for the next piece of the puzzle. Unfortunately for me they had a little more sense though, eventually realising the room with the photos was in fact the credits. A totally bizarre ending though it has to be said. I was in PSVR as well so there wasn’t even a trophy pop to show me I’d finished. Not knowing it was the end kind of tells you all you need to know about Weeping Doll's story.
With the promise of far better PSVR horror titles on the horizon, not to mention the superior Here They Lie being available right now, the only thing that will be weeping will be you if you buy this subpar, scare-free effort.
For all that Weeping Doll manages to achieve successfully, such as providing an interesting sandbox for the player to explore, it botches on the execution of so many other key elements. I genuinely believe that the game’s premise could have made for a terrifying experience. However, virtually every aspect of the design feels like something that was torn away from the developers before it was complete. Poltergeists beware! The only terror this will be inducing is from the poor folks that purchased the game before reading this review.
In the end, horror aficionados will probably prove the harshest audience for Weeping Doll: the potential for VR horror has already been seen in various demos and titles, creating a deep hunger for more fleshed-out and frightful experiences.
Weeping Doll has the potential to be a thrilling little haunted house mystery game, but it ultimately falls at every major hurdle. The opening few minutes are interesting enough and seem to promise a proper little fright fest, but after playing through the game's meager 1-hour running time, there's just nothing there.
Weeping Doll's one of those games where you can see the intentions of the developer, but the end product just isn't very good. The muddled mismatch of time periods could be forgiven if the writing wasn't so woeful and the voice acting so unintentionally amusing. There's the nugget of a good idea here, but like an action figure with its appendages in the wrong places, it's been sloppily assembled.
Everything in Weeping Doll just seems pandering to the horror crowd for a quick buck, but it’s not even terrifying; the only thing scary is how disappointingly mediocre this experience is. Ultimately I was disappointed, and even the most interested players should think twice before giving Weeping Doll any time.
The sad thing about Weeping Doll is that the concept could have generated some excellen VR games. Taking tales from across Asia and adapting them in to spooky VR experiences, a virtual reality version of Ringu, for example, would be brilliant. However, the execution for Weeping Doll is poor, from the laughable dialogue to the puzzles which can be solved in a matter of seconds. When rated next to the brilliant Here They Lie for PlayStation VR, Weeping Doll just doesn’t come up to scratch.
Weeping Doll is a brief presentation of experiments that do not work in virtual reality. Its theme is neither frightening nor coherent, its puzzles are mundane and straightforward, player movement is disorienting and inelegant, and its visual aesthetic imitates the vision of a person with a dangerous blood alcohol concentration. Weeping Doll blunders its format worse than Digital Pictures' full-motion video projects miscalculated the Sega CD.
Weeping Doll is poorly acted, which clashes with the atmosphere, has 'baby's first puzzles' and is "completed" in less than 30 minutes. A working control scheme that won't cause motion sickness and below average visuals are the only saving graces. The story is told clumsily, mostly through narration, and there is no lose state, so there never is any real tension. No tears will be shed for Weeping Doll.
There have been some bad PlayStation VR launch titles, but most of them just felt broken or like an extended tech demo. That isn't the case with 'Weeping Doll,' as it works as intended most of the time (although it's very easy to end up staring at the back of the protagonist's head). The faults here are far deeper, as there just isn't anything interesting to experience. It's a bland horror game that doesn't offer anything mechanically satisfying, and ends on an absolute whimper.