The original Agony attracted a lot of attention prior to it’s 2018 release. Developed by Madmind Studio, the game didn’t shy away from graphical depictions of nudity and the grotesque. With a new edition on the way, Agony Unrated VR, it’s time to take a look at just what makes the series unique.
Agony cast the player as s a tormented soul within the depths of Hell. You have no memories of your past, nor what you’re doing here. However, you soon discover you’re special. You have the ability to control other people, and possess weak-minded demons. This mechanic offers up unique exploration and puzzle mechanics as they attempt to survive in the extreme conditions of hell.
Though it certainly sounds like an interesting premise, the game was received poorly by critics. It was considered to be a game sold on the ‘strengths’ of gore and nudity rather than offering anything of real substance. However, that apparently was enough to make the game a commercial success, and birth an entire series.
The Agony Series
Following the initial Agony came spin-off game Succubus. Another spin-off, Agony: Lords of Hell, was officially announced in December 2021. The game will be set between the events of Agony and Succubus, and expand upon the fate of the protagonist of the first game, and Vydija, who is the protagonist of the latter.
Then we get to Agony Unrated. This re-release of the original game contains various quality of life improvements such as updated graphics and character models, new gameplay mechanics and enemies, and new endings. Furthermore, it’s considered an “Adults Only” title, opposed to the original “Mature” rated release. At the time of development of this “unrated” edition, Madmind Studios offered up the following: “We are thinking about the VR, but it all depends on the success of the regular version.”
It seems the success of the ‘regular version’ was enough to convince the studio. On 7th December, 2020, the Agony Unrated VR was officially announced. The game is currently in development at Ignibit.
Agony Unrated VR
Agony Unrated VR is essentially a straight port of Agony Unrated for VR. This re-release – while still not wowing critics – has been better received on Steam. The VR edition has had very little exposure thus far, with only a ‘reveal’ trailer from last year available. What we do know however, is that Agony Unrated VR will feature the same horrific themes as the original Agony Unrated.
The question that has to be asked is simply, is Agony Unrated VR a suitable experience for VR? We all know that VR immersion makes game worlds much more intense. This isn’t a simple case of horror in VR, Agony Unrated VR presents themes and imagery far beyond anything we’ve yet seen.
This is not a call for censorship. Far from it. Instead, we think it’s about time the VR community had an honest and deliberate conversation about the methods of delivery and nature of the content we want to endorse in VR. There are outliers of course, but if we have hopes of the medium maturing, content like that of Agony Unrated VR may well become a thorn in the side of the industry. We should all remember that ‘mature’ doesn’t necessarily mean violence and sexual themes. Or, in the case of Agony Unrated VR, a combination of both.
Have you been paying attention to the Agony series? How do you feel about the upcoming VR edition? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!