Silent Slayer Review: A game that could spawn a new VR genre

Silent Slayer Review: A game that could spawn a new VR genre

Silent Slayer explores an interesting new game concept. Read our review to find out how well it works in practice.

Silent Slayer is the latest title from renowned VR studio Schell Games, which has created games such as I Expect You To Die 1-3, Until You Fall and Among Us VR.

You take on the role of a vampire hunter tasked with eliminating a powerful vampire clan. Since the vampires are too powerful to attack directly, you must kill them while they sleep in their coffins. But that's easier said than done: each coffin is sealed and secured with locks, nails, and magic.

To kill them, you must overcome the barriers with surgical skill and as quietly as possible. When the sleeping vampire finally lies defenseless before you, you can bind it with a magical ritual and drive the wooden stake through his heart.

A mysterious man and master who speaks to you through a book is at your side. He introduces you to the craft of vampire slaying and gives you instructions. Beginning with the lowliest vampire, you will work your way up a castle to the powerful head of the vampire clan, with the obstacles becoming more difficult with each coffin.

Silent Slayer: Review in a nutshell

Silent Slayer offers a unique VR gaming experience that thrives on tactile interaction with virtual objects and benefits from a dense atmosphere and high production values. However, players must have a certain amount of patience and tolerance for frustration. Slaying vampires isn't easy and often requires more than one attempt.

Silent Slayer is suitable for you if you …

  • like thrills,
  • want to try out a new VR game concept or
  • love vampire lore.

Silent Slayer is less suitable for you if …

  • you lack fine motor skills or patience,
  • you strictly avoid scary VR games and
  • expect a title with replay value.

A convincing world

Throughout the game you will have to kill nine vampires, each one representing a level consisting of an introductory phase and an execution phase.

In the introductory phase, you must assemble a binding stone from stone fragments. Its ritual power will later turn the coffin's protective magic against the vampire and bind it for a few moments so that you can carry out your gruesome deed. As you assemble the stone like a three-dimensional puzzle, your master will introduce you to the history of the vampire in question and explain the safety mechanisms of his coffin. He will also use this opportunity to introduce you to your tools. If there is anything you do not understand, you can always go through the book.

The changing locations of the vampire castle, your shady master, the ritualistic craft of vampire slaying that you will be introduced to, and the background story of the vampires: all of this is condensed into an atmospheric whole that allows you to fully immerse yourself in the plot and your role.

Treacherous coffins

In the execution phase, it's time to put what you've learned into practice. If you would rather not read any gameplay spoilers, you should skip this section, as I will go into more detail about the challenges and mechanics of the game here.

The first task is to remove crossbars, open locks or pry nails out of the coffin as quietly as possible. Inside the coffin, more challenges await: Wires must be cut and magical barriers overcome. Treacherous is a small puppet that can appear inside the coffin, occasionally keeping an eye out for suspicious activity and registering every movement. If the puppet begins to sing, you must immediately freeze, just like in the children's game of "red light, green light." Once this danger is averted, the next task is to find the exact location of the vampire's heart. This is because, as your master explains, vampires can make their heart wander in their chest. Once the heart is marked, the next step is the binding ritual. If you are successful, you will have a few seconds to drive the stake into the raging vampire's heart.

Each attempt takes between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on how secure the coffin is and how practiced you are. And, of course, the mechanics of the game vary and expand from coffin to coffin.

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How scary is Silent Slayer?

The game's mixed reality trailer (see below) gives an excellent impression of how Silent Slayer feels and plays.

The vampires are rendered and animated in great detail, and when you get very close to the sleeping monsters, you almost want to hold your breath. There are little moments of shock when the vampires flinch in their sleep or a spider crawls across the coffin. If you make too many mistakes or are too loud, the vampire wakes up, and you have to start all over again. I found the jump scare of the vampire waking up to be bearable once I experienced what happens. Silent Slayer offers a creepy and highly suspenseful experience, but for me it is not a horror game in the usual sense. There is no mutilation or psychological horror. Still, you have to decide for yourself what you want to put yourself through.

Towards the end of a run-up, the tension increases, and when the attack finally succeeds, there is a great feeling of relief and accomplishment.

Silent Slayer takes you through different floors and locations of the vampire castle. Alternatively, there is a mixed reality mode where the coffins appear in your apartment. This can take some of the fright out of the game or add to it if you want to play Silent Slayer in the woods or in a ruin.

Conclusion: A unique vampire hunting experience

With Silent Slayer, Schell Games is exploring a new VR game concept that thrives on tactile interaction with virtual objects. Be it the silent removal of metal crossbars, the slow removal of coffin nails, the cutting of delicate wires or the disarming of magical barriers. Silent Slayer has a haptic quality like no other VR game, and I could see it establishing an exciting new VR game genre.

The concentration and precision that Silent Slayer requires doesn't always work to its advantage. After two or three failed attempts, I often put the headset down because I didn't want to work my way through all the barriers again. As the difficulty increased, I found this to be a bit of a deterrent, so I played less towards the end. It's frustrating to fight your way to the vampire for fifteen minutes and then fail because of a mistake. Silent Slayer requires patience and practice, but rewards you with a sense of triumph when you see the vampire finally perish.

The framing story creates a compelling atmosphere and world, and develops in an interesting direction in the last third, but remains mainly a narrative backdrop for the vampire hunt.

Silent Slayer is a unique VR game that showed me a new dimension of virtual reality. However, after the end of vampire clan, I will put it aside. After finishing the game, there's no reason for me to return to the castle. Unless Schell Games comes up with new challenges or finds ways to make the gameplay more varied in a second playthrough.

You can buy Silent Slayer here:

Silent Slayer is available from the Horizon Store for $20. It supports Meta Quest 3, 2 and Pro.