Outside of reading, one of my other big loves in life is video games. While I haven’t been in a huge gaming mood for probably the past year, there are a small handful of exceptions that have cropped up; Final Fantasy XIV, Animal Crossing New Horizons, and Phasmophobia.
For the Uninitiated
When Phasmophobia first launched, I was fascinated because I love paranormal investigations (spirit seeking, ghost hunting, whatever you want to call it), and Phasmophobia was that. It has all the equipment investigators use and promised that you head into buildings with activity and find the ghost and collect evidence. However, it’s a horror game and while I’ve got a lot better with horror movies, games are a different story because you are so much more immersed in the horror. But a friend gifted me a copy so I’d go play with their husband and I went in. It was terrifying for a while, but I fell in love with the game.
You take equipment inside one of the buildings, which at launch would be either a spooky old farmhouse, a modern home, an abandoned high school, or an abandoned asylum, and try to find where the ghost is based on sounds and visuals and responses on the equipment. Once you find the ghost, you use the equipment to collect evidence to work out what kind of ghost it is. That sounds fairly nice, right? Except every ghost is evil and wants you dead and you are going slowly “insane”, the lower your sanity, the more active the spirit is, and occasionally it will start hunting which is where the real danger begins. Only while hunting can the ghost kill you, cutting you off from your group. So when the lights start flashing, you better run and/or hide and stay quiet.
Playing the Game
Since last autumn when it first came out, I’ve put over 170 hours into the game. I’m reasonably desensitised to the scares now (sometimes they’ll jump out at me and catch me off guard) and have a decent idea on how to play. I still have to check which spirit aligns with what evidence and double-check what their telltale signs might be but on the whole, I got it down.
The thing is, Phasmophobia is a game still in active development. It’s still in early access which technically means we the players are the testers, so occasionally there will be a new update that changes how things play, and that’s where we are today with the launch of the Phasmophobia Exposition update.
I woke up today to this new update and I really wanted to take a little look at it! This update adds: “Sprinting overhaul, two new ghost types, new equipment and more.”
Equipment’s New Groove
This update overhauls the aesthetics of all of the equipment, minus the sound sensor. Sure it looked fine before, but this new polish brings the game’s look to a whole new level. I am a little concerned about my poor PC who desperately needs a new graphics card, at least, but I’m certainly not mad.
Just look at it!
Also worth noting, a few changes to how hunts work. If the ghost is hunting and you’re walking around with a spirit box blaring sound? They’re going to hear it now so make sure you switch that stuff off and keep quiet. Equipment and lights will now only be affected by the ghost during a hunt when in range which makes me think… if we’re far away, how do we know to hide? Perhaps distant sounds? I will have to see for myself next time I play.
Something a little more interesting about equipment and sounds is they apparently emit new sounds and visuals during hunts? I can’t wait to see that! And the parabolic microphone now lets you hear what the team are calling “paranormal sounds” (whatever that means) when pointed at the ghost and I don’t know if I want to know what that means but I really really do. You can also now only hear ghost footsteps through this piece of equipment so I guess it might actually be useful now.
New Equipment & Evidence
The Phasmophobia Exposition update introduces the DOTS Projector! This one is super exciting because it’s our first new piece of equipment since the game released and it adds a new piece of evidence to collect to identify the ghosts. This means that all ghost’s evidence has been moved around a little to allow for this so those of you who memoried which evidence means what, time to relearn.
The DOTS Projector projects a green laser dot grid that allows you to see silhouettes of certain spirits. It looks really cool.
This is an interesting one. Previously, sprint worked the same as in most games. You hold down the sprint key, you sprint. The walking speed was so slow I just set my sprint key to W. With this overhaul, I won’t need to do that anymore.
In this update when you sprint you move faster for “3 seconds at increased speed” and it has a 5-second recharge. Not to worry about that walking speed, though, that has been increased to the previous sprint speed so now we’ll be going fast!
With that in mind: “Increased the acceleration of ghosts during a hunt when they can see you.” Gulp.
And That’s All She Wrote
There’s a bunch of other changes detailed in the update post, as well as the usual run of bug fixes, but I’m going to go eat something and play the update for myself!