Recently, my friend introduced me to a game called Identity V. It looked interesting, especially because at the time it was having a crossover with a series we both enjoyed, but I was extremely hesitant to try it. It’s a horror game, for starters, and though I love watching horror games, the moment I’m playing one I start quaking in my shoes. Secondly, it looked like there was a lot of content, and I get overwhelmed extremely easily with that type of stuff. Even with games I really enjoy, big updates- or simply a bunch of new dialogue to discover- can frighten me to the point of not picking up the game for months on end. Even though I was fearful, I still wanted to play. Eventually, I went to the app store and downloaded it before my mind’s screams of “NO,” could stop me. The crossover event had added two big comfort characters of mine to the game, so I used that to calm myself.
The game is actually really fun! I’ve been playing for a while, and I like it. There were a lot of things to learn about navigating the home page (Is… Is that what it’s called? Uh… Lobby?) such as where shops are, is there more of that introduction story available, how to flip through all the characters, and more, but I got the hang of it. It took me like two weeks to figure out I could just flip the pages of the character journal to see all of them instead of sorting by type.
The characters also have lore surrounding them, but I have yet to unlock any of it. It requires doing a game mode that I’m still building up the courage for.
The gameplay and aesthetic itself is nice. It’s kind of based off old time periods- I don’t know which- and the main story, though uncomplete, is in the mystery genre! I suspect the main story has something to do with why the characters look like sewn dolls, but I don’t know. There’s a different match types you can do such as rank matches, multiple different modes like minigames, and double hunters, but I haven’t played double hunters or rank yet. The main type of matches are quick matches, which are what I play the most nowadays. Four players, called survivors, are put into different spooky maps with another player called a hunter. The survivors are all humans, whilst the hunters are either monsters or taller/bigger humans/humanoids that carry weapons. The survivors’ jobs are to decode machines placed around the map, while the hunter’s job is to knock down the survivors and put them in rocket chairs to be blasted into the sky and disqualified. Decoding is done through a series of quick time events, and the hunter must hit someone two times to knock them down. Once five machines have been decoded, the exit gates can be opened, and survivors leave through there to win! The hunter must eliminate at least three survivors to win. There’s other mechanics as well, but I don’t want to make this post too long.
There’s a ton of different abilities for different characters. Some survivors can electrocute the hunter to stun them, others can turn invisible for a few seconds, and there’s so many more. My favorite survivor characters to play are The Mind’s Eye and The Novelist, granted I mainly play The Novelist because I got the costume that turns them into one of my comfort characters from the crossover… but his ability is still fun!
The Novelist can swap controls with other survivors, if given permission, and you both get a speed boost when swapped. The Novelist can also swap controls with the hunter without permission, but neither of them get the speed boost, they can’t use abilities or interact, and The Novelist must be close to the hunter for a while before the ability activates. A lot of the time swapping with the hunter merely delays getting hit, but there’s also times where the hunter has no idea what’s going on, walking further away from their body, and thus helping you escape when you switch back. It’s also really helpful when saving survivors from rocket chairs. Some hunters camp chairs to stop survivors from rescuing each other, but with The Novelist and another survivor, you can swap controls and give the other survivor enough time to complete the rescue.
The Mind’s Eye ability ties to the cane she uses as a guide. Other items can’t be picked up due to The Mind’s Eye needing the cane, as she’s blind (yay for disability rep!) but you can hit the cane on the ground and reveal the hunter’s location to everyone, including yourself, for a few seconds. In that time frame you can see other survivors, machines, and it’s extremely helpful.
I usually use the ability when the match starts so I can see where the hunter is and stay away from them, because man am I terrible at escaping. The Mind’s Eye is also faster at decoding machines, which is not only super lit and fits my playstyle a lot, but I also enjoy how it subverts the expectation of “Oh, she’s blind, she wouldn’t be able to get it right.” Like no, she’s gonna solve these things at the speed of light and it rules. The downside is that she’s fragile and thus can’t vault over objects and knock things over as fast, but that works for me. The screen also does this really cool thing when playing as her! It gets shadowy and grayscale, which can give areas different vibes. Meanwhile, when playing as a hunter, my main character is the Soul Weaver.
Basically, the Soul Weaver a spider woman that can set up web traps to slow survivors and reveal their location. She can also put survivors in cocoons, which means you don’t have to carry survivors to rocket chairs and risk them struggling free from your grasp. I actually used to only play as a hunter (you can pick which team you’re on, thank goodness) but once I adjusted to the horror enough, I started playing as survivor. Ironically, now I usually play as a survivor!
Moving on to the community! It’s.. Uh.. The community in the English chats are horrid, but there’s one channel where people say “flesh,” and add “flesh,” to the end of their sentences. The people there are nice, and to my surprise the flesh thing has been going on for years now. The ‘Flesh chat’ as its called also runs a lot slower than the English channels, so it’s less overwhelming. Despite the horribleness in the English channels, I’ve personally run into a ton more nice people than not! People who will do little dances with you, survivors who wait for each other at the exit gate, people who tell everyone good luck, etc. There’s even been a lot of times where everyone tries to save someone at once. If there is someone who’s being whack, they can only talk before and after the game, in which you can just exit the ‘after-match’ channel and probably not see them again. Hopefully.
Overall, IDV is pretty neat from what I’ve seen. The game modes are fun, the aesthetic is neat, and people can be nice! There’s a lot more I could go into further detail on, but this is just the basics. It’s playable for free and available on both PCs and phones, so if you want to check it out, you can! I’m glad I battled my fear and went for it. Fear can be valid, but it can also stop people from enjoying things, and unfortunately its difficult to tell which it is. If you think fear’s holding you back from doing something fun, try going for it!