Stranger Things VR game casts you as the villainous Vecna

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Tender Claws, the studio responsible for sinister AI comedy Virtual Virtual Reality (which we dubbed one of the best VR games), has announced that it's working on a Stranger Things tie-in horror game. Based on the brief teaser trailer, Stranger Things VR will be about exploring the Upside Down, encountering the monstrous denizens of that dimension, and doing psychic battle with the series' protagonists, all from the perspective of season 4's big bad, Vecna.

Like all the monsters of Stranger Things, including the Demogorgon we see a glimpse of in the trailer, Vecna is named after a classic enemy from Dungeons & Dragons. In this case, the archetypal lich whose eye and hand became powerful artifacts after his death. (His head too, if you believe certain tales (opens in new tab).) 

It's been a good year for the Arch-Lich, who also figured in the first season of Critical Role cartoon The Legend of Vox machina, where he was coyly referred to as The Whispered One.

According to the Tender Claws website (opens in new tab), in Stranger Things VR players will "Become an explorer of unknown realities as you form the hive mind and tame the void. Invade minds and conjure nightmares in your quest to enact revenge on Eleven and Hawkins." Sure sounds like what Vecna was getting up to behind the scenes during season 4. It'll be interesting to see if it can make being Vecna seem scary, though the Upside Down certainly looks as grotesque as ever.

Tender Claws describe Stranger Things VR as a "psychological horror/action game" and say it'll be "coming to major VR platforms in Winter 2023."

An earlier tie-in called Stranger Things 3: The Game was delisted from Steam, GOG, and the Epic Games Store last year, and a Telltale Stranger Things game was unfortunately canceled when the studio went under.

Stranger Things has previously crossed over with plenty of existing videogames too, appearing in Dead By Daylight, Fortnite, Far Cry 6, and even Minecraft

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games (opens in new tab). He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun (opens in new tab), The Big Issue, GamesRadar (opens in new tab), Zam (opens in new tab), Glixel (opens in new tab), Five Out of Ten Magazine (opens in new tab), and Playboy.com (opens in new tab), whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.