switchback vr

The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR’s Latest Patch Finally Makes It A PS VR2 Essential

Like flipping a switch.

The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR had my attention since it was announced and in the lead-up to launch, but with so many new and exciting games to cover it’s one that managed to slip my grasp. Then, initial reviews painted a picture of a game that, while carrying some solid ideas and neat PS VR2-based features wasn’t exactly essential playing on the system.

Fast-forward many months, and Supermassive Games has come back swinging with a brand-new major update that aims to (super)massively improve some of the game’s more egregious issues. It’s a big enough deal, in fact, that the studio gave us early access to the patch to try ahead of it dropping – something I don’t think I’ve seen before in a PlayStation release.

Unfortunately, given my lateness to the game I haven’t actually been able to form a comparison between the game’s previous and newly-patched states but I can speak to what Supermassive lists as being improved upon now and give an overall view of the state of Switchback VR. The bottom line, though? I fucking love this game.

I guess it’s worth bringing up that I thoroughly enjoyed the previous Supermassive PlayStation VR game, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, and Switchback VR follows very closely in those same virtual footsteps. If the idea of a spooky rollercoaster ride with guns in VR doesn’t excite you, then this game probably won’t. For those craving a unique take on the on-rail arcade shooter with some genuinely spooky moments peppered among the cheap thrills and jump scares, this is definitely going to be more enticing.

And although exactly zero fans of the studio’s Dark Pictures Anthology games play them in the hopes of getting into some pulse-pounding, action-packed shooting (maybe someone does but if so they’re Clive Barker-ing up the wrong Triffid), they’d still do well to give this a go for all of the inclusions from those games. Levels are based directly on the mainline Dark Pictures games, so the locations, themes and enemies within will be familiar enough to fans to make the otherwise-threadbare plot here feel worth seeing through.

switchback vr

The best parts of the game come by way of its use of the PS VR2’s unique features like eye tracking – something that factors into one of the game’s most pant-shittingly terrifying moments. Most of Switchback VR’s attempts at frightening players are pretty obviously telegraphed and therefore not all that scary, but it definitely nails some of them. It’s helped greatly by things like haptics in the Sense controllers and the PS VR2 headset itself that can make brushing your head against a hanging, severed hand incredibly unsettling. The audio design is as good as you’d hope from something as immersive and all-encompassing as VR as well.

Probably the biggest talking point as it stands now though, is how gorgeous Switchback VR is for a VR title. Where reviews were originally quite critical of the game’s performance and overall visual quality, Supermassive has delivered some massive upgrades in the newest patch that meant my first experience with the game has been phenomenal from a visual standpoint. The addition of FSR (flexible scaled rasterization) and FR (foveated rendering) would obviously have a massive impact to overall quality, along with Temporal Anti-Aliasing (TAA) to clean up the image and a heap of reported improvements to performance, load times and more.

switchback vr

A big technical lift in quality isn’t all though, because if the patch notes for Switchback VR Update 1.06 are anything to go by the studio has pretty much gone back over the entire game, level-by-level, and improved textures, models, lighting, animations, effects, environmental detail, collisions, audio and just about anything else you can think of. It looks, sounds and feels incredible and I genuinely have to wonder how different it was beforehand – those early reviews painted a pretty grim picture in some instances so I expect it’s quite a stark comparison.

You can see the full patch notes just below to get an idea of just how huge this update is. If you’ve been hanging out for a reason to get into Switchback VR, I reckon this is it. In my eyes it’s gone from “neat exclusive that I’d pick up cheap” status to a (literally) killer app that I’ll be breaking out whenever I want to show someone just how impressive the PS VR2 can be. You can grab it from the PlayStation Store right here.

The Dark Pictures Switchback VR Version 1.06 Patch Notes


The estimated download size for the patch on PS5 is 8.193 GB.

This update should install automatically, but if not, you can manually start the download by highlighting the Switchback VR icon on your PlayStation dashboard, pressing the Options button on your controller, and then selecting “Check for Update” from the list displayed. The download will then start.

Please be aware that there may be some variance in this download size dependent upon the game version you currently have installed.



  • Introduction of FSR (flexible scaled rasterization) and FR (foveated rendering) support to greatly improve visual quality.
  • Enabled Temporal Anti-Aliasing (TAA) for a smoother image
  • Optimisation pass throughout the game for improved performance and prevention of objects and textures ‘popping’ as the cart moves.
  • Memory usage improvements
  • Various crash fixes
  • Reduction in loading times
  • New and improved models and textures for environment objects
  • New higher-quality textures for several enemies
  • Improvements to visual effects throughout the game, including fire, headshots and more.
  • Added dynamic hit reactions to several enemies.
  • Improved lighting in several levels
  • Improved the look of fog throughout the game.
  • Various fixes and improvements to enemy animations
  • Various fixes to clipping issues throughout the game.
  • Improvements to headset vibration caused by obstacles.
  • Fixes for cart / track audio and haptic feedback on the controllers Improved fading effects for destroyed materials.
  • Adjusted position of various objects throughout the game so they are no longer floating.
  • Added missing materials to various objects.
  • Various improvements to collisions, making it easier to shoot objects.
  • Various fixes to checkpoints and reloading levels
  • Various adjustments to enemy pathing
  • Added shadow casting from the cart light.
  • Improved decals like blood and oil
  • Added wet effect on hands and weapons when the player is under the rain.
  • Loading icon brightens up when spinning faster.
  • Turning down audio sound effects no longer turns off haptics.
  • Added sound effects to non-damaging head impacts.
  • Fixed an issue where the player’s vision got progressively darker in several levels.
  • Fixed various streaming issues that cause the environment to ‘pop in’ throughout the game

UI Fixes

  • Various fixes to subtitles in several languages
  • Various fixes to voiceover and subtitles timings
  • Fixed an issue where an incorrect score was displayed on the leaderboard screen after every chapter.
  • Fixed an issue where some text was getting cut off at the ‘Journey So Far’ screen in several languages.
  • Fixed an issue where subtitles were visible in the pause menu if the subtitle settings were adjusted whilst dialogue is playing.

Haunted Shipwreck


  • New and improved textures for the enemies in these levels
  • Added dynamic hit reactions to zombies.

Maiden Voyage 

  • New and improved fire effects
  • Fixed multiple instances of enemies clipping into the cart.
  • Fixed multiple instances of enemies floating off the ground.
  • Adjusted floating objects throughout the level.
  • Fixed issue with the chain-link fence in the first area changing opacity as you approached it.
  • Adjusted collision on the puzzle assets so only the valves can be shot to trigger them.
  • Fixed an issue with enemies not being close enough to the cart to cause damage.
  • Adjusted the timings of the light flickering in the encounter after the ‘Meat Tunnel’.
  • Adjusted the speeds of enemies in the boat encounter.
  • Reworked the paths and tasks of enemies in the last fight for better timing.
  • Adjusted curtain material to prevent seeing through them Fixed an issue regarding shooting the grenade launcher at the swarm of rats caused the game to crash.
  • Fixed an issue with gaps in the water.
  • Fixed an issue where an enemy left alive behind the cart and could be heard throughout the level, despite being far away.
  • Fixed collisions so the swarm of rats no longer gets stuck on the track.

Into the Ship’s Heart

  • Fixed an issue where dying after the first branching track did not reset the level.
  • Adjusted floating and clipping assets throughout the level.
  • Fixed an issue with the blood rain visual where sound effects were not playing correctly in the ship’s kitchen.
  • Fixed an issue with broken helicopter blades appearing before the helicopter crash at the end of the level.
  • Adjusted timings on the last encounter with the boss’ attack to prevent the player being hurt too early.
  • Improved the demon dog animations.
  • Balance fixes to the demon dog fights.
  • Added rain haptics on the last outdoor section.
  • Fixed an issue where we could see an invisible barrel exploding when the boss dies.

Cursed Forest


  • Multiple adjustments and fixes to the fog throughout both levels for better visual quality
  • New and improved tree and foliage throughout both levels
  • New and improved fire effects throughout both levels
  • Added more dynamic hit reactions to the enemies.

Abandon All Hope 

  • Fixed an issue in the Black Cat bar where some objects were misaligned.
  • Made the headset vibration more intense during the bus crash.
  • Adjusted collisions on objects to allow for easier shooting.
  • Adjusted the paths of the giant bats in the tunnel.
  • Adjusted the fire visual effects so they no longer clip with the walls inside the burning house.

Burning Trials 

  • Lighting improvements throughout the level
  • Demon in the police station can now be properly interrupted during their attack.
  • Improved the visual appearance of the UV decal.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the dolls to sometimes crawl sideways on the ceiling or walls.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the last demon to not attack during the final phase of the fight.

Forsaken Ruins


  • New and improved textures for the enemies
  • Added more dynamic hit reactions to enemies.

Ancient Temple 

  • Lighting improvements throughout the level
  • Shortened the eclipse scene so that the fight starts sooner.
  • Fixed an issue with Belial clipping into the cart.
  • Fixes to several floating objects
  • Added missing sound effects when the environment changes with the blinking mechanic.
  • Added missing sound effects on the rock falls.

Into the Abyss 

  • Lighting improvements throughout the level
  • Environment improvements throughout the level
  • Fixed an issue where the passenger could still be heard speaking despite being dead.
  • Improvements on timings and other issues with the boss fight

Doomed Hotel

Enjoy Your Stay

  • Scythes now deal significantly more damage.
  • Fixed several instances of enemies clipping through the floor when appearing.
  • Fixed an issue where shooting the mirrors resulted in blood effects coming out of them.


  • Visual improvements to the acid traps
  • Fixed an issue where repeatedly shooting one of the animatronics with the stun gun caused it to be pushed through walls.
  • Fixed an issue where shooting through the mattress killed an animatronic on the other side.
  • Significant improvements to the environment, particularly outdoor sections
  • Lighting improvements throughout the level, particularly in the final section

Switchback Levels

Welcome to Inferno’s Ride

  • New and improved trees and foliage throughout the level
  • Adjusted collisions on objects to allow for easier shooting.

Frozen Hell 

  • Fixed various floating objects, duplicated objects and clipping issues in dolls and mannequins
  • Fixed noticeable holes in icy objects
  • Fixed an issue with voiceover and subtitles being out of sync at the end of the level.