‘Stranger Things’ Prequel Arrives, Sees Return of Several Characters From Main Series

in Movies & TV

Vecna feeding in the Upside Down in Stranger Things Halloween Horror Nights 2023

Credit: Netflix

Production on Stranger Things Season 5 is officially underway. The beloved Netflix series that has taken the world by storm for eight years is coming to an end. Fortunately, though, there are plenty of spinoffs in the works that will keep the franchise alive long after.

And though fans will be waiting quite sometime before they can experience the fifth and final season (no release date has been set), they can at least sink their claws into something new in the meantime, as Stranger Things VR (2024) has finally arrived on the Meta Quest VR.

Vecna in 'Stranger Things VR'
Credit: Tender Claws LLC

Related: Report: New Actress Cast as Eleven in ‘Stranger Things’ Season 5

The cel-shaded horror-action game was intended for release in November last year but was delayed until February 22. Developed by Tender Claws, Stranger Things VR is a virtual reality experience that allows players to enter the world of the Upside Down and beyond.

But there’s a bit of a twist, as you’ll step into the mind of Stranger Things‘ main antagonist, Vecna/Henry Creel/One. The psychological horror game also sees the return of characters such as Eleven (who is reportedly being “recast” in Season 5), Mike Wheeler, Lucas Sinclair, and Will Byers.

Actor Jamie Campbell Bower reprises his role as the terrifying “dark wizard” Vecna, while Matthew Modine returns as the shady Dr. Martin Brenner.

Vecna looking at Mike Wheeler and Will Byers in 'Stranger Things VR'
Credit: Tender Claws LLC

Related: ‘Stranger Things’ Has Revealed 3 Characters Likely to Die in Season 5

Per Meta.com, here’s the official synopsis for the game, which takes place before Season 4:

Experience the world of Stranger Things from the never-before-seen perspective of Vecna as he explores unknown realities, forms the hive mind, and enacts his plan for revenge against Eleven and Hawkins. Players will invade the dreams and memories of fan-favorite characters and harness telekinetic powers to possess minds and battle creatures, as Henry Creel’s transformation into Vecna and his influence on the events of prior seasons is revealed.

Check out the official launch trailer for the game below:

Related: ‘Stranger Things’ Reveals Eddie Munson’s Involvement in Season 5

While Stranger Things VR looks like a pulse-pounding, mind-bending, reality-twisting experience that diehard fans are sure to enjoy, early reviews have been mixed.

Road to VR describes the game as “artful but boring brand engagement,” Metro.co.uk says it “feels embarrassingly undercooked,” and Eurogamer thinks “the scariest thing about Stranger Things VR is the haircuts.”

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Stealth Optional says the game is “horror turned all the way up to Eleven,” while 78% of users on the Meta website have given it five stars, with comments that include “A must for true Stranger Things fans!”

Over on X (Twitter), fan @TheCallumSelf is also impressed with the game, saying:

I got the chance to review Stranger Things VR, a title I’ve been excitedly waiting for, and glad to say it delivers on an exceptional adaptation, and one that bends your views too.

@6dofreviews, however, doesn’t feel that the game “deserves your money”:

Stranger Things VR finally lands on Meta Quest. Unfortunately, we’re not impressed and we don’t think it deserves your money. It’s a shame because Tender Claws knocked it out of the park with The Under Presents.

Related: ‘Stranger Things’ May Have Revealed Max’s Fate in Season 5

Given that Stranger Things VR was only released on February 22, it’s too early to tell how it will land with the masses. But maybe virtual reality isn’t for you, in which case you can always check out the equally-immersive stage play Stranger Things: The First Shadow (2023), which is now playing in the West End and offers even more insight into Henry Creel.

Upcoming Stranger Things spinoffs reportedly include an anime series, a Saturday morning cartoon-inspired series, and a live-action series.

'Stranger Things: The First Shadow' poster
Credit: Netflix

Related: ‘Stranger Things’ Star Discusses Character Death Ahead of Season 5 Release

Stranger Things seasons 1 — 4 are streaming on Netflix.

Season 4 stars Joe Keery (Steve Harrington), Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), David Harbour (Jim Hopper), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven/Jane Hopper), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Joseph Quinn (Eddie Munson), Paul Reiser (Dr. Sam Owens), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Matthew Modine (Papa/Martin Brenner), Maya Hawke (Robin Buckley), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers), Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield), Noah Schnapp (Will Byers), and Jamie Campbell Bower (Vecna/One/Henry Creel).

Have you played Stranger Things VR? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

Be the first to comment!