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Tuesday, April 12, 2022

The Razer Kaira Pro Headset for PS5 Elevates Horror Gaming and Film [Review]

All sorts of neat tricks have accentuated the horror experience on PS5 for me so far. The DualSense controller’s combination of speaker, adaptive triggers, and haptics being chief among them. The pulse headset adds further depth with its sublime 3D audio, but there’s something about the Razer Kaira Pro headset that really elevates horror gaming on PS5, and even horror movies.

The Razer Kaira Pro for PS5 has three levels of haptic feedback in it. So it doesn’t just rumble a bit during the loud parts, it rumbles with meaning and context. The clomp of heavy footsteps suddenly seem like they’re coming from right next to you, and the sudden banging on a door in the dark will make you jump with the sudden jolt the headset administers. Naturally, I had to test it out with a range of horror experiences I love to see what it brought to them. Turns out, a fair bit! The smart thing about this headset is that its haptics doesn’t just work on games, they work on music, TV, and film as well.

Resident Evil 3 Remake

I specifically chose this for the explosive opening, where Jill Valentine is hounded across a chaotic Raccoon City by the hulking slab of meat in a binbag that is Nemesis. It’s the best showing in the entire remake for Nemesis, making him some frightening mutant spawn of The Terminator and Michael Myers. Its initial appearance where it crashes through Jill’s apartment building is already great, but having every thundering crash of plaster and brick thump through the headset adds some real, terrifying oomph. Similarly, when Jill gets to street level, the various crashes, explosions, and panicked gunfire ring out with renewed strength. The sound quality is fantastic with the Razer, picking up the quieter, more unnerving sounds just as clearly.

The Last of Us Remastered

Another game’s opening I simply had to try the headset with. The Last of Us’ opening has a much more refined balance of quiet and loud moments, and ended up being a real showcase for what the Razer could do. The audio contrast between Sarah’s lone spell at home and the infected neighbor crashing in through the patio door not only shows how good the sound design is in The Last of Us, but just how effective the sudden hit of the Razer’s haptic feedback can be after a period of calm and quiet.

Alien/Alien Isolation/Aliens/Aliens Fireteam Elite

Two films, and two games with very distinct audio. I could have just watched the films or just tried the games with the Kaira Pro, but I ended up trying all four, and top to bottom, they were magical experiences with the headset.

Alien’s clacky, clunky retro-future spacefaring noises were especially pleasing, and hearing them again in Alien Isolation was even better because they brought the constant fear of the xenomorph’s presence. Those circular vent covers that scrape open loudly over the throbbing bassy hum of the Sevastapol’s engines were already unnerving in Isolation, but more than once, their loud screech made me jump as I fully expected the xeno to emerge nearby. It was of course, much, much worse when the thudding footfalls of the beast do follow up one of the regular ship noises because the rumbling haptic plod cranks up as it not only gets closer, but speeds up upon spotting you. This audio with a VR version of Isolation would probably be the most upsetting immersive experience ever made.

So on to Aliens. Cameron’s got some good booms going on in this film, making the battles against the Xenos especially frantic and intense with the headset on, giving staccato beats as pulse rifle fire fills the air. Fireteam Elite comes very close to replicating that feeling, with satisfying feedback from shotgun blasts and grenade detonations.


It would be silly to use the Kaira Pro PS5 headset and not try it with a PS5 exclusive. So what game could be better than Housemarque’s award-winning sci-fi shooter Returnal?

The game already boasts phenomenal audio that is rife with discordant, otherworldly sounds, and the thunder of energy-based gunfire that resonates through the DualSense controller, so cranking that up with the Kaira Pro only adds to the audiovisual extravaganza. I didn’t think it was possible to enrich the atmosphere of Atropos any further, but the extra haptic feedback offered by the Kaira Pro manages just that.

Dead By Daylight

After all those shenanigans I asked myself, how would the headset enhance a multiplayer experience? Well, the Kaira Pro certainly made itself useful during survivor play in Dead By Daylight.

The telltale beat of a heart that quickens and grows louder as the killer draws near is one of Dead By Daylight’s ways of helping survivors weigh their options in crucial moments. Should they try to finish repairing that generator or should they hide? It’s Dead By Daylight at its nerviest, and the heightened amplification of that heartbeat on the Kaira Pro adds further intensity to it.

The Kaira Pro features a detachable mic too, so it’s a good all-rounder for your DBD needs.

Scream 5

I rounded out my testing with a watch of the latest Scream film. A slasher with lots of suspenseful builds and jolting moments would surely be a treat with the Kaira Pro’s bag of tricks, and so it proved. It’s not quite a 4D movie experience, but it did serve to make watching the film at home feel like a bigger, more cinematic deal.

Razer Kaira Pro headset for PS5 provided by Razer

Razer Kaira Pro headset for PS5 is out now.

The post The Razer Kaira Pro Headset for PS5 Elevates Horror Gaming and Film [Review] appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.


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