Status: 100% completed (on Easy)
First of all, it’s a modern horror game without a single screamer (kudos to developers for that). It’s all about thrilling and intense moments, unexpected sounds somewhere near you and a constant fear to be captured by a statue.
It’s a quite ambitious game, with some of most epic boss fights you could see in a horror genre (think of the last scene of F.E.A.R. and imagine if it was interactive). It can be a VERY frustrating game (mostly because of those boss fights), but it still hooks you and you want to beat it (which says a lot). Still, it has some flaws which may drive people away.
Let’s start with…
The design is excellent: good font choice, clean and polished UI, nicely done note textures, etc.
But the graphics make the game look like a remastered PS2 game. Very low poly models and everything has a shiny parallax shader applied to it (i.e. even some garbage bag shines like it’s Christmas). If you ever played Overcast then you know how it looks like.
Some levels are huge and feel like an open world (unlike many other horror games), some are just a straight line (with a boss chasing you). As for the open-ended ones, there are many copy-pasted segments, but if you pay attention you can see that they’re still different. Despite having limited resources, there’s a lot of care put into designing all levels and it shows. Probably the only complaint here is the placement of colliders and the last level would be the best example. It’s very easy to get stuck on the rocks there while trying to run away from the enemies. One of them actually had the same problem, he couldn’t past a statue blocking his way until I destroyed it.
Practically non-existent. You have one mission: escape. And throughout the game you do just that – escape by any means, from everything: statues, Death, clowns, etc. You start in the hospital, but once you leave it, it’s the whole city for you out there: mall, streets, park, graveyard, etc. Some of the things you do don’t make any sense, but the ending (which is quite cliché) could explain why.
Sound & Music
Every sound sample in the game sounds fine, no complaints whatsoever.
The music is great and it always fits the events in the game. My personal favourites are the themes from Chapter 1 and 7.
The major part of the game is a blinking system. Some statue appears and starts following you, and then you blink, it supposedly teleports very close to you. If you just stand and it’s very close, it starts to look at you back and it’s game over. But playing on Easy mode and constantly running, I didn’t really notice anything like that – statues teleport however they want and don’t move only when you look at them. First version of the game didn’t have any difficulty levels and was pretty much unplayable due to constant blinking (it just drives you nuts and you can’t focus on what’s happening around you, the screen fades to black for some time every 3-4 seconds, imagine playing like that not just one part of the game, but all of it).
Anyway, you need to run. The game tells you if the statues are nearby by using the heartbeat sound. If it’s slow, you still have the time (to run to some other place, for example). If it’s very fast, you’re probably already screwed.
Lately in the game you get a weapon which can destroy statues, but you still need to avoid all other enemies. It’s not clear when you have the time to destroy the statue and when you don’t – one moment you successfully destroy it, but then some other time you can be killed just a second before you make a last hit. If it’s just one statue, most of the time it will be OK to destroy it. If it’s 2 or even 3 (especially if it’s 3-4), just run.
Every open-ended level has an objective for you, which is always the same: collect X items or activate X things before you can proceed.
So, the experience on these levels is like this: you’re looking for objects (or switches) in the darkness with your flashlight, while trying to avoid the enemies (statues spawn indefinitely and it becomes a standard situation lately in the game to be followed by about four of them). The objects you need to collect are placed randomly, so you never know where to find them. It adds to the tension, but also can be frustrating, because they can be placed at some places you wouldn’t think to check (like power boxes being in the clothing shop). But they’re always highlighted and it helps a lot – if the angle is right, you can see them meters away in the darkness.
Now, the major flaw of the game: it shows you an objective, but never explains HOW you do it. Most notable example which is impossible to figure out would be the first boss fight. The game tells you to run to the subway (the event takes place on the street). The problem is that there’s a huge statue behind your back which pursues you and destroys everything in its way. OK, you run and for some seconds you’re fine, but then you die – the statue grabs you and kills.
Only by watching a video on YouTube you can see that you need to hide in small spots behind the buildings waiting every time for the statue to suck in all cars on the street and make a massive “boom” (and only then you run). And even knowing this is still trial-and-error, in the end there’s a moment where you need to run longer than before (which also will take some time to figure out).
The spots are not highlighted anyhow, there are no hints at all. You just need to know the way it works, there’s no other way.
As for the technical aspect, the game never crashed and you can use Alt+Tab without any problems (the game also will stop the sound until you get back to it). The framerate is stable and mostly 60+ FPS, expect the second level, it’s pretty laggy there (nothing game breaking, but just be prepare for it). There’s also a constant unresponsiveness of the Action button, you need to press E several times on an object to trigger it, even if you’re very close to it (you can see it in many walkthrough videos on YouTube). This one is actually can be a fault of Unity itself.
Overall, it’s a very solid horror game. Ambitious and captivating, sets to be epic and actually succeeds (despite the primitive visuals). It doesn’t have screamers and relies on the atmosphere, sound design and overall creepiness. If only boss fights would have more hints what to do.