This one is one of my frequent quit-and-continue playing games. I don’t know how many times I have started over and dropped it midway.
As the father of Resident Evil series, Shinji Mikami did a great job on “corridor horror”. Utilizing every bit of discomfort in shadowy and narrow spaces to pull players into the dreadful ill mind of mad psychiatrist Ruvik.
Do you feel the crawls onto your back of head? The crawls onto your brains? That’s the point.
Does horror have to lie with darkness? The answer is clearly no and have demonstrated in the game. Bright and open area can also induce the dreadful silent environment of horror. Although the game is mostly dark.
We see simliar concepts from other renowned horror games, i.e. Silent Hills series, Resident Evil series. The Keeper looks exactly like the Pyramid Man from Silent Hills, only with the change of “box”. And The Keeper is way more annoying than Pyramid and weaker.
I am interesting to see how designers actually design this game. The maze and corridors’ design, how they reward players and how they set the difficulty to a fair level.
Maze: Whever it’s a linear story and gameplay, it abosolutely couldn’t escape from the maze design. One player needs to reach the end and there is pretty much only one way. In the way of reaching the end, you will encounter dozens of side routes for you to take. Some of them are just a short dead end, some of them are some side missions. Typical for RPG games. In TEW, most of the time you meet only dead end rewards. Because there is no side missions in this game. Mazes don’t look complicated, pretty plain. The game relies on the atmosphere introduction and plot progress. Typical. As trying to give player the experience of the protagonist.
Corridors: This is what I like to refer to those puzzles rooms and single rooms. Puzzles, are pretty easy to be fair. Maybe adding the difficulty level of puzzles would turn the game Tomb Raider? Laughing And there are also single rooms that placed tons of traps for players to cautiously walk through. Otherwise death is the only way out. I think they do can level up the difficulty in those places.
Plot: Plot progression is a bit slow, average playtime of this game is around 16 hours. That’s like a two 2008 games combined. But I’m pretty sure I’m using the fastest speed to beat throught the levels, for now it’s already chapter 9 or 10 and only took me 8 hours or so. 15 chapters in all. Characters dialogues never make sense, conversations never make sense. Kind of reflect on all horror movies and games lol. I don’t know, I think a logical horror is a legit horror. You don’t need to make every single person an idiot so that the plot can progress. But overall, I like the concept of this mad experiment of inside someone else’s brain. And experience someone else’s pain.
Music: I don’t think there will be soothing music in horror games at all. Nonetheless, the safe/save bay (get it? the pun?) gramophone did provide a soothing effect and a break for your constant evil within and without. Other than that, most of time it’s just “crawling in my skin…….”
Graphics: Looks like shit. 2014 game still uses image as texture. Nothing good besides character models. Mine sets everything to highest setting. The screen is not clean all time. Not that gore everywhere but those particles on screen. Pretty sure they’re intended, but it just doesn’t benefit the graphics at all.
DLCs: I like how the DLCs roll. Kidman’s focus on stealth, prob pure stealth. And Excutioner where you play as The Keeper, this idea is so cool, and the first person gameplay is brutal and fun. But, the ending left so much untold, all leave to DLC. I don’t know why they did this, people without season pass or any DLC aren’t going to understand the plot deeper. DLCs explain them all. Kidman is like that Ada Wong, who’s always doing rat missions for a third party. I like the Executioner DLC, that one is really creative.
Overall, 5/10. Better buy it on a discount.