Well this game is truly terrifying.
After years of playing games that are engaging, even thought provoking this is on the one hand captivating and on the other really not a pleasant experience. It’s like watching a horror movie that won’t end, gets worse and provides more tension than the Clifton suspension bridge.
In most games you can have a go at beating the bad guys or whatever and are for the most part equipped with weaponry or skills to take them out in some form or another. In this one you have a camera and some batteries. That’s it.
You play as mild mannered (I assume) Miles Upshur, an investigative journalist that’s had a tip off about some bad mojo going on at a psychiatric hospital in the middle of nowhere in Colorado. Your plan is to visit the hospital, get something news worthy to take back and carry on with life.
Now, knowing what I know now and if I could speak to Miles before he sets off I’d have a few things to say/ask.
These would be along the following lines:
1. Don’t go. This is not a good idea.
2. Take someone you don’t like with you and make sure they’re heavily armed and/or slower than you.
3. Are you sure you don’t want to report on something else, say a missing cat or perhaps a new restaurant opening?
4. You need more batteries than that.
5. Why in hells teeth would you want to go at night?
6. Do you have any experience of hiding under beds?
Being as the above was not possible it is what it is.
The game sets you up with the sense of foreboding you’d expect from visiting a dilapidated psychiatric hospital on your own, at night and in a storm. You gain access to the hospital and find that the only way you can navigate around it’s typically badly lit or totally dark corridors is by using the night vision on your camcorder. The camcorder chews through batteries faster than a rouge squirrel in a nut factory, leaving you to find more to power it up or face floundering around a total panic.
As mentioned before, you can’t fight – you can can only run and hide. Both of which you have to get very good at very quickly. What you’re running from is a set of disturbed psychiatric patients that have a penchant for human butchery and clubbing (not the good kind).
Red barrels have done a great job in building suspense and generally scaring the bejesus out of you while you try and find a way out of the hospital you’ve become locked in. The hospital is littered with truly gruesome scenes left by some of the patients practicing their handy work on other inmates, devising terrifying abstract art and generally destroying the place. They’ve also managed to cultivate a true feeling of fear, dread and suspense with the music, the characters breathing and dialogue from the patients. Not to mention the soul crushing disappointment they heap on you when you think you’ve completed the various tasks and have found a way out.
As you get your head around what you need to do (avoid everyone, get the power back on and get the hell out) you’ll start thinking to yourself “I really hope that guy didn’t see me” and “maybe I should not play this anymore and watch TV” but you get sucked in. You then realise that your on the edge of your seat, gripping your consoles controller way too tight and the frantic breathing and pulse racing is coming from you and not just the game.
So to wrap up, if you want a quiet night in and a relaxing enjoyable gaming experience go and play minecraft or FIFA or whatever. If however you’re up for the challenge and want to feel physically drained, emotionally disturbed and abused, play this.
Final point, this guy isn’t good at manicures….I also question his professional qualifications as a doctor.
Try and enjoy!?!