A homage to survival horror or just a cheap fake?
August 27th, 2021, that was the day I downloaded tormented souls for half the asking price. The game itself digitally retails for £15.99 while a physical disc retails at £29.99 at a £14.00 difference i was sure to take this bargain!
The game itself is inspired by the horror icons Silent Hill and Resident Evil. Now when i say inspired i mean INSPIRED, from the saving mechanic to the fixed camera angles everything about this game should’ve screamed nostalgia, but did it hit the right spot?
Let’s start with the visuals, the head on approach, i will not tell a lie the game looks like it should be on a Dreamcast or a PS2, the visuals look that of a rendered PlayStation 2 game which by all means is brilliant for the old school style feeling but for myself i was hoping for a bit more. The acting is a bit stale, but i did imagine this to be in an 80s cult classic style just because it makes the voice acting and predictable hauntings bearable.
TS does a great job of setting up atmosphere, with a few good jump scares and unsettling noises. At first I'd end up feeling a bit sweaty, but then predictability of it starts to lose its effect.
That being said the gameplay is smooth and runs very well, focusing heavily on exploration and puzzles TS does it right.
Focusing on the exploration the game makes you hunt for clues and for resources, such as nails and morphine. Taking a wrong turn could be your doom or lead you to a very grotesque corpse, with only a lighter to shine your way. Even in the opening sequence you have to search the room you’re in to unlock the door, and when you eventually do it, it makes you feel accomplished.
Until you turn the power on it is impossible to access locked doors, the generator puzzle was infuriating but also satisfying at the same time.
The fixed camera angle makes you feel vulnerable and it uses your lack of camera create fear and tension and does so with style. As a tv and film student it was a delight to see so many angles set up creature encounters.
The game save process harks back to Resident Evil, finding tape to record your journey into the darkness and with tapes being a rare. Saving your progress during the course of the game is quite unique as Caroline talks about who and what she has found or encountered during.
Armed with a nail gun and a finite amount of ammunition TS does an amazing job of making you think before a fight. Running away is your best option but when you are backed into a corner then you bust out the tools.
The soundtrack and atmospheric music is brilliant, as you lead up to certain parts the music becomes faster with a sharper notes and the ability to make you feel real dread. The main theme features a piano which plays on your imagination, the in game music builds tension which i wanted to reiterate as because with horror the best way to build up an atmosphere is to have sharp notes and loud quick bursts of medley to make the player worry and panic. Although i feel sometimes just having in game noises such as footsteps is enough to create a nervous aura.
The story is supernatural, you play as Caroline Walker who must investigate a mansion turned hospital to find two girls who could hold the key to everything. Featuring iconic fixed camera angles and a host of supernatural baddies, Tormented Souls is everything a horror fan could ask for. With trophies and collectibles Containing information about the lore. Tormented souls are one for the whole horror family.
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