The One We Found – ‘T was the season of spooks and frights, trick or treaters and candied delights. Eeks and squeeks filled the air, pumpkin spice was found literally everywhere. Yet Loveridge Designs decided to keep their scare. So, did they get us with a big BOO, or was it more a Boohoo, let us find out, while we explore Whisperwood Mental Institution.
What is Good?
- Jump scares: If there is one thing that a horror game needs, more than anything else? A good jump scare or two. This game surely has it. The atmosphere simply oozes with tension while you explore the institution, from the different enemies, to the sound that fill the halls. It will always make you wonder.. Is what I’m hearing really around that corner? Or is it just another bump in the night that will fill you with fright. You’ll never know, until you round that corner, so take a chance, if you dare..
- Sound: But wait, didn’t I just praise the sound? Yes, yes I did.. But there are 2 sides to this coin. Some of the noises and environmental sounds used are indeed good and in their place. Others, not so much. These can range from the cheesy corny bangs against a door, to god awful screaming. And while on the subject of screaming.. when you boot this game up? For the love of god, turn your volume down! At least, if you want to keep your hearing intact while wearing headphones. The volume on the opening scream is way to loud for my taste. Also, be prepared to hear the same song, on a loop, over and over. A shame, actually, as they could of switched up some tunes to keep you suckered in.
- Graphics: Though lighting is done very well, giving you the “light at the end of the tunnel” vibe that you just know will be safe, free of ghouls and goblins and scare away the things that go bump in the night. But regrettably the rest just looks washed out and grey. Not only that, the game itself is dark, like pitch black. So if your light goes out? You are pretty much screwed. Even with the in-game settings turned all the way up to oversaturated, I still couldn’t see anything that was in front of me.
- Survival mode?: It just didn’t feel like this was this mode that suited the style of this game. Drawing from past experiences like Killing Floor and Call of Duty zombies, this mode looked tacked on. Where previously mentioned titles get our adrenaline pumping, this mode sadly quickly turns into a bore..
What is Bad?
- UI: One of the most troubling things I found with this game, was the lack of an intuitive UI and every facet around it. From the controls in its menu, which does not support both control stick and keypad, to the in-game methods. For example, at the start of the game you have no items, no directions that would hint at what needed to be done. No slight glow on the items that are of importance. So if I wouldn’t of checked on a random tree stump, I wouldn’t have noticed the flashlight and batteries that lay there to pick up. They just blended with the stump. But it didn’t stop there, you have to look at the items dead on, before you get the prompt to interact with them and/or pick them up.
- Missing Textures: Another major gripe that irked me to no end, were missing textures. For instance, there were walls that looked odd to me, so on further inspection, it turned out that there were no textures in place. I could see straight through the wall, and towards the edge of the map. They did try to cover this up by putting plant placeholders there, but even those did not cover up the gaps between the walls. It were these sort of ‘cover ups’ that made me wonder if they had to rush the game out to be in time for release, which really is such a pity..
The one we found. [Score: 54/100] The game felt a bit rushed out at the end. Which is ashame, because they had the building blocks set for a really decent experience. With inspiration clearly drawn from games like Slender and Condemned, this game felt like a lost opportunity that they could of had.. Though hope is not entirely lost, as some of the issues in this review could still be patched out later on. And with this, I am signing off. Time to go back and roam around in the Mental Institution, Boo-hahaha..