It’s been more than a week since grandma last answered the phone. Mom argued with her on their last conversation, but she never treated you any different because of their complicated relationship. But as you have no clue about what happened to her, except for a persistent bad feeling that doesn’t allow you to sleep, you start to wonder… Maybe it’s time to pay grandma a visit.
This is what Alex and his parents thought when decided to visit Grandma Valentina. What he didn’t expect is to wake up inside grandma’s house, alone, with no sign of his family. And here starts our adventure in Colina Legacy, a game developed and published by chance6 Studios in 2018 for PCs (Steam) that now, 1 year after the initial release, has just received a version for Xbox One. In this old-school horror adventure game, you will explore your grandmother’s property trying to uncover something hidden in your past that can be the answer for the disappearance of your family. Prepare to face your darkest nightmares in this creepy game!
What do you do? Colina Legacy is an old-school horror game where you must explore rooms and solve puzzles while searching for clues about your family whereabouts. And while you do it, try to survive against mysterious creatures using only a flashlight and some ancient glyphs you will find in your adventure.
- Amazing sound: Kudos for the sound designers of your team, chance6. You do deserve praise for what you achieved in this game and… hmm… owe me some new pants for it. The music and ambiance sounds are so well implemented and so credible and terrifying that you do feel like walking in Alex’s shoes. The house where our adventure unfolds feels alive and truly distressing (not to mention the other sites you will explore). Especially the screams that precede the appearance of some of your enemies. Every time I heard them, I was in despair trying to hide or run away before they could reach me. And even after the tenth time it happened, you were still able to scare the shit out of me… And that’s why you owe me some new pants.
- Visuals: The overall visual of the game is pretty good, especially regarding the use of light and shadows. The glyphs you use have good special effects – especially the particles, which are amazing – and the light projected by candle flames and lanterns in dark corridors creates an outstanding and creepy atmosphere that is perfect for the game. Although there are some surfaces with lower res textures and some objects that oddly shine when they shouldn’t, the visual experience is satisfactory.
- Gameplay: Colina Legacy plays like an old-school horror game. When playing it, you will feel like playing classics like Silent Hill, Resident Evil or the not-so-famous-but-still-terrifying Kuon… But without guns. You will explore your grandma property using nothing more than a flashlight and a medallion alongside with some magic glyphs that can be used to interact with your surroundings. By using them you must find clues that will help you locate your family and uncover the mystery of their disappearing.
- Puzzles: The puzzles in this game are well balanced. Challenging, but not impossible. For the ones you will need some sort of code or password, this code can always be found in your surroundings. In other cases, you will need to recur to some trial and error, but nothing impossible to solve.
- Character animations: While the overall graphics are good, the same can’t be said about your character. Alexis animations and expressions are overly simplistic. He has always the same stance, be he running or exploring a dark room. Not even when facing some perils from the outworld he demonstrates some fear – if he does feel some fear at all. A missed opportunity to increase the player’s empathy for the protagonist. Well, at least in cutscenes you can see some expressions in his poker face.
- Batteries? For what? The use of batteries foryour flashlight (or camera) is something players are already used to. I believe Outlast was one of the first games to implement this mechanic with success. In Colina Legacy, the developers added an extra level to this mechanic that worked very well to me: the batteries of your flashlight here are rechargeable. So, instead of looking for batteries, you need to find some outlets to recharge your batteries. The problem is that while you’re recharging your batteries, your flashlight still has energy to illuminate your surroundings. You can even let your batteries recharging and leave the place, ignoring the fact that your flashlight no longer has batteries. Strange, isn’t it?
- Tedious combat: Yes, you will need to fight your enemies in Colina Legacy. It’s a shame that it is unemotional. After you understand how to fight your enemies, the sense of panic dissipates quickly, taking out all the initial desperation of your first encounters. Even your encounters with the blue fairy, the most frightening enemy of the game, will become very predictable thanks to the game frame-drop indicating she’s being loaded in a room close to you, killing almost if not all the emotion from these encounters.
- Collectibles: I’m a player who enjoys fully exploring a game, looking for all its secrets and, inevitably, going after the 1000G. One of the worst kind of mission a game can assign you to complete it is looking for collectibles. I have a great antipathy for it since the first Assassins Creed and its hundreds of flags to collect. If you don’t care about the achievements, usually you can just ignore then. The problem in Colina Legacy is that the story is told through these collectibles: book pages, letters and stone plates scattered in every location of the game. And if you can’t find them all (like I couldn’t), you won’t be able to fully uncover the story of the game.
These last few months have been very busy for Xbox players who enjoy a scary game. After The Sinking City, Decay and Dark Pictures: Man of Medan (all reviewed by Alexis) Colina Legacy is the next game that will send chills down your spine. And it does it very well, with its interesting story and great atmosphere! If you enjoy some jumpscares and don’t mind needing to change your pants (maybe more than once) while playing a game, this game is for you. Don’t be afraid: go ahead and let’s help Alex in his quest to find his family… and maybe some hidden truth about his past.
With a history of gaming that goes from his old man’s Atari 2600 to his Xbox One, Rafael or RAF687, our Brazilian editor, has a love for games as old as he can remember. He has already spent countless hours in many consoles (Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega Saturn, PS1, PS2 and Xbox 360) and is always ready for more (as long as his wife is asleep). Raf has been writing for LifeisXbox since 2017, with a passion for games of almost all genres – though we know he has a special place in his heart for RPGs, racing games and anything that includes pixel art. Writing about games has always been a childhood dream to Raf, dream that he has fulfilled reviewing games for you here. You can drop him a message at Twitter, Facebook or Xbox Live at any time.