From what I had heard about this game, I got fairly excited to play it. It sounded to me like a Dear Ester/Gone Home on steroids type game, a walking around, finding clues, solving mystery type of game.
Well, actually playing the game opened my eyes a bit. Within the first 10 minutes of playing I had noticed that the game suffered from a massive issue with the frame rate, bouncing faster than tiger on speed, inanimate objects launching me in the air. (An example of this you can find below…. There we’re also issues with the lighting, it was either stupidly dark or light. Distance rendering was messed up, when I was outside, and looking at the front door from a certain distance it would show as not been there and I could see right through to the hallway and stairs behind it…. Catching me out on one occasion.
I also mentioned above about the frame rate issues that the game suffers from. These are not subtle, they are massive and very much noticable, which brings me to my next question, how was this game allowed to pass QA? With everything that I have mentioned above, it surely should have been sent back to be fixed and not released? My mind boggles!
The way the game looks as well, it’s not good. Pineview Drive looks like a PS2 game, vectors and layers are flat and just non existent with random shapes and colours in the ground.
The movement within the game, again ha a lot to be desired. Let’s just say that I’m glad I wasn’t being chased by anything that required me to run, otherwise I might have just stood there and took my punishment. I thought that Everyone’s Gone to the Rapture was bad for walking, this game makes that look like the 100m sprint.
You have the ability to ‘run’…. but I was call it a power walk rather than sprint or run. The overall feel that I got from the game was that it wasn’t finished and it has been rushed out. I’ve read PC reviews for this game that have mentioned the exact same problems on PC…. Yet here we are still with the same issues on console. Not cool.
When playing through Pineview Drive, you will notice that the game plays like most horrors, there is a health bar, which to me makes no sense whatsoever, there’s a green bar there that goes up and down randomly. Is it a health bar? Fright bar? Dubious! I mentioned above regarding the lighting and I know that lack of lighting and use of torches, lamps, candles etc is the norm for these games, but if that’s not your type of thing and you would like to help yourself, you can also go into the options and turn the brightness up, no need for lights, torches or lamps.
There’s items that you can pick up around the location, but the game makes very hard work of it, keys and doors that aren’t labeled so you don’t know which doors they belong to, you just get a tally at the top of the page, same with items like matches and batteries that you pick up, you just have a tally and no discerning way of telling what they’re for.
The one thing that I will praise the game for is it’s use of sound. This is what had me on edge when playing, not the environment, as this was more like a new born kitten squeaking at me. The sounds are brilliant, the sound of a tightening rope, people whispering in your ear, simply chilling. I just wish that the whole over all game had the level of quality that went into the sounds.
Should you play this game? I want to say yes, but the amount that is wrong with the game proves that it was either rushed out for the sake of it, or it came to the end of it’s budget for development. Either way, one thing cannot make up for the amount of mess that has been left in the game.