Review by King Gaming
PQube and the team have really made a sweet old school survival horror game that I'm sure most survival horror fans will be sure to enjoy. This is a grimy, grindhouse, sadistic little horror game, and I mean that in the best possible way. It's so fascinating the little details within the game are elevated and cerebral. You'll first notice it when you start observing paintings in the mansion that sets the scene for the first chapter, only to discover that they're not just random art assets created by the developer's intern, but lavish recreations of very real (if often disturbing) paintings. If you’ve ever played a PlayStation-era Resident Evil game, you’ll feel right at home here. You’ll go from room to room in search of cryptic trinkets and tools used to solve puzzles, look over notes that shed light on the events surrounding the mansion and its inhabitants and encounter deformed and hideous monsters. You’ll find many locked doors that you will need to revisit later in the game as you gather keys and gain access to new areas. With that in mind, you’ll want to pay close attention to the maps you collect so you can make a note of the places you’ll need to revisit.
One thing I appreciate about Tormented Souls is its approach to its puzzles. Once a staple of the genre, many modern survival horror games have all but done away with them. In Tormented Souls, however, they’re a bit more ambitious. Most puzzles will be genuine brain-teasers that will make you think outside of the box. So you’ll need to pay close attention to the notes you find, as well as what’s happening in the environment. Cause if you don't you'll be wondering around for a few hours like I was clueless lol. like who knew you need to use a vending machine to retrieve a item to unlock the next area. So you'll consonantly always have to go back to your notes/back track to really inspect the environment for clues that will solve the next puzzle or that will lead you in the right direction. That being said, if you miss the kind of puzzles that will test your wits and leave you taking notes, you’ll love what Tormented Souls brings to the table.
Tormented Souls gameplay certainly seems familiar, but that’s the whole point. From start to finish, it’s clear that the game’s developers are passionate about the classic survival horror formula that games like Silent Hill and Resident Evil pioneered.
That’s not to say it doesn’t do anything original, there are a few areas where Tormented Souls shakes things up. For example, one of the first items you’ll come across is an old lighter. which is meant to fend off the darkness which is essential to your survival just the same. That’s because even the shadows are out to kill you.
With this in mind, you’ll need to make it a point to keep your lighter equipped when entering every new room. Walking around in the dark for just a few seconds is enough to send you back to the title screen. You also can’t have both your lighter and weapon equipped at the same time. So if you want to battle whatever monster is bearing down on you, you’ll sometimes first have to plant yourself near a candle or some other light source before you can start to fight back.
Tormented Souls doesn’t reinvent the survival horror wheel. Instead, it rolls with it as it pulls the player from one ghastly horror to the next. And honestly, it’s all the better for it.
like with Resident Evil and its type writers and ink ribbons you'll need save tapes and recorders in Tormented Souls. But the tapes are incredibly rare, meaning that you are going to need to spend a lot of time hoping that you're not about to run into a powerful enemy and wind up with the game over screen. Finally, weapons and resources are hard to come by, so you'll also want to run by as many enemies as possible to preserve ammo.
From memory, Tormented Souls doesn't even have a difficulty option (I could be wrong here but I genuinely don't remember seeing one when starting a game or in the game settings). There are no overt hints along the way, and you'll need to pay attention to what the various clues and visual hints you'll come across are pointing you towards. Tormented Souls was clearly a work of passion by the developers, and while it might come off as a little too earnest for its own good, the overall impression it leaves is of quite a positive one. Just look at Daymare. These "homage" projects can go so, so wrong, and it's a testament to the quality of Tormented Souls that it sidesteps all of that.
Tormented Souls isn't trying to be a necessarily accessible horror game. It embraces the retro heroes of the genre, and throws challenging puzzles and combat at players. More than that, though, the game has a nasty, hard edge, and ends up sitting at the loud and extreme end of the horror genre. If you enjoy your cathartic horror experiences, however (as I do), then you'll love the gauntlet of pain and torn flesh that this one throws at you.
Developed by Dual Effect and Abstract Digital, Tormented Souls aims to capture the essence of the classic survival horror games of the 32-bit era. A time where scares were plentiful, ammo and health packs were scarce, and characters moved with the grace of an M1 Abrams battle tank. One thing’s for sure: the game certainly looks the part. Its gothic environments are as gorgeous as they are haunting, and its ghouls are gloriously grotesque. But while Tormented Souls nails the aesthetics of the era it hopes to emulate, does it manage to master the fundamentals of fear?
In Tormented Souls, players control a young woman named Caroline Walker. After a mysterious letter lures her to Winterlake Mansion to search for a pair of missing twins, things quickly take a turn for the worse. Moments after her arrival, she’s knocked unconscious, only to awaken in a tub, naked and intubated, with an eye plucked straight out of her head. Thankfully, Caroline isn’t the type to let a little thing like that ruin her day. After getting back on her feet and bandaging the gaping hole in her head, she promptly sets off to unravel the mystery behind the strange mansion. A place where bloodied medical equipment litters the halls, and murderous creatures lurk around every corner.
As you explore the mansion, you’ll come across a handful of weapons to help fend off all the things that go bump in the night. There’s a nail gun that acts as your standard sidearm. You’ll also find a crude homemade shotgun that packs a punch but only holds a single round and a electric lance that is a long metal pole that can zap whatever comes your way.
Don’t get excited though. If you hope to make it to the end of the game, you’ll want to avoid combat whenever you can. Much like the games that inspired it, Tormented Souls is very stingy with the ammo it gives you. like with Resident Evil and its type writers and ink ribbons you'll need save recorders in Tormented Souls to save. Weapons and resources are hard to come by, so you'll also want to run by as many enemies as possible to preserve ammo. This means it’s possible to essentially soft-lock yourself out of completing the game because you simply don’t have enough ammo to face what the game throws at you in the latter half. So use your guns sparingly and make every shot count.
As a big fan of the games from which it takes its inspiration, I loved my time with Tormented Souls. It just hits all the right notes to create such an authentic classic survival horror experience. this is all Survival Horror Game 101. If you were already considering buying Tormented Souls, chances are these issues won’t bother you at all. But if you’re new to the genre or never cared for these conventions, you might be in for a rude awakening. If you love classic survival horror titles, Tormented Souls needs to be on your radar. It’s a terrifically terrifying love letter to Resident Evil, Silent Hill. With brilliant puzzles, a genuinely scary setting to explore, and unsettling monsters to face, it’s the kind of game that will shock you to your core and stick with you long after the credits roll. Tormented Souls is a modern survival horror masterpiece.
King Gaming Rating: 9/10
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