Friday, June 23

Perception Review

Perception, developed by Deep End Games, is made up of developers who also worked on Bioshock or Dead Space. This speaks well of their curriculum and only for that, we expected much more of this in this first person adventure starring Cassie, a blind girl who enters the very source of his nightmares.


The simple fact that the game consists of 4 chapters, and also, is a game too linear, makes the duration of the game is very short for what we expect in this game, in about 5 hours you can quietly finish the game, Without giving importance to the collectibles that offers us the same, to add us 1 hour more entertainment.


Perception is, in essence, a first-person horror game. I see recent examples like Outlast II or the very Resident Evil 7, that have been able to do something different in a subgenre within the terror, more and more mass and in which it tries that the horror arrives of the way more direct to us, favoring the immersion. Perception picks up the gauntlet in terms of an original game concept, but it relaxes too much in terms of a good adventure of terror like the mechanics of game or the own history.

The factor that the protagonist is blind, is already a premise not too exploited and frightening enough in itself. How can you pursue what you do not see? The answer ends up being the obvious, through the mechanics of echolocation (a sonar). The complete game is developed in the dark, and you can use this technique to see a slight representation in bluish tones of those items that are in the mansion of Gloucester where most of the story takes place.

If the premise is original and attractive, what fails? The execution. Perception has certain stealth mechanics to escape from some demonic entities that chase after us. The rule is that if you make noise in your movements, you "wake" the creature and it will persecute you. However it's not always so. There are times when we are moving by step turtle and still appear. If this happens, there are certain elements on the stage like trunks and slanted frames that will allow us to hide. Do they work? They should, but it's not always so, and the demons seemingly out of our reach will be stalking us out of the object in which hide. Mechanics too cheating to feel satisfaction for them.

When secrecy works well, it will be easy to tame the Presence. Slow motion is much simpler to have controlled the entire spectrum surrounding Cassie and you have to know about which surfaces make noise so that you can bounce and can "see". Avoiding metallic surfaces such as boilers and radiators (which make more noise) should all be in order. Perception isn't a game that greatly penalizes death, and beyond the shock that the Presence gives when it catches you, you will not have much more punishment than to return to the last point of control.

Taking into account that Perception bases it's main enemy (the one on which the plot revolves) in the myth of the Moth Man, i feel that the opportunity to present this enemy in a video game, when he is a character quite unknown in general lines has been wasted. . It's true that the fact of not directly seeing the enemy at any time, due to the filter that simulates the echolocation, causes to have a smaller impact of the terrifying figure, but also has not provided a truly believable background for this nightmare being.

Also, everything in Perception seems too chewy and linear. By clicking the trigger opposite to the echolocation i can know what is the next target to reach through the skill called sixth sense. It's true that being blind practically, a visual indicator is necessary, but the problem comes mostly along the way, with not too much to do beyond going from point A to point B, point B to point C and so on , Turning an alleged proposal of terror into something that doesn't end up being much more than a walking simulator, if it were not for the mechanics of hide & seek in between.

In spite of the existing clichés, typical of horror film of series B in an abandoned house, the history of Perception is quite more pleasant than it's playable plot. I have the initial alternative to make Cassie talk a lot and let us know her in depth, or on the contrary, that the protagonist only open her mouth at key moments for the plot. I opted for the first and it's the one i recommend, because Cassie has enough to tell and you will understand much more of the concerns and motivations that she has to go to such an unpromising place. In addition, as in most games, you have a series of supporting elements at the narrative level, such as voice recordings or documents that our cell phone can transcribe for Cassie to know what they say (also works with photographs).

The main attraction of Perception, what distinguishes it from others, is that it doesn't need to force the fear of what you can't see, but here it happens naturally. The fact of having a limited field of vision and formed only by small visual clues of what i have in front, puts in tray to the developers that you have hundreds of elements scripted that give startles ... because i don't see them to come (pun intended). Although the main enemy of the game, the Presence, is not just as frightening as it should be, it is those little details that make me walk all the time with the tight clench.

Graphics & Design

At the technical level, I can't find a title that will enter my eyes, the fact that I will only see a representation of the basic lines of objects that i have in front of me, with a bluish touch makes it unnoticed at level Visual, although the effect of negative is quite well achieved. Something more worked will be the background composition that will make me, put in situation, much more relevant for what little you are going to capture at a visual level. In general terms, the soundtrack is well-worked and is adapted to what you can "see" on the screen, although it would not have been more than to raise the tone much more in the moments in which you are persecuted, to favor the feeling of overwhelm of the player.


Despite the attractiveness of it's premise of a blind protagonist, and all that this involves at the level of scares and startles for everything that we can not see beyond our visual field of echolocation, Perception is a game that results in too many clichés of horror movies, as to have some original touch to help us accompany Cassie on her way to unveil her nightmares (an inspiration in the Moth Man myth). That the mechanics hide & seek don't finish as expected would tarnish all the atmosphere and the touch of terror of the game.


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