"The Park" Review - A Spooky Movie you can Play

The Park

QUICK GLANCE:

  • Platform: Xbox One (Version Reviewed), PS4, PC
  • Players – 1
  • Achievements – Yes
  • Steam Trading Cards - Yes
  • Controller Support - Yes
  • Retail Price - $12.99

High Level Premise – Psychological Horror game where you don’t fight or solve puzzles, just explore a story that will haunt you

Graphics/Style – Decent atmospheric graphics but seems like last gen quality, some glitches and clipping issues are present.

Music/Soundtrack – The game was designed to be played with headphones so the directional sounds come through correctly, and it really sells the scares.

Story – You play as a mother in an amusement park looking for her son after it closes and something weird is going on.  You explore the mother’s story and that of the creepy park’s history.

Replay-ability – You can explore more perhaps, or see it all again.  But one play through seems like enough for me.

Time Commitment – The game can be started and completed in under 2 hours. However, there is no save feature.

Value – I can’t really compare the value against other games given the time to complete.  I would say this is an interactive horror movie.  If you like those check this out.

Favorite Element – The sounds, especially if you wear headphones and can pick up the little tricks they play on you throughout.

          I enjoy game companies playing with the conventions of games and what they can be.  This game is more like a movie you can play which is interesting, and since there isn’t combat you don’t get the have the comfort of being able to punch your fears to death.  However, the gameplay is fairly limited to reading newspapers and traveling in the few directions available to you, and if you get stuck you can call for your son and a hint may appear on where to go.  The game will also play with you by manipulating your sound and video settings which I haven’t seen since the amazing Eternal Darkness on Gamecube.  The game begins with a weird jump in logic and then goes about building some nice tension while your character has to do all the things you would yell at the characters in a horror movie for doing.  The game has some nice little nuanced unsettling moments but suddenly changes gears and ramps up and then is over.  I wish the game had remained in the slow build and teasing mode that typified the beginning of the game which might have stretched the total gameplay time closer to 3 hours.  The value is a bit diminished based on that time, however you would pay more to buy a horror movie or maybe to see one in the theater and this game is certainly more interesting than half the horror movies that get released each year.

Xbox $50 Gift Card
Microsoft Software

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