Developed By The Deep End Games
Published By Feardemic
*This review is of the PS4 version*
From what I gather, the story follows Cassie a women suffering from blindness who is being plagued with nightmares, she travels to a mansion to I guess fix them? Honestly I am very uncertain about what exactly the entire premise of the plot is, I can only speculate on exactly why Cassie has gone to that mansion and why she somehow seems to know this Felicia character, one part in particular is when Cassie is insistent on going to find a Rope to somehow help this girl who is already dead? I mean is she a ghost whisperer or something? It’s all incredibly confusing, I think the best thing the developers could’ve done is focus more on Felicia and her husband Richard as that was easily the more interesting parts in the game story wise, it could’ve made the premise more interesting to me as well, I would’ve preferred if Cassie had just bought the house or something along that line and then I feel she would have a genuine reason for being there.
All in all I feel like maybe I just missed something incredibly obvious or something along those lines but I really couldn’t understand what was going on half the time with the plot of the game and for an adventure horror game in which the main emphasis is story telling, that needs to be a priority, I feel the game if anything was probably too cluttered and could’ve used a more simple plotline as a whole….having said that the story with Felicia and her family was still interesting and I found myself getting more into that than Cassie’s situation and her reasons for being there except for she has been having nightmares.
I personally find it a little hard to describe this style of game as anything other than it is basically like Gone Home, it’s a game where you essentially walk around and pick up certain objects which trigger memories that give you pieces of the plot, most people know these type of games as “Walking Simulators” a term which does apply here in some cases….however this game decides to change it up a bit in the form of your character cannot see….she is blind, therefore you have to constantly use your walking cane to find out where to go, this is definitely an interesting concept and it is done well but it still doesn’t really change the fact that really there isn’t much to the gameplay really as far as actual mechanics, something that I am actually grateful for is the ability to run, while you aren’t able to see, in these type of games walking slow is a real enjoyment killer for me personally so it’s nice to be able to speed things up a bit.
The other aspect of the game is where the Horror part comes into play, “The Presence” is a sort of spirit that shows up if you use your cane too much, this basically turns the game into a similar style of game to Amnesia or Outlast, I honestly have never been a big fan of this mechanic, it never really feels interesting or fun to me, I know it might have made the game a bit one-dimensional but I probably would’ve just preferred a Gone Home style where you basically try to piece together the plot with some very good Psychological horror thrown in, this game is at its best when it is trying to spook you with sound and the thought of something being there but I feel whenever the actual presence shows up, it ruins the mystique that the game had and I feel this is personally the worst aspect of the game. Another thing that I found a little bit tedious is how the actual Presence shows up, as I stated it turns up after making too much noise but I can never really tell how much noise you need to make, it just kind of showed up at random taps for me, maybe it has a kind of timer or a hidden gauge to determine how often it shows but I couldn’t for the life of me figure it out.
Really I would say that if you like games like Outlast this could be a game that peaks your interest but I personally am not the biggest fan of that game and would’ve preferred a more Gone Home style.
I have to say the sound design in this game is absolutely wonderful, since you’re stripped of your sight in this game, the developers made sure to really nail the sound and they have done just that. I was playing with headphones and since I couldn’t see anything I instead decided to really focus on what I could hear was and that was the constant tapping of Cassie’s cane to help me navigate and occasionally I could hear things like whispers and small things that really can make you feel on edge.
I will say as well that I am definitely not someone who gets scared very easily if not ever and I’ll have to admit that at times this game purely due to the sound design had me genuinely spooked, probably the most I’ve been since P.T and to me when a Horror game manages to do this purely because of how they use the sound, that is a very impressive thing indeed and should be commended, it’s one of the reasons I feel sound design is arguably the most important thing in a horror game.
Something else I want to note and it really is only a minor thing but a nice touch is that the cane actually makes different sounds depending on what you tap it on…not a big thing to point out but it was pretty cool.
Cassie herself is voiced very well, I’m not certain who the Voice actress is or if she is anyone more well-known but she does a wonderful job at making Cassie likeable, oddly there is an option to have her only speak when the plot requires it which I find a bit baffling as it helps to add to her character, I really hope that no one decides to do this as it would be a real shame considering how well her actress has done, I’ll also mention that the actress for Felicia also does a fantastic job as well.
Everyone else does just fine, no missteps anywhere from what I heard, I’d say the sound as a whole is easily the best part of this game so I’d definitely recommend headphones to get the full experience.
It’s a little hard to comment on the visuals in the game because well…..you’re blind, the game of course still has visuals but it’s mainly a sort of outline that you can see of certain objects through echolocation, it’s definitely distinctive if anything but I will admit that it can sometimes get a little jarring, however I will give them credit for trying something different but for obvious reasons you shouldn’t expect anything amazing on this front but a nice stylistic choice gives it a plus in my book.
Overall my feelings on Perception are mixed, it is a very seemingly story based game but I felt that the story was at times too convoluted when it really had no need to be, I also felt that the gameplay was just not my sort of thing, especially when it came to the actual enemy in which you had to avoid….this game does however have a very nice visual style which I will give it praise for and it does make fantastic use of sound as a whole which is incredibly important for a Horror title for me personally. The Game ranges at around 4 hours or so depending on how long you take so you don’t get a massive experience but for a game like this I feel that’s probably a good thing.
- Visual Style is very unique
- The sound as a whole is spectacular
- Interesting Concept.
- Story is a bit too overloaded.
- Gameplay isn’t anything special
- While Unique, the visuals can get a bit annoying.
Perception is available now for PC, PS4 & Xbox One and will be released on the Nintendo Switch later this year. Thanks go out to The Deep End Games, Feardemic and Evolve PR for supplying the game and assets used in this review. Be sure to let me know what you thought of the review in the comments section below and be sure to stay tuned to UGNN for all your gaming news and reviews and remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Review By Jonnie Dixon