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Video Game Review: ‘The Suffering’ for the PC

We’re trying to improve upon our content here at Bloody-Disgusting by bringing you more video game and book reviews in the coming months. Already Sykopaf has provided two PC reviews for us, the first for Doom III and todays review for The Suffering for the PC. Read on and see if you’d be interested in picking this game up, it’s now only $25 in stores…
The Suffering (PC)
By: Sykopaf

Buy it here

Introduction

The tagline for The Suffering is “Prison is Hell”. Hell is right as you will have to battle your way through a variety of twisted monsters and nightmarish locations. The Suffering is a new breed of horror game, combining the exploration and puzzle solving of games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill with fast paced action. Read on to find out more.

The Story

You play as Torque, a bad-ass inmate with serious mental issues, accused of murdering his wife and two kids. The story opens in Abbott State Penitentiary, Carnate Island with you being escorted to your cell on death row. The lights go out, the walls shake, creatures attack and before you can blink you are free of your cell, armed with a shiv and soaked to the skin with blood. It’s now a fight for survival and redemption.

There’s two stories being developed – the story of Torque battling his personal demons and the story of Carnate Island which holds many dark secrets. Each time you kill a new monster or visit a new area you unlock an “Archive Page” which can be referred to later to give a bit more back story into the damned island and it’s twisted inhabitants. As you battle your way across the island you’ll come across some of the delightfully disturbing creatures such as the Slayer; the embodiment of decapitation – its limbs are blades and it’s head separate from it’s body held on by some metal contraption. This is a running theme with the creatures of Carnate Island – each is symbolizes a different type of execution or death. The “Mainliner” with its body riddled with lethal injections, the “Marksman” blindfolded and an array of rifles attached to its back, the “Nooseman” half a skinned corpse that drops out of ceilings on the noose it was hung with and many more.

There are also three main damned characters that you will keep meeting throughout the game and eventually have to face in battle. Dr. Killjoy, the resident psychiatrist who once conducted often fatal experiments on his patients in the now abandoned “Carnate Asylum For The Alienated”. He appears as a projection of pure light, a very nice effect and looks to be inspired by Dr. Vannecutt (Jeffrey Combs character) from House On Haunted Hill. Next up is Horace, an inmate who was sent to the electric chair and appears to help you along your journey – obviously a little nod to Horace Pinker from Wes Craven’s Shocker. Last but not least is the sadistic Hermes, Abbott State’s executioner who took his own life in the gas chamber and appears as a green gas cloud.

Graphics & Sound

The graphics in The Suffering aren’t as great as they could’ve been, the human characters at close inspection look a little blocky and un-lifelike and if playing in first person mode you can see the lack of detail in the weapons. Fortunately most of the time you’ll be playing in third person so you won’t be able to get close enough to scrutinize these things. The creatures/monsters/demons in the game are all very well designed and well put together. You can have fun blowing off their heads and limbs just don’t expect this to stop them coming for your blood.

The environment looks very detailed and a lot of the time pretty damn creepy. You’ll often find yourself surrounded by blood spattered walls and corpses littering the floor and hanging from the ceilings. It’s evident The Suffering’s game world was put together with great attention to detail – searching the cell block showers you’ll come across the soap in a puddle of blood (don’t drop the soap!), walk into an office and find trails of blood leading across the floor up into a broken air vent or search lockers for equipment and ammo and find hypodermic needles.

The sound is my biggest complaint. The voice acting is excellent, although the amount of bad language is enough to make Joe Pesci blush. The sound effects seem to be a bit of a problem though. They sound very convincing – when they work that is. If there’s a lot going on in the game you’ll often find that your gun stops making a bang when it shoots. You get used to it, but still a very annoying bug in an otherwise well built game – and I couldn’t find a patch to fix this.

Gameplay

By default The Suffering is a third person shooter but you can choose to play in first person perspective if you wish. Both work well, although you see more of the world around you in third person mode which is a big advantage when monsters are attacking from every angle. Fortunately you don’t have to mess around in the options to change this setting, simply press the Ctrl key during play to switch between first and third person perspective.

Another nice touch is how Torques serious mental instability is shown in the game. During play you’ll get flashes of a demon across the screen for a split second, or a memory of how your child looked dead. This technique is used to progress the story as well as creep you out. Also you’ll meet many characters along the way and as you do, you’ll hear voices in your head: the voice of your wife telling you to help them out and the voice of your inner demon telling you to make them suffer, it’s entirely up to you which you do, although you’ll often be rewarded for doing the right thing and scorned by your wife for not.

The weapons you can use throughout the game are all well powered a fun to use – dual pistols, shotgun, tommy gun, TNT, grenades, petrol bombs etc.. I liked that primary weapons were assigned to mouse button 1 and secondary weapons (grenades and throwable weapons) assigned to mouse 2 so you don’t have to swap weapons each time you want to throw a grenade.

The level of detail in the environment isn’t just visuals; there’s a host of interactive objects like phones, lockers and light switches and if you’re not careful where you’re shooting and hit a cache of petrol bombs you haven’t yet collected, they’ll explode in your face. There’s hidden rooms to find usually behind boards that you’ll need to hack through and entire hidden areas with their own back-story. Also the use of light in the game is well done. Some of the creatures you come across are afraid of the light so if you shine your flashlight at them they’ll recoil or better yet if you find a searchlight and hit them with it they’ll burst into flames and writhe in agony on the ground.

Conclusion

The excellent story and characters combined with the large detailed game world and some of the nastiest creatures you’ve encountered far outweigh the minor problems. Recommended to action game fans and horror fans everywhere.

8.5 skulls out of 10

Source: Sykopaf, But it HERE