Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Into The Gloom

Into the Gloom is a strange little horror game I picked up on Steam for about £2.  It's indie developed and it has pixel graphics but don't let that put you off because we have something that's actually half decent on our hands.

Story wise you play as a first unnamed protagonist who wakes up in a hospital completely alone.  As you walk around you find blood smears and eventually a dead body that has been hung to the ceiling.  It's up to you to escape from the hospital and get away from whatever it may be that stalks you in the darkness.

(Minor Spoilers Ahead)

After your first play through you find out that you are a young man who is stuck in a coma and you are wandering around the inside of his conscience.  Being found and killed by the strange figure at the end of the game gets you the bad ending which involves a highly depressing sequence about how you bankrupt your family and everyone forgets you.

(End Spoilers)

Game play in Into The Gloom is fairly simple.  You have to wander around, find items and solve puzzles.  There isn't much in terms of combat but that's because there aren't really any enemies.  Over time you find notes that help with puzzles and give you more insight into the story.  The puzzles in Into The Gloom are actually pretty good since they seem really obtuse and stupid at first but once you realise what's going on then they are deceptively simple.

I've only played up to the first ending at time of writing but as you make runs of the game it "unlocks" more notes for you to find which in turn unlocks more puzzles for you to piece the mystery together.  The game is quite short but there are 5 or 6 different endings for you to find so it may take you a little longer to get everything than first thought.

Horror-wise, the game isn't all that scary (at least to me) but you can tell that some genuine effort has been made to lay on atmosphere rather than relying on cheapo jump scares for lets play bait.  There are a few jump scares but the ones I encountered in my first run weren't all that common and one of them did get me pretty good without being too over the top.  Maybe for someone a bit more sensitive the atmosphere of Into the Gloom may take hold but if you're a big fan of horror games then it may fall a bit flat.

All that said, for the price tag I'd say it's absolutely worth a shot.  It's a very simple game that you can enjoy in a short, lazy evening and once beaten there is a good bit of replay value to be had in order to get the extra endings.  Put it this way, if you had a  choice between Into the Gloom and The Evil Within, I'd say go for this one.  You'll save a shit ton of money and be a hell of a lot less disappointed. 

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