Shadows Peak is a story-driven atmospheric horror game focused on exploration and you can buy it on Steam later today. The price SHOULD be $7.99 and probably -15% for the launch, we'll see.
You play as a writer who decided to visit a mysterious place called Shadows Peak to gather materials for a new book about legends. A number of people have gone missing in Shadows Peak. Some people claim that they saw something that they shouldn't have seen there and, of course, there are some dark legends surrounding this place.
The main focus of the game is on the atmosphere, story, and exploration. Shadows Peak allows you to explore big environments and progress through the game in a non-linear way. Be warned, Shadows Peak will not hold your hand.
ControlsAnd by that we mean: You pretty much have to stop and take ten minutes to try and figure out the controls. So, lets talk about that first, shall we? The interact button in this game is the F key. For a number of reasons this bugged me. I don't think I've ever played a game where the F key was the interact button. I don't know how common it might or might not be, but that threw me off. But at least it gives you a hint about F being the correct button when you yell for Michelle at the beginning. Now let me clarify my earlier statement, there is no tutorial in this game, which isn't a bad or a good thing. I like the lack of hand holding, but having a button chart in the menu would have been nice.
storyOkay so the plot is pretty straight forward. Writer goes to spooky place for research with lady he likes, lady gets taken, now writer has to use his wits in spooky place to get her back. Sound familiar? Most people might not know about Alan Wake, but this is very similar to that. I'm not saying that's bad, but I was a little disappointed at the lack of depth within this game's plot. You get only a minute of plot at the very beginning and the rest is given to you in tiny tid-bits through out the game. From your possessed cellphone to a creepy guys computer. Its all so spaced out; there were moments I almost forgot what I was doing and why I was doing it. I may have not been invested in the characters, but I found that little bit of plot still pulling me along, but seriously; Michelle who?
enemiesSo, about the enemies, lets just say if these were actors I'd send them back to acting school. The main enemy you come across are these ghostly shadow figures.They pretty much just make a scary face, scream at you, and take half your health. Hey, I don't know what their so angry about, I just broke into their houses, no big deal! As a jump scare it is kind of scary, but only after the first time or so, then it just makes you cringe. But as I've always said before, horror games that just depend on jump scares, well they suck! Looking at you Fazbear! Anyway, these ghostly creatures are kind of like bees. Your scared to get stung by them, cause your know it'll hurt, but once its over your still the one alive at least!
AtmosphereThe atmosphere is .....creepy at best. Let me tell you; the teddy bears were kind of the scariest thing in this game. I think the background music and sounds just didn't make me feel like I should be afraid. When something attacks you'll hear a stab of music that makes your heart jump, but the rest of the time it feels like your running around this creepy island doing random things. Sure, the open world is nice, hell the whole game looks great! But I would have liked a little, just a tiny bit, more direction. You can figure out what you need to do well enough, sure, but it still feels like its all random. And, coming back around to the plot again; "They can see you and you can see them, so their going to attack you now! Good luck with that!" Kinda makes you feel like your at a Black Friday sale and just because you have those towels someone's going to punch you for it.
Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed playing this game! And for Early Access it ran fantastically! No bugs, oh except that spider, but lets leave him alone shall we? Its just definitely not one of those 'scares the pants off of you' games. It feels like it mainly focuses on the open world aspect more than anything else, and for being open world there's not a whole lot of places to get to, so it kind of sometimes feels like a lot of walking. But like I said, this is early access, it has a lot of potential to become something amazing! Nothing is perfect at first, right?
summaryOver all this game is smooth, creepy, and fun! Sure the plot's not a triple A seller, and its not as scary as you might expect, but I have high hopes for it! Hey, let me set that teddy bear on fire and I'll give it a ten out of ten! But for now I'm going to give it a 7 out of 10. I'm not judging harshly because I enjoyed the game and its still being worked on. The plot could use some fleshing out, the music could be a bit scarier, the enemies could be a little less forgiving, and there could be a few more places to go into on this wide scale map. I still think, anyone who likes this genre should give the game a try!
GAME SCORE: 7/10