Our Rating: 7/10
Caroline Walker, who gets a strange letter with a photo of two children, will be our character in Tormented Souls. She starts having nightmares after obtaining this photo and tries to investigate the mystery in the town of Winterlake, where the letter was sent. Caroline is unexpectedly knocked out inside a hospital and wakes up naked in a bathtub with one eye missing. With everything going on, she’ll be left with nothing to do if she doesn’t solve this mystery.
The narrative is then set up as a traditional survival horror story. Throughout the game, characters appear to explain what is going on. Numerous documents show the history of the location as well as the monsters’ origins. Yes, the story works, but it lacks motivation and overall performance. To put it another way, Tormented Souls will enchant you for its gameplay rather than its mysteries.
The CGs on display are harsh and strange right off the bat. I think I’ve seen better animation in games like Final Fantasy X and XII from the early 2000s. It’s all very mechanical and difficult. The characters, on the other hand, already look like they belong in the PS3/Xbox 360 era. Even so, as we’ve seen in several games from ten years ago, the characters could use a lot better modeling.
The setting hits the nail on the head
Finally, we have a setting that resembles a macabre hospital. And I have to say, it’s not bad at all. The environments are extremely detailed, and the game’s low lighting system emphasizes the game’s dark side. There’s even a dark system that prevents you from moving forward if it’s dark outside and requires you to light a lighter. When you’re searching for a light source while being pursued by an enemy, the tension rises.
Tormented Souls nails this aspect of the setting perfectly. Sadly, she misses the enemy design, which is far too simple and silly. Their animation is strange and out of sync with the environment, although they work as enemies.
Classic and functional gameplay
As we stated, the game is inspired by games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill, and it is faithfully replicated. We have familiar mechanics such as solving puzzles to progress, investigating items to open opportunities, matching items, riding in tank form, and more. Everything I just mentioned should be familiar to Resident Evil fans, but don’t worry, there’s also some Silent Hill influence. Moving into different realities will be possible at different times, and the actions taken in one will have an impact on the other. It will serve as a puzzle solution in addition to having a darker aesthetic.
The lack of autosave is another throwback to the past. To record on a gramophone, you’ll need to bring a roll of tape. The intriguing aspect is that you will leave your story for posterity, giving the save a genuine sense. Overall, the gameplay isn’t revolutionary, and its influences are obvious. Tormented Souls, on the other hand, offers very competent gameplay that will appeal to fans of the genre.
Tormented Souls should be a little less classic
I know I just said the game has classic influences, and Tormented Souls contains many of the mechanics we’ve seen in over 20 years of survival horror gaming. Is this, however, solely a good thing? During my gameplay, I noticed minor flaws, such as a lack of polish, and current improvements that aren’t present in the game. The map, for instance, is entirely handcrafted. This worked in the 1990s, but knowing which room you’re in, what part of the room you’re in, and what floor you’re on today is a bit excessive.
It’s terrible that there isn’t a quick heal button, that you can’t change weapons, and that you can’t even get to the map. You must manually open the menu and navigate between the tabs to find the item you want to use for each new action. Another issue I had was that when I changed the camera in a chase scene, it caused a stutter on the screen, which made the action more difficult to follow. Not to mention that enemies are quick, and if you weren’t in a straight hallway, switching cameras, and slow aiming was a constant source of frustration.
Tormented Souls is an intriguing first step toward a potential franchise. On the one hand, we have a good setting with functional mechanics that will appeal to survival horror fans. However, this game has several flaws and limitations, particularly in terms of the graphics, which are inconsistent, and the story, which is lacking. Another major issue is some extremely outdated mechanics, which obstruct the player’s ability to backtrack as the game progresses.