Song of Horror is a 3rd person puzzler in the vein of the classic Resident Evil games. The major departure from that francise however is in the mood and atmosphere, which in my opinion, are the primary selling points for this title. Using a mouse and keyboard are a bit clunky so I’d follow the developers’ advice and plug in a controller if you have one and happen to be playing on PC as I am.
Also, DO play in the dark! The lighting is part of the ambience and if you have any lights on around you or its daytime, you will be seriously missing out on the very things that make this title work. That, and the glare on your screen from any light sources will render this game nigh unplayable anyway…
At first, I admit that I was a touch underwhelmed by the the playstyle. I have played so many games like this over the years and the first thing that went through my head was to the tune of “oh crap, this again”. I am however glad that I held on for the ride because there are plenty of things that really set it apart. There are jumps and jolts aplenty let me assure you and as of this writing I am still working my way through the story and every new area has me a little at the edge of my seat.
This is a very story driven experience as I think any good puzzler should be. Be warned though that permadeath is a very real threat. You will have a small group of playable characters who can and will die if you make poor decisions over the course of your explorations. Once one takes a dirtnap, another unwitting soul arrives on the scene who will pick up where the last left off. Once you run out of characters, well thats all she wrote. Each character has their own strengths, so choose wisely when making your starting selection, because whoever you pick to play first will be the first to die.
Some may be critical of this element of the game, but honestly, that constant looming threat adds a lot to the narrative.
Another big difference from other games in this genre is that from what I can tell, you never get any weapons. You cannot fight back in any tangible way, which makes perfect sense considering horror itself isn’t tangible. You are alone in the dark armed only with a candle. From the very beginning, you are immersed in a world painted only in bleak shades and an overwhelming sense of impending doom.
Truly, this is a song worth hearing.
4.5 out of 5 stars.