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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Penumbra: Overture (2007)

I enjoy immersive story-based horror games that offer something new to the genre.

Having received a letter from your deceased father, you begin a journey to find out exactly what happened to him.  What you discover may be something far worse than you imagined...

"Penumbra: Overture" is a First Person Adventure Game.  You are placed in an abandoned mine trying to unravel the story behind what happened to your father, and trying to avoid the same fate.

This game has some decent stuff to offer a gamer.  The graphics are great in my opinion, as is the audio.  Both combined to create an excellent setting and atmosphere that builds suspense and unease.  The storyline itself is pretty good too, and interesting.

One of the best things about this game is the physics.  You use the movement of your mouse to perform various actions such as opening a drawer, door, or swing whatever is in your hand to bash barrels and enemies.  You can pick up small items (like a can of food) and toss it around the room.  It helped to add a new dimension to the game.

My only complaints with this game had to do with pacing and combat.  This is a stealth game, so you have to move slowly through the tunnels, etc.  That, and the fact that you basically have to read every little piece of documentation you come across to learn the full story tends to slow things down greatly.  While there is combat to liven things up, the physics engine gets in the way.  All too often, I'd be swinging at the enemy to suddenly find myself staring at the ceiling while the enemy ripped me to pieces.  Really frustrating, to say the least.

As much as I liked the idea of the physics engine as part of the game, the snail pacing, and frustrating combat makes me place "Penumbra: Overture" in "The Ugly".

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