Tormented Souls, the tried and true demo of this old school survival horror

Tormented Souls, the tried and true demo of this old school survival horror

Tormented Souls

You are never satisfied with horror, even more so if they refer to the glorious 90s, and the indie scene does not miss the opportunity from time to time. Do you want for a matter of budget that certainly makes an "old-fashioned" approach more manageable, or even just to pay homage to a period of memorable video games (Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Alone in the Dark, just to name three of the best known), every now and then some independent studio comes out that brings us back in memory.

After Song of Horror, this is the case of Tormented Souls, the first work of the Chilean studio Dual Effect Games - founded by two twins. The game puts us in the shoes of a girl trapped in a creepy hospital, grappling with nightmare creatures as she tries to unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of two twin sisters. Between family dramas, ancient suspicious civilizations and the constant anxiety that only medical facilities are able to instill, we are faced with an experience that does not lack rough edges but capable, in the time allowed, to be pleased.

Let's discover Tormented Souls in the tried and tested PC demo.

Wildberger Hospital

Tormented Souls, why does a clergyman persist in staying in such a dangerous place? Caroline Walker still doesn't know what awaits her. When one morning she receives a signed envelope from John Doe, inside which she finds a photo of two twins on the back of which heads a disturbing message- "Do you think you can just drop us here?" - she is not really clear on the extent of the horror he is going to experience. The sudden twinge he feels as soon as he sees the photograph could be an indication that something is wrong, a reaction he decides to investigate by presenting himself at the gates of the Wildberger Hospital, where the letter came from: of course, maybe going there at night is not the best idea. but when evil, whatever its form, has made you its target, it doesn't matter whether it's day or night. It all comes down to a question of atmosphere, because in fact the horror doesn't care and reaches you anyway. Wildberger Hospital, we said, which has everything except the air of a hospital as we would have expected it: the complex turns out to be a villa, along the lines of the one desired by the good Ozwell Spencer in Resident Evil, but there is no doubt that however, it has been used to take care of the needy.

Caroline has just enough time to enter and look around briefly, before being stunned by a mysterious figure. When she wakes up, she finds herself naked in a bathtub with a tube stuck down her throat. Who put her here and why she is not known but the most disturbing aspect of the situation presents itself shortly thereafter. Shocked by what happened to her, Caroline starts wandering around the mansion trying to make sense of what happened but, above all, find a way to survive the night. Something is moving in the shadows but our protagonist will not remain helpless and will face threats in every possible way, with a little ingenuity and above all a faithful nail gun.

Old school horror

Tormented Souls, Caroline waking up after being stunned As anticipated, Tormented Souls is an old school horror. This means fixed camera, limited inventory, a variety of more or less challenging puzzles and a continuous selection of the object we need at a given moment - whether to open a door or to solve a puzzle. We particularly appreciated the interaction with elements of the scenario that require our intervention, as a typical point and click screen opens where we can analyze the scene and possibly use something in our possession to move on. This makes everything both more interesting in terms of details, and less cumbersome in situations where an enigma to manage is presented: this is because we can manipulate the necessary object on the spot, without having to exit the screen, and once ready use it where it is. it becomes necessary.

To give a practical example, when we found ourselves in front of a locked door with a key we were in possession of, it had to be manipulated so that the tips were pointing in the right direction and only then inserted in the lock. Having the solution of the puzzle in front of our eyes, we selected the key, we examined it to fix it properly and then used it, all within the same screen. This eliminates unnecessary steps from puzzle to inventory, managing to engage more in the action.

Another element in favor of Tormented Souls is the absence of tank controls. As in the case of Song of Horror, here too the developers opted to use the fixed camera (with excellent results) but to give the character more freedom of movement. The animations are fluid, for the time of experience it wants to offer, and allow you to manage the clashes with discrete freedom in spite of the very tight spaces. Because yes, we mentioned it, Caroline will not give up without a fight and after an initial, not too daring escape from the horrors that inhabit the hospital, she will be able to defend herself using a nail gun: we have seen few enemies, one disturbing in a wheelchair , arms too long and armed with knives, the others legless and not too dangerous if you keep them at a distance. As in the 1990s, if a threat is in Caroline's range, raising the weapon will point it directly at the source of the danger - one of the best tricks for figuring out the direction a monster is coming from, if the camera still isn't there. allows you to frame it.

Tormented Souls, the point and click approach speeds up puzzles a lot Creatures react to the hits inflicted, wavering and being slowed down for a moment, giving us room to put in a series of hits and take them down even when the distance between us and them is short, but not too much; in that case you reposition yourself so as not to be hit. In addition to the nail gun, Caroline can also rely on a crowbar for melee attacks, very useful for getting rid of monsters when they fall to the ground stunned. Overall, the combat management has convinced us and never turns against the player, giving him room to react without giving him too much advantage.

As an additional support object we have a lighter available, which will occupy the slot generally dedicated to weapons, thus making us vulnerable to any threats. In this case, the well-developed sound design intervenes to help us, which through contextual noises helps us to understand if something is waiting for us later. However, it should be noted that unlike the original Resident Evil, for example, Caroline's aim cannot be aimed up or down: in fact, we can only rely on automatic aiming. After a moment of disorientation, we realized that the solution does not clash as we had thought and, on the contrary, it goes a bit to facilitate what in RE was sometimes a drama (guessing the right position to shoot enemies on the ground). We can, of course, spin the girl around while she is aiming the weapon to deal with any threats that come from multiple directions.

So far, therefore, Tormented Souls follows the canons of old-school survival horror, giving some more modern or personal touch. As for the puzzles, it is too early to express a definitive opinion but we found the few we faced well structured: we go from the classic go and find the key, or the pieces to put together to form a single object, to small puzzles. inside the puzzle itself (see the example of the key above). The game is extremely park of clues and this is good, it just gives the cue, then leaving us the task of deciphering them. But that's not all, because shortly before reaching the conclusion we experienced what will probably be one of the key mechanics of the game: the other part, another world, otherworld, call it whatever you like. This is a parallel dimension to ours that reflects a distorted view in which our actions will also affect reality - Silent Hill, do you know anything about it? It is accessed, as far as we could see, through a mirror but it is not clear if it will always be the same or there will be several scattered throughout the adventure. The most recent The Medium also exploited the "Alice through the looking glass" mechanic, so it's not really anything new, but given the potential threats that await us on the other side, we are curious to know how the developers they'll handle it.

Tormented Souls, Caroline automatically targets enemies even when they're down Tormented Souls stumbles more into the cutscenes, which reveal her low-budget nature, and the not exactly exceptional voice acting. We do not criticize the graphic sector in its entirety because the staging of the hospital, with its play of light and shadow, returns a very successful atmosphere. Nevertheless, when there are gaps from the gameplay to the video parts, the imperfections are noticed especially with regard to the character models. However, remember that this is a very small studio founded by a couple of people. While we can't ignore the drop in quality in this sense, it's still not the highlight when we think of old-school horror: the important thing is that the atmosphere, exploration and puzzles are rendered well, and so far the game has proven. to know how to get by. This is enough for us to recommend it to fans of the genre, with the recommendation to keep in mind who is developing it and the potential, especially economic. Don't expect the new 90s Resident Evil or Silent Hill but don't let certain imperfections stop you from trying it either.

Tormented Souls is a good project, driven by the best intentions in returning an old school experience enhanced by some more modern touches. While not brilliant from a graphic point of view, when it comes to movies, and not even in dubbing, the key elements seemed adequate: you have to carefully explore each area, solve puzzles ranging from the simple to the most elaborate, fight against creatures. strong nightmare of our nail gun and a mobility that is enough to our advantage. It is not perfect, it is not the heir of any of the great franchises of the past, but a chance deserves it all and we can't wait to find out in its entirety.


All the elements of an old-school survival horror The point and click management of the puzzles eliminates unnecessary steps The automatic aiming in combat helps to avoid the waste of shots. Have you noticed any errors?

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