The Chant: we tried a new survival that combines horror and new age

The Chant: we tried a new survival that combines horror and new age

The Chant

The horror adventure genre is one of the most successful over the years. Good news for fans, but it is true that the downside is being with a market that is quite saturated with similar products. For development teams who decide to embark on the development of a new game of this type, emerging and getting noticed is increasingly difficult: to do this, you need to create something original or, in case you want to take a more traditional path. , characterize your work with a distinctive trait.

The Chant, third person horror adventure developed by Brass Token and published by Prime Matter, opts for this option. During the Gamescom 2022 in Cologne we had the opportunity to play about forty minutes of this new horror adventure, arriving on PC, Xbox Series X / S and Playstation 5 on November 3, 2022: in our trial of The Chant, we tell you what has this horror adventure special.

History and setting

In The Chant, it all begins during a spiritual retreat that ended badly The story of The Chant begins when the protagonist Jess arrives on remote Glory Island, to participate in a spiritual retreat. To convince her was her best friend Kim of her, who found inner peace by following the advice of Tyler, guru of Prismatic Science. Jess arrives on the island, meets the other members of Glory's commune, and participates with all of them in a purification song. Something, however, goes terribly wrong: Kim seems to be possessed and the negative energy of the participants opens a door on the Gloom, a dark dimension made of horrors incomprehensible to mankind. During our test we have collected numerous collectibles, both in written form and in celluloid films, to be reproduced on some projectors scattered around the island. From what it turns out, Tyler inherited Glory Island and its commune from his parents and his father was the founder of this Prismatic Science that we hear about in the course of the adventure.

The demo played was littered with many clues, so many crumbs of bread that do not satisfy but, on the contrary, make you hungry. Because if from a gameplay point of view, which we will tell you shortly, The Chant seems very ordinary, its history and setting is clearly a tribute to the 70s slasher films and the union of the horror element with the material. new age is certainly fascinating. In a market that seems increasingly attracted to sci-fi horror settings, very often more wasted than valued, The Chant focuses on a very different atmosphere: more than horror, we are dealing with a balanced mix of action and survival, because there is no real fear in this game, but what is palpable is the constant tension and mystery.

Elements conveyed also by a graphic design that greatly enhances the scenarios: while the animations seem a little uncertain, with the movements of the bodies and faces of the protagonists somewhat linked, the island of Glory is really very beautiful, with luxuriant forests through which the rays of the moon filter.

Mind, Body and Spirit

To save himself, Jess will have to keep Mind, Body and Spirit in balance. Jess's stats that the player will need to monitor are essentially three indicators: Mind, Body and Spirit. Mind is Jess's ability to resist the horror of the Gloom, what is commonly referred to as sanity in Cthulhu-themed role-playing games; the more Jess is exposed to horror, the more it diminishes. When Jess's mind is totally drained, the protagonist falls victim to panic attacks, losing her ability to attack and finding herself helpless prey that will perish at the first blow inflicted on her by an enemy. The only way to survive a panic attack is to find a safe place and wait for it to pass, let Jess breathe and regain control of herself. To alleviate the sufferings of the mind, the protagonist can use lavender, which allows to regain clarity, or meditate, a quick action that Jess can perform anywhere by drawing on the indicator of the Spirit; it is not possible to regain mental health through meditation during a panic attack.

During a panic attack, Jess is more exposed and weak The Body stat is the more traditional health, which will drop when Jess gets hurt . Physical attacks mainly weaken her, and to heal her body, Jess will have to consume ginger. Finally, the Spirit is the inner energy, which the protagonist can draw on to find mental stability but above all to perform psychic attacks. As already mentioned, by meditating Jess can empty the Spirit bar to fill her Mind bar but, in doing so, she remains devoid of energy to launch psychic attacks, essential for some fights. This kind of techniques are mostly remote and allow, like those seen in the demo, to slow down time for a few seconds or generate a shock wave that injures or unbalances enemies. To recharge her Spirit, Jess will need to access Spirit Stones, green-colored crystals scattered throughout the Isle of Glory, while to learn new psychic attacks, she will have to free her companions from the negative energy they carry with them. . By collecting the Prismatic Crystals instead, the player can enhance Jess's abilities, both passive and offensive; to do this you need to turn on the game menu and choose which Jess skill to improve.

Combat system and enemies

Jess can defend himself in different ways from the attacks of the Gloom The Brass Token team he also managed to thematize the combat system with new age elements which, as we have already mentioned, includes psychic attacks, but not only. In fact, in Jess's arsenal, in addition to the attacks that can be performed by drawing on the Spirit, there are also weapons for hand-to-hand combat, decidedly original. In the Weapon Wheel we saw a lot of empty spaces, having access during the demo only to four items: sage sticks to burn, incendiary branches, salt and essential oil. The first two are lit and brandished by the protagonist as if they were sidearms, while salt and oil are thrown in handfuls and block the enemies for a few seconds.

The use of salt and oil is very important, not only because they are the only tools that the player has to interrupt an enemy attack, but also for the synergy with other weapons. For example, sprinkling an enemy with oil and then hitting it with an incendiary branch, will increase the damage inflicted. It is also important to learn the type of weapons, which are divided by what we could see in the demo, in sacred, fire and occult. To understand which weapon is the most appropriate to use in combat, it is also necessary to know a little about the bestiary of The Chant, consulting it in the main menu to keep in mind the weak points of the creatures that live in the Gloom. From here we will know if a particular monster is more vulnerable to psychic or physical attacks, and in the latter case to which category.

Game world

The Isle of Glory is full of pitfalls The Glory map is characterized by a central area, the commune, around which satellite areas such as the mine or the cannery are arranged. While the paths explored in the mine seemed a bit too linear, the paths in the woods we found them much more challenging in terms of level design. On more than one occasion we found ourselves backtracking, opening shortcuts, searching for keys, all while the Gloom monstrosities hounded Jess relentlessly. This evil entity presents itself in two distinct ways: the first is through the presence of enemies while in the second case, the Gloom invades our dimensional plane. Once the entity settles in an area, that area is populated by monstrous creatures and a heavy colored haze hangs in the air: only by defeating particular sprawling blooms can the Gloom be driven out. Approaching these plants is very dangerous for Jess, so the "disinfestation" of an area must be done quickly (because when you are immersed in its air Jess loses mental health) but also with planning and safety.

Le monstrous manifestations of the Gloom are many In reality, prudence is what will really save the player because, as we anticipated at the beginning, The Chant is not scary but the survival element is very marked. Let's not hide it: we have died several times before coming to the conclusion that not all monsters have to be killed. Escape is sometimes the best weapon at our disposal, and indeed, unless Jess is forced to, avoiding combat and sowing enemies is perhaps the best strategy. We reached this conclusion in the middle of our test session, after consuming lavender, ginger, sage, salt and all the other items at our disposal. Soon it is realized that the medicinal plants with which Jess creates the weapons and heals her wounds are not so abundant, and to survive it is necessary to manage the resources possessed by the protagonist. This aspect of course is what must be evaluated through a longer test because, to date, we cannot know if this is the real balance of the game or if it depends on the version we played, which would not seem strange to us since most of the demos present at the fair never reflect the final result of the game. What we can focus on instead is the feedback of commands and action phases, which are pleasant without being unforgettable. We have never encountered any bugs but, as mentioned, some animations seem a bit woody.

The Chant has all it takes to be a truly different experience than usual. We very much appreciated the game's new age drift which, combined with the horror and survival element, give it its originality. The rest of the elements that make up the gameplay are rather ordinary but well executed; leaving out some creaky animation, the title looks good.


Original setting and story Game elements contextualized in the new age theme DOUBTS Some animation a bit woody Balance of the survival component to evaluate Have you noticed any errors?

Powered by Blogger.