Game: Penumbra Overture

Penumbra: OvertureFinished Penumbra: Overture 2 days ago.

Played fully on Linux with Steam (native, no Windows Emulation).

You are at the search for the mysterious death of your father. He worked at some mining complex at Greenland and that is the place the game starts right with the entrance to the pit at the game’s cover. In the next 4 chapters you delve deeper and deeper to reveal the strange and frightening secrets of this place. Along your journey you find various items to use and even some weapons which you desperately need: this place is haunted by zombie-like dogs, gigantic worms and spiders the size of racoons. Eventually you discover excavations from alien origin and make contact to the sole survivor of this place: “Red” which apparently has gone mad.

As the game was created by Frictional Games the mechanics are very, very similar to Amnesia. This game is older and when playing you can see the polish the developers did to Amnesia.

Compared to Amnesia this game let’s you actually kill your enemies, though it is a though job. Which is sorta strange, since the game changes dramatically once you know how to kill all these dogs in the corridors. Then the dominant opponent turns into a “piece of cake” and what’s left are the riddles to solve. However getting a grip on these Zombie-Dogs is not an easy task and it takes you several (!) attempts to figure out how to get rid of them.

I can imagine why they dropped the possibility to kill enemies in Amnesia: here the game stops been frightening at this point.

The riddles in the game are of different qualities. Some are stupidly easy and for some you simply get false hints, which is bad. I remember myself in chapter 4 been chased by a big worm. The game tells you to ” … to seal that door”. Right then you find a crate on the right side. When I jumped up the crate I couldn’t reach the door mechanics, but the worm didn’t appear. So I thought I’m on the right place and tried over and over and over and over to get somewhere from that position. Wrong! I needed to simply push a button on the left side of the door! And sealing the door didn’t help either …

Such quirks appear occasionally in the game: game mechanics great, story telling nice, riddles range from childish to misleading.

Still, walking the strange mine renders some nice and creepy impressions, 7/10: 7 out of 10