Losing any of my senses is a huge fear of mine and I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be blind. The horrors of the unknown world around you and the constant darkness that never goes away. We take sight and all of our other senses for granted and we don’t ever wonder what it would be like if they all just went away. Well, what if you never got to experience the wonders of sight? Would you still live in a world of unknown horrors? Or would it be even worse?
Perception is a first-person physiological horror narrative driven title developed by the folks at The Deep End Games and published by Feardemic. It tells the story of Cassie, a blind teenager who travels to an abandoned mansion that thrives in her nightmares. However, this mansion is more than she ever expected and provides more nightmares than her dreams perceived. The story revolves around Cassie traveling throughout the house searching the epicenter of her visions. However, the horror of the past still thrives in the house and there is an evil presence in the air. Beware as your fears can be your downfall and impede your progress.
The gameplay mechanics of Perception are very interesting due to the fact that Cassie is blind. Perception is very similar to games like Outlast were the protagonist runs around some abandoned building searching for clues and evading the creep of the month that wants them dead. Throw in a couple of jumps scares every few minutes and you got yourself a horror title…Tada. However, Perception uses Cassie’s blindness to impede the player and give you a few more challenges. First off, Cassie uses echolocation to discover her surroundings. So, for you to see anything you must strike Cassie’s cane against the ground, wall, or any other surface to try and reveal as much of the room as possible. This is the only way to really traverse the estate without literally running into walls over and over again. It is an interesting concept, but be warned, as making too much noise agitates the Presence, a mysterious and ghostly being, and causes it to chase you down. The only way to avoid the Presence is to find the nearest hiding spot and wait it out. The title also provides you with an outline of an object or doorway every once and a while to keep you going in the right direction. I feel that this is helpful for times whenever you get really lost, but it happens so often that it takes away from the need to explore and I feel that the game holds your hand a bit too much.
When it comes to the visuals of this title, there really isn’t much to say as if you are playing the game to its fullest potential, you will be staring at a black screen for a majority of the game. However, when Cassie does slam her cane onto the ground like she is Gandalf in the first Lord of the Rings movie, the room lights up like a beautiful Christmas tree. The detail when the echolocation pulse is activated is stellar and crisp. Plus, due to some certain plot points throughout the story, the layout of the mansion changes around at the beginning of every chapter. This provides you with new dead ends and different pathways to travel down, so you do not get bored of the game area over and over again. The visuals are really cool, but unless you are smacking that cane on the ground like it’s a pogo stick, you will not be seeing the world around you that much. The sounds, however; were on a different spectrum altogether. The sounds and listening to the environment played a substantial role in the game and really brought together the idea that Cassie had heightened sense due to her inability to see. The noises were eerie and every creek and crack the house made while traveling through it, just made the game a bit spookier. You also had various clues that were only known through sound. Things like a door opening, the wind blowing, or a new objective appearing were mostly sound cue and you could miss them if you hadn’t been listening when they went off. The sounds, like they should have, brought this game together and really put you in Cassie’s shoes.
Now unlike most games, Perception has been taking me a while to get through. The overall story only takes around four hours, while beating the game took me about a month to actually finish it. While a lot of that time was me just sitting on it and not playing it, I did have a few issues that made me want to put this game down. First off, during the first chapter of the game, I encountered a bug that didn’t allow me to complete an objective and it caused me to restart the game entirely to fix it. I have not found much on this issue to say it is widespread, but it did happen to me. It was an easy fix, so I gave the game the benefit of the doubt. However, when I loaded up chapter four, the final chapter, I ran into a glitch that I know a lot of people have seen. The house that you spawn in is missing most of the interior walls and a variety of the flooring on the second floor is missing as well. This was a complete immersion buster as I felt that the game was incomplete at the time. How did the game get through testing when half the geometry in the level is missing? Was the game rushed at the end and thus the bug was born? I asked myself these questions and couldn’t believe that this was happening. I was having fun with the game, but being able to just walk to every objective without the penalty of navigating the maze-like structure the house usually provides was nothing and I just was not enjoying the finale of Perception. To add to this, one of the objectives are on the second floor and it is in a room where the flooring is missing. So, you need to do some Daredevil parkour shit so Cassie can grab the object while she is falling through the floor. This was not game-breaking as I could finish the game, but it was really an annoyance. Plus, the final chapter was about half the length of the rest of the chapter, which gave me the idea that it was rushed even more.
I personally really enjoyed the game, when it wasn’t crashing or bugging out, and I would recommend it to people who enjoy horror titles and walking simulators alike. I do stress though that you might want to wait for the title to go on sale or they patch the final chapter. It is a travesty that a good game gets plagued with issues that turn people away from it.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review
Final Score: 6.5/10
Player2Reviews aims to be a reputable second opinion on the gaming industry covering news, reviews, and commentary on all things pop-culture!
All 3DS Batman #BreakdownsAndBrews DLC Giveaways Google Play Hardware IOS/Android Late Night Netflix Let's Play Movies News Nintendo Nintendo Switch Original PC Player2Plays Preview PS4 PS5 PS Vita Review Reviews Steam Submissions #TBTReview Trailers Twitch Unboxing Video Games Xbox Xbox One Xbox Series X/S Youtube