DeadTruth: The Dark Path Ahead isn’t what you would call an original game, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good one. Inspired by games like Outlast and Amnesia, DeadTruth takes mechanics from both games and tries to give its own unique story and setting. The game is by no means perfect, but if you’re a fan of first person horror with limited light and creepy monsters, then this is a game for you.
The story isn’t fully told at first, but thankfully the character’s thoughts and the notes you find, help paint the mystery of what’s going on. The game is episodic and, so far, only one episode has come out, but it’s quite a long one that provides intense moments. You play as a character who is down on his luck ever since his wife and parents died. To make matters worse, your brother has gone missing, and you set out to find out what’s going on in an abandoned house where he disappeared. You find the place abandoned and in ruins, with strange sounds, eerie shadows, and papers detailing some not-to-pleasant things happening during what is described as “an accident”. Many notes detail how people begin to lose their sanity, and this helps mix the gameplay’s sanity meter that brings story and gameplay together. Over time, you’ll find monsters, and hints of darker secrets, that keep the mystery interesting. It’s not as good as Outlast and Amnesia, but it does a good job of keeping up the spirit of the two games.
The game borrows many elements from Outlast and Amnesia, so players familiar with those games will easily get into the controls and mechanics. Both games are 1) in the first person, 2) take place in a dark setting with monsters running around, and 3) feature very little ways to defend yourself – which forces you to run and hide from enemies. However, there are separate elements as well. From Outlast, you have the familiar camera that acts as a zoom and night vision that allows you to see into the darkness. The character records his thoughts and collects files detailing experiments and funded secrets. Plus, the setting is very familiar to the first game’s asylum.
From Amnesia, you have the puzzle solving exercise from the first game that requires you to backtrack, store items, and find clues to solve them. You have an inventory system where you can save multiple items. Best of all, the sanity meter has returned and letting your sanity go lower will make the game look and feel different as you play. There are also all sorts of monsters around that give off a supernatural feel to the game, including the invisible water monsters.
The biggest criticism is the lack of originality. While the game does use the popular elements of these games to its full potential, it lacks the sense to give its own. The only thing that stands out that seems original are the traps that you must solve to move on, and the fact that you can kill the enemies in the game unlike the other two. (If what I read is correct, I haven’t figured out how to do this yet).
The graphics of the game are average, but the lighting and shadows are very well done. The game has very little light and you’ll need to use your camera a lot to see where you are going. Things can get intense when one of the monsters is chasing after you, and you don’t know where it is or where to run to safety. The game does well on the details for the objects in the game, most of which can be moved and placed in different locations. Personally, I found the computer access to be the best detail of the game’s graphics. It feels and acts like a real computer. It’s a good touch to the game as it allows you to access files, search information, and read data that might hold further clues. The music helps the scary mood the game gives you. It knows when to be quiet and when to be theatric at the right times, helped by the fact that the ambient sounds are what keeps you guessing if something is after you or not.
Despite feeling like a carbon copy of two very successful horror games, DeadTruth: The Dark Path Ahead is still a good game. It does mix the right elements and, while it may lack much originality, we may still see that in the future episodes of the game. If you’re a fan of Outlast, Amnesia, or horror games like them, you should give this one a shot.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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