The Unknown City (Horror Begins Now…..Episode 1) Review

At this point, Honor_And_Duty:_Arcade_Edition has been the worst PlayStation Network game of all time, for quite few years. As its amateurish nature, catastrophic execution, and the general lack of effort on the part of the developer, has led to a creation of something truly special, something so troubling, that it haunts all who played it to this day. And many including me, have never even dreamed of a game who could even match it, let alone topple it from its rather undesirable pedestal. However, the day of reckoning has finally come, as the recently released, and aptly named The Unknown City (Horror Begins Now…..Episode 1), has decimated the legacy of Honor_And_Duty:_Arcade_Edition, and beaten to the title of the worst PlayStation 4 game of all time.

Honor_And_Duty was a catastrophe in all sense of the word, as the title in question was simply rotten to the core. However, despite of its lack of quality, or even sense, the poor excuse of a World War II simulation featured all the basics such as a complete menu, tools & tips, and even the media bar icon. And unfortunately, The Unknown City (Horror Begins Now…..Episode 1) lacks all those, as seemingly the developer behind it simply couldn’t be bothered to implement any of the basics.

When you first download the surprisingly large data file of over 1.7GB, you’ll notice that The Unknown City (Horror Begins Now…..Episode 1), unlike the 99.99% of all PlayStation 4 titles, does not feature a media bar icon. As instead of featuring a highly polished 500×500 image, showcasing the title in the best possible way, the developer has opted for a simple, morphed and corrupted in-game screenshot, which ironically enough exposes The Unknown City (Horror Begins Now…..Episode 1) for what it is, and it is a complete shambles of the utmost degree. And in truth, the media bar image which the studio has used tells you all you need to know, about this rather depressing product.

From the splash-screens, all the way down to the final credits, The Unknown City (Horror Begins Now…..Episode 1) does not feature a single redeemable feature. As it is a soul-destroying house of horrors, which exists just to drive you insane. As every single portion of this particular game is so incredibly underwhelming, that it makes pre-alpha tech demos of early access titles look like AAA products. And as a whole, it feels like the developer behind it has simply sourced a handful of low-quality assets, stuck them on top of a shaky, pre-made code, and called it a day. As both visually and mechanically, The Unknown City (Horror Begins Now…..Episode 1) does not even come close to the worst of the worst, of not just the previous generation, but even the one before it.

When you get past The Unknown City (Horror Begins Now…..Episode 1)’s poor excuse of a main menu, you will then be transferred straight into what the developers assume to be the quote-on-quote main experience, but before you’ll have chance to get horrified by the title’s gameplay, you’ll first have to watch a cutscene. And personally, I’m not quite certain if you could even call that a cutscene, as in reality, it is just a pre-rendered sequence, running at about 10 frames per seconds, and all its showcases is a PlayStation 2 era car, with the word Police written on the back of it in arial. The car itself has no textures whatsoever, as besides the writing on the back it is completely black. And to top it all of, it floats slightly above the road, and its wheels are completely static.

The introductory sequence of The Unknown City (Horror Begins Now…..Episode 1) is absolutely tragic. It is like a Renaissance painting made with trash, as the longer you stare at it, the more flaws you begin to notice, and if not for the ability to skip it, it could be seen as the worst portion of the game as a whole. But fortunately for it, the title’s ”gameplay” beats it by a country mile. As it incorporates all of the visual flaws of the title’s intro, with an abundance of catastrophic gameplay elements, and a selection of downright game design choices, which would even baffle the worst of the worst, of videogame development.

First of all, The Unknown City (Horror Begins Now…..Episode 1) is the ugliest game on the Sony’s platform and it is not even close. And it is not just about horrendous textures which pierce your eyes inside out, but also the laughter inducing firearm models which for the most part do not resemble their icons, as AK-47 uses a blank model of an MP5. No, it is about the fact that only few guns in the entirety of this rather short game feature any form of texturing. As guns such as the Desert Eagle, M4, SCAR-L, and PDW are completely blank, or blacked out – meaning that the developer has simply purchased some low-end models, and since they did not come with textures, he/she has implemented them in the game as is. And sure, some guns do come with complete textures, but those are just as ugly as the rest of the title, and only further prove that The Unknown City (Horror Begins Now…..Episode 1) is nothing more than an asset flip.

The Unknown City (Horror Begins Now…..Episode 1), will not impress anyone with its visuals. But without shadow of a doubt, it will floor everybody with its impressive technical performance, as it most operates are roughly ten frames per second. And in general it feels more like a slideshow on crack, rather than a video game. And while in most instances low frame-rate  could be seen as a negative, it ultimately works in favor of The Unknown City (Horror Begins Now…..Episode 1), as it masks the title’s horrendous animations, and for the most parts it obscures the fact that the in-game avatar struggles incredibly with walking in any other direction than forward.

Now that we have established that The Unknown City (Horror Begins Now…..Episode 1) visuals and the technical framework are both vomit inducing it is time to discuss the title’s gameplay, and once and for all close this rather unfortunate book. And while usually the best is always left for last, it is not in this particular case, as The Unknown City (Horror Begins Now…..Episode 1)’s gameplay is just as poor as its visuals and the technical framework combined. As for one, it features a control scheme which would baffle anybody who has ever touched a console game in their entire life, and in addition to that, the core mechanics which simply boil-down to aiming with the right stick, and firing with R2 are so erratic and inaccurate, that they make Homefront 2 look like the successor to Counter-Strike. And ultimately, those two factors come together to form an incredibly unpleasant and frankly depressing experience, which should be avoided by all who value their sanity.

To conclude, all that really has to be said about The Unknown City (Horror Begins Now…..Episode 1), is that it is the worst game to ever appear on the PlayStation Store. And it is so incredibly shambolic, that it could easily challenge the now infamous Slaughtering Grounds. As just like the abomination created by the now defunct Digital Homicide, The Unknown City (Horror Begins Now…..Episode 1) is simply a poor asset flip, designed to catfish customers looking for a cheap and easy shooter to play. And personally, I can’t quite understand how PlayStation has even allowed this to ever be sold on their storefront, as this particular game is simply an affront, to all honest and genuine indie developers, who unlike Yash Future Tech Solutions Pvt Ltd, have invested blood, sweat, and tears into their products.

Bonus Stage Rating - Terrible 1/10

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@bonusstage.co.uk.

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