Penumbra: Black Plague

The pretty great-looking Penumbra: Overture is now getting a sequel, which looks pretty neat. Destructoid has the scoop (as well as a video), and there is more info at the official site. I don’t have a PC and thus wasn’t able to play the full version of Overture, but the demo seemed very neat. I liked how the developers used physics to force the player to actually perform actions within the game world; that seems like it could be an interesting axis for horror, and the trailer for the sequel seems to really play that aspect up (analog control over doors, etc).

3 thoughts on “Penumbra: Black Plague

  1. overture really was a good game – hopefully they’ll adapt it for mac so you can play it some time, or, at least, borrow a friend’s pc! it’s not a terrifying game, but is effectively creepy, and there are certain scenes (or possible gameplay experiences) which will/can give you real scares. i can only suggest, if you ever do play it – only rely on combat as a last resort. they made fighting intentionally difficult in the game, and subsequently i avoided combat to the greatest degree possible… but i know that many other players just shrugged and adapted to the awkward combat controls, and committed genocide on whichever they ran into. the problem with this is that a great deal of tension and potential fear is removed if you do things like they did – i honestly think the game was designed to discourage combat, and it’s a richer experience if you try to sneak and flee rather than fight. it keeps you feeling terribly… fragile, mortal.

    and, yeah, combine this with the physics of controlling the environment, as you mentioned, and it’s able to result in some neat experiences… like ACTUALLY trying to hold a door closed, when a monster on the other side is struggling to open it! 😀

    as a side note: technically, this isnt a “sequel,” but a new “episode” (well, take that as you will, heh). Penumbra was the only other game i know of which tried to work with the episodic-gaming concept that Half Life 2 introduced. much like Half Life 2, Penumbra was supposed to come in three episodes… but i guess they decided to limit it to two. =(

  2. Yeah, a 3 parter cut down to 2 halves because of some legal dispute with the developer’s previous publishers. So another casualty in the fad (we can admit it now) that was/is ‘episodic gaming’. Seemed like a great idea at the time, but if the big names like Valve couldn’t achieve something that even they deemed simple, what hope is there for anyone else?

    Telltale Games have got it right with Sam & Max Seasons 1 and 2. That said, they did experiment with Bone beforehand and learnt from their mistakes. They also seem to heavily plan ahead for just about anything. Of course, no-one else usually has that chance for a second go, especially with a well loved franchise.

    On a side note, Penumbra should have really been one game in the end. I liked it, but it didn’t grab me like it should have between the horror and the constant hiding. I will play this just to see how it all wraps up though!

    I really enjoyed Penumbra. It’s a pretty well crafted game with amazing graphics and a solid engine. The only down points is being unable to save whenever I want (auto-save points)
    But the rest… Is a very good game.

    Oh, and you’re going to get Dementium: The Ward? It’s an horror for the DS. Not one of the best, but pretty neat

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