Are you a big fan of all-time classics, horror-survival games like the Fatal Frame, Silent Hill, or Resident Evil? Do you want to try something new but still preserve that old school vibe? If the answer is yes, then Song of Horror is the one for you.
What makes Song of Horror stand out from other mainstream competitors is the creation of an A.I. supernatural force in the game. Thanks to this capability, this dark entity can actively learn and adapt based on player’s choices and movements, then respond back to it. Sounds scary, right?
Well, at least for me because I don’t have that confidence to consider myself smarter than a creepy A.I. entity. Yet, I can’t deny the fact that this is an interesting concept and will definitely give you a terrifying time playing.
Alert: this Song of Horror review will include screen captures which may reveal part of its content. It also has my personal opinions about the game, so I hope you keep an open mind about it and enjoy reading.
When danger comes from unexpected thing
Song of Horror story is about the vanishment of a famous writer Sebastian P. Husher and his family. The music box which the writer bought home turns out to be the main cause of this incident.
This brings to life a dangerous dark force called “The Presence” – an A.I. entity that is just as smart as human. Realizing the abnormal absence of the writer, the sales-manager Etienne Bertrand sends his assistant (whose name is Daniel Noyer) to Sebastian’s mansion to figure out what is going on.
There’s no turning back:
From here, you will be able to explore the mansion with your choice of characters. There are more than 3 characters in Song of Horror for you to choose from. Yet, here’s the thing: once you die, it means the game is over for that character. Permanently dead, I would say.
And unfortunately, you have to start new in another character to continue the quest. But worry not if your favorite one is gone and you are afraid to start collecting items all over again. It’s because you still can pick up things from where you left off. When your previous character dies, the inventory will still be there for new characters to recollect later on.
Despite the hate towards this permadeath function and the trouble it may bring, it is actually an interesting game mechanic. Thanks to this, you need to try your best in overcoming every challenge so that you will not use up all your few lives and lose the game.
But if one character fails, you still have chances to continue the adventure with a whole new experience. Which, depending on your next chosen character. Each character in Song of Horror has its own tools and stats, which further adds to the entertainment of the game.
For example, if you’re the housekeeper, you will have certain equipment which allows you to enter the mansion safely when others do not. This helps a lot in avoiding the attention of the dark entity. Moreover, based on the demographic of each character, there will be different stats.
These stats can be considered whether as strengths or weaknesses. Such numbers are the degree of speed, stealth, strength, and serenity of the character. And all these random things in Song of Horror may help you escape from the terrifying claws of The Presence, or send you straight to death.
Faulty QTEs, but promptly fixed
Aside from the above, I find the interaction mechanics of Sound of Horror are quite decent. You will not likely encounter many difficulties understanding or following the instructions either. This is because its designs are straightforward and simple to grasp (like press E to push the door or press M to open the map).
These mechanics allow you to explore and interact with different objects. Which brings to us a more holistic experience towards the game environment. One small notice is that this game does not involve the usage of any weapons. But, it requires you to solve puzzles instead.
Like some of the horror survival classics, Song of Horror provides different types of puzzles for you to solve. Most of them are very cryptic in general. And it will not be an easy task to solve the puzzles when the given clues are not that informative. Some players even consider these puzzles as unnecessary since it merely makes any sense.
Often enough, many have complained of having problems interacting with game elements due to the lagging QTEs. Yet, this issue has noticeably improved in the latest episode. And as a result, the system is more responsive and the interaction has got drastically smoother. Not all players encounter this issue. So, do not panic, just lay back and enjoy the game.
Another feature which I really like from Song of Horror is the function of The Presence. It is just exactly like what its name is about: to always be there around you. Since The Presence is an A.I., you’ll be surprised by how it responds and takes control in this game.
A danger present in one place will never occur the same a second time. This concept definitely generates a lot of mental tension. When you will always be in this distressed state-of-mind, and scared of being caught.
The only way to avoid this bad luck is to listen carefully to the sound behind each door before twisting the doorknob. Because who knows, whether or not, The Presence is waiting for you behind that door. In short, everything in this game is highly unexpected. You will be driven from one surprise to another. Which makes the Song of Horror gameplay more enjoyable with unforgettable feelings.
Spectacular graphics and audio
Unlike games such as Tattletail where jump scares are almost everywhere, Song of Horror does not have much of it. However, the unremitting anxiety and spine-chilling feelings you will soon experience in Song of Horror are built by its surrounding environment.
The background music is spooky yet cinematic, combining with unusual blood-curling sounds (such as the sudden sound of scratches, TV playing, kid running, etc.) can really get your knees knocking.
Finally is an applause for a well-designed game with beautiful graphics. Song of Horror has all of that high quality, sophisticated graphics. It shows the amount of effort and investment of the creators on the game.
One small flaw that can be ignored is the character design. Their facial expressions look somewhat uncomfortable, especially Daniel. It is not terrible, however, it does look unpleasant in my opinion. Besides all that, this is totally an atmospheric game!
Song of Horror release date was on the 31st of October 2019 for the first two episodes. Continuing the success, Raiser Game published episode 3 on the 13th of December 2019 while the 4th one was on the 30th of January 2020.
The last episode was released on the market just recently (28th of May 2020) and the “Complete Edition” is expected to be available on PS4 and Xbox One from the end of October this year. You can get your own now for only $29.99.
Carried by all the surprises, I was shocked by how well the developer made this game. From gameplay to graphic, I would say that this game will give you an equally (if not more) satisfying experience just like House on The Hill or Contemp. By all that matters, Song of Horror is definitely a game that you should try!