Video Game Review

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  • Platform: PS2, Xbox
  • ESRB: Mature
  • Genre: Survival-Horror/Shooter
  • Publisher: Midway
  • Developer: Surreal Software
  • Suggested Retail: $49.99
  • Graphics: B+
  • Sound: A
  • Gameplay: B+
  • Replay: B
  • Fun Factor: A
  • Reviewer's Wild Card: A+


Fast-paced survival horror, but is it worth your time?

By James Stevenson     March 24, 2004

When Stan Winston gets involved in a game, people will pay attention. Besides his involvement, THE SUFFERING is a game that lives up to the reputation of the people working on it. It plays well, offers alternate endings, gives gamers a choice of action, and is creepy as hell.

The beginning of the game centers on a convict sent to prison for murdering his family. The main story point in the game revolves around whether or not you actually did kill your family, a fact that will be revealed based upon the choices you make as you play.

The cinematics work well to introduce the story, and then people start dying. You're freed, with only a sword to work with. The game features great surround sound, and as you're running through the darkened hallways there are cries, gunfire and other strange noises surrounding you and increasing the intensity.

You are allowed to play from third-person or first-person aspect and the controls are unlike most other survival horror games. Instead of relying on tricks and shoddy camera angles to provide cheap scares, the game gives you full control over the camera and movement. Your character moves surprisingly well and its part of the reason that the game works so well.

Gameplay doesn't present too many challenges. Most of the puzzles aren't fairly complicated and are straightforward. The enemies too are not that hard to beat, although they are quite a bit more intelligent than the shuffling zombies in the RESIDENT EVIL series (although not ever quite as terrifying as the zombie dogs).

Shining through as a highlight in the game is the ability to choose to do certain things. You can execute someone in a gas chamber, or set them free. During their plea for help you might have a sort of flashback to one of your children yelling "help me daddy" or something to that nature. Your choices determine whether or not you are to blame for the crime. It adds something to the game and gives gamers a reason to play through again.

The graphics


also add to the game as the dark and moody prison, as well as excellent character designs and animation, lend realism to the game. The prison feels like a real place as you fight your way out of it, and the creepy creations of Stan Winston are enough to creep out the hardest of hardcore RESIDENT EVIL or SILENT HILL gamers.

The previously mentioned sound really makes the environment. This is a game that needs to be played on Surround Sound (Pro Logic) or with a good set of headphones. It needs to be loud in the room, and it needs to be dark. It should be like any good horror movie.

If there's any complaint is that the game feels a little too repetitive. But that said it's still a sound shooter, with great atmosphere. You don't have to SUFFER to play this one. I'd recommend it for any survival horror or action fan.



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