Instantly it felt different from the previous game (you can check out the review of that here) whereas that one kinda threw you in at the deep end this one leads you by the hand as you go down the rabbit hole. You get an intro that details some plot relevant information, which I appreciate even though it does take away some of the mystery. Either way it definitely does its job well and you are introduced quickly and concisely to the various elements of the story and by the end of it you feel ready to jump right into the game.
The first note you come across brings back the tension and dread of the first one as it slowly builds its own complex reality. Something I really liked about the game is that it references itself but doesn’t assume a knowledge of the prior game, a very good element for a sequel. It also uses the sound and visuals perfectly to evoke genuine feelings of discomfort. And as you slowly collect notes that feeling builds.
I like that it takes place in the same setting as the first game, but how you enter it is different because it’s very analogous and real to how we actually dream, where the setting is often familiar but it doesn’t play out the same way because most people can’t control their dreams.
When you encounter someone who knows you everything gets scarier. Why shouldn’t you have returned? Who is this man? And more importantly who are THEY?
Also some of you who play it may recognise elements of inception in it but like way better and much less confusing. But seriously though inception jabs aside. In a few paragraphs of dialogue between yourself and the fellow traveller this game establishes a rich world you exist within and teases at danger without ruining anything, no threat of death but of something worse.
From a point of wanting to experience the story, I like that you can leave the building and actually explore the outside but from a point of not wanting to be killed I felt really anxious about leaving the relative safert of the building, which I think is another boon for the intense atmosphere the game builds.
The game overall is well designed and it uses the graphics really well, both understated and yet somehow deeply unsettling. But one part that slightly lets it down is that the pixel graphics make it hard, especially when you are outside to find objects, such as the pieces of paper you are supposed to collect. Its a small issue and doesn’t prevent you from enjoying the game but nonetheless it is something that impacts how you play. My suggestion is key a sharp eye on everything and if in doubt click at it with your mouse.
I really enjoyed this game, as I did the previous installment in the series, but If I am being completely honest I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first, or even the third game. it had a whole lot more puzzles and jump scares, which serve to keep you on your toes, and keep you engaged with the story but it just wasn’t quite as good as the original. However while I wasn’t necissarily a big fan of the increased puzzles and things like that, I did enjoy the complexity of the puzzles, It felt more deliberate and made progress through the game feel earned.
In closing, I think perhaps the best part of the game of the game was the despite the atmosphere of dread and tension you could get a surprisingly hopeful ending, assuming you make the right choices. Hint…watch out for tigers. But anyway I was throughly excited to go into this much Deeper Sleep, and I recommend you give this game a go if you haven’t already. So with all that in mind I think I’ll give it a 7/10 for a deeply impressive game that’s just missing that little something which would push it over the edge.
First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org