Sunday, 29 May 2016

The Park Review (Xbox One)

Billed as a horror come psycological drama, you'd be forgiven in thinking that the games message just before starting of "best played in the dark while wearing headphones" would be true, but alas, it's a far cry from Outlast's attempts to shove your face against the wall repeatedly while telling you you'll never get out alive.

Unfortunately, The Park suffers from a split personality, one minute being a melodramatic comedy horror clichè and the next (or rather the endgame) being a 1980's horror throwback, without the endless gore or rampant sexual prowess. The story centres around a mother having lost her son in a theme park in her local town. Where she blames herself constantly for her "failings" as a mother, whilst being haunted by a giant Chipmunk called Chad (the real park's mascott). Not only that the personification of what appears to be her conscience.

Not even riding the rollercoaster or a trip around the tunnel of tales can improve her spirits, which I have to admit, are wonderfully written in to her psychosis pretty well, using a beloved childrens story to highlight her insecurities. Although, alot of the scares come from cheap jump tricks and loose their punch quickly. Add to this the fact the game can be finished in under 2hours at the full 1000G also, you'll be wondering why it's so short.

The story is a little dry and a tiny bit stale for the horror genre, but you quickly forget that whilst playing as some parts are so unbelivably funny, you'll fall in love with it. Saying that, it isn't a game you'll want to replay, as it is with quite a few recent story driven titles on the market.

Graphically, it isn't bad for £10.39, there's a lot worse out there in the price bracket. It even uses the graphics well to contemplate a dark mood around the park and even uses it to show the protagonists descent in to further madness. The atmosphere created by this is the best part of the game. Does get a tiny bit annoying when her heart beats after seeing something "scary" though, as the controller beats along with it.

Coupled together with the sound and you have a competent horror backdrop. The music goes more along the lines of a psychological thriller and actually compliments the story more than the park itself.

The story is a little flat in places and at times it can be difficult to care about Callum or his mum (think Jason in Heavy Rain). It is everything else that makes the game worth the play. If you're in to horror games like Outlast, then The Park will be too tame for you. Add to it the fact it's short and has no "real" enemies or threats and you discover why the story can get boring quickly.

Overall - 2/5
Graphics - 3/5
Sound - 2.5/5
Storyline - 2/5
Completion time - 1/5

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