Reviews - Updated on April 14, 2022

There are very few games with blind protagonists, but offhand you can recall at least one – Beyond Eyes, released two years ago. Although this cute story of a girl turned out to be a painfully slow and sometimes boring adventure, there was at least one interesting idea in it – the heroine heard sounds and imagined some objects, and when approaching them, they turned out to be something completely different. The stalled car, for example, was actually a lawnmower. Unfortunately, the horror Perception has nothing to offer.Perception game review

Here the heroine will have to spend several hours.

Blue frost

Here, the blind heroine sees absolutely everything around her, once hitting the floor or table with her cane. If she doesn’t knock non-stop, the room becomes dark again and she has to perform the monotonous action one more time. How it works is not entirely clear, and, frankly, it looks very strange, as if the girl suffers not only from blindness, but also from periodic memory loss. And it would be nice if the objects in the locations somehow moved, but no – if the heroine stands motionless, then everything else does not disappear.

If we put aside these mechanics, which the authors clearly considered the main feature of their project, Perception is a banal “walking simulator” with horror elements. The heroine named Cassie finds herself in a creepy house in New England, which has been inhabited by ghosts over the years. I won’t talk about the plot in detail, since the passage requires no more than three hours, but most of the time is spent exploring all kinds of objects and listening to poorly written dialogues and monologues.

And while others are rapidly evolving and offering unusual new ideas (as was the case with the delightful What Remains of Edith Finch), the developers of Perception decided to copy the early representatives of the genre and add a pinch of misplaced innovations. The idea with the blind heroine sounded interesting, and it was probably the one that attracted many who donated money to Kickstarter, but in the end it was implemented just like an idiot. The player is forced not only to wander around the house, but also to constantly knock with a cane on all objects in a row, so as not to end up in pitch darkness.

Thanks to the chosen style (what happens looks exactly like the detective mode in the Batman: Arkham series), all objects are painted in bluish tones, so you never see any bright colors here. Apparently, that’s why the creators of Perception decided to mix the usual “walking simulator” with horror – from time to time a terrible ghost begins to hunt for Cassie. His aggressiveness depends on how often the heroine makes loud noises – if you knock with a cane without stopping, he will soon pay attention and fly in. Escaping from him is very simple – just find a shelter (a box, a bathtub with a curtain, or a large picture) and hide there for a few seconds.

At the same time, such interactive objects are highlighted in green, even if Cassie is several meters away from them. The same thing happens with doors, some of which do not open immediately. Such a decision makes the presence of a blind heroine an even more pointless idea: how does she, having entered the room and knocked on the carpet, understand what is where and what can be interacted with? And why on earth does she see ghosts and feel their presence, so much so that the screen is flooded with red?

Perception game review

Of course, you can’t do without a room with children’s toys.

Terribly boring

And the developers’ attempts to scare have never been successful. Loud sounds, sharp camera turns – we have seen all this a thousand times in horror. The actress who voiced Cassie tries to escalate the atmosphere with emotional cries, but this does not have any effect on the perception at all – everything sounds too strained and theatrical. Sometimes the phrases she uttered are repeated in a distorted voice after a couple of seconds, but this is more amusing than inspiring fear. At some points, you clearly understand what the authors were trying to achieve, but their ideas simply do not work in such a game.

Although this can be said about all the other components of Perception. And there is a feeling that the developers themselves understood this, and therefore, by pressing a separate button, you can direct Cassie’s gaze in the right direction at any time. That is, the player is literally pointed with a finger where to go next. Of course, no one forces you to use it, but the heroine travels through a relatively large house, and not a linear corridor, so it’s easy to get confused in it. Yes, and the color palette, because of which it is often difficult to navigate in space, quickly becomes boring.

And it would be nice if the plot was interesting, but the project cannot boast of this dignity either. The game covers various time periods – from very recent events to what happened several centuries ago, and therefore there are a lot of all kinds of audio diaries and interactive objects in the house. For obvious reasons, Cassie cannot read, so when she finds notes, she uses the DELPHI program on her smartphone. If you missed what the “robot” said, run the application again, as they don’t allow you to read what is written on the piece of paper on your own.

Although it is unlikely that anyone will want to do this, because due to the attempts of the authors to convey to the player as much information as possible, he will not be interested in this until the finale. Some doctors, some relatives, some events – everything is boring and ordinary. And this is strange, because the authors of the original BioShock participated in the development, where each diary was part of a larger universe and told great stories. In Perception, there is not a single minor character who would be at least a little interested. Even their names are forgotten instantly.

In addition, despite the efforts of the actors to bring their characters to life, the dialogue here is absolute mediocrity. Cassie’s constant sighs and panic attacks are especially depressing, and the creators did not like their own work so much that they allow the heroine’s monologues to be turned off before the start of the passage and leave only replicas important for the plot. The option, of course, is commendable and will probably come in handy for someone, but adding it to the story “walking simulator” (even if it tries to seem like a horror for some reason) is a paradoxical solution.

Perception game review

Opportunities to hide from the monster are hard to miss.

***

It’s funny that, with all the many shortcomings of Perception, the developers fulfilled the promises given on Kickstarter. The abandoned house is there, the haunting ghosts are there, the heroine using her “extraordinary hearing” is present. But how it all will be connected with each other, few people thought. And it is very difficult to understand what the developers wanted to say with this project. If other authors come up with fascinating stories and make the characters memorable (even if they are only mentioned in notes), here the creators tried to keep up with ten hares and could not really show anything. There is no story here, no characters, no horror, no atmosphere – just inappropriate mechanics, because of which the game seems to be something more than it really is. But in fact it is empty and stupid.

Pros: Interesting concept.

Cons: mediocre story with the same dialogues; poorly realized idea of ​​a blind heroine; primitive horror elements; exploring the house quickly gets bored because of the monotonous colors and the need to constantly knock with a cane; about a quarter of the subtitles are not translated, and the fonts are disgusting.

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