Dying: Reborn (PlayStation 4) Review

By Albert Lichi 11.03.2017

Review for Dying: Reborn on PlayStation 4

Two separate releases of a game at different price points is an unusual practice, but that is the case with Dying: Reborn, which has launched with its own VR version and was reviewed by Cubed3 recently. Already an odd-sounding title, it seems like this puzzle-centric horror game might have a lot going for it, but does it fare better than its virtual reality counterpart?

A sort of first-person "escape the room" type puzzle game, Dying: Reborn sees players moving around in a 3D space, looking for clues and trying to solve a variety of puzzles that range from preschool difficulty to Myst levels of obscurity. Other than moving around in the first-person, expect a lot of fiddling around with the inventory screen, of which its cumbersome inventory interface is probably the most challenging aspect of the entire game. When the main character puts a key item away if it's being used wrong during attempts to solve puzzles, it can get extremely frustrating, as it means having to constantly go back and forth between the inventory screen and game. The incredibly slow movement speed of the right analogue stick also doesn't help make things any better, and the puzzles are reminiscent of the kind that can be found in the original Resident Evil titles, revolving around a search for keys, working out passcodes and combinations, or interacting with certain aspects of an area.

While the PSVR version of Dying: Reborn was pathetically easy, the standard edition, which comes complete with all six chapters, has some of the most convoluted and cryptic puzzles since Extra Riddle mode in Silent Hill 2. That is not to say that these puzzles are as well designed as Team Silent's - far from it. They are just as difficult, but mostly because they involve trying to figure out passcodes to safes or keypad locks, and the process to working out some of these secrets can become exhausting. It can be really easy to end up stuck on several of these puzzles, which may be discouraging for most people and downright insulting when the game's ending starts playing.

Screenshot for Dying: Reborn on PlayStation 4

Visuals are surprisingly decent, if a bit bland or stock. Dying: Reborn lacks any real imagination aesthetically and is rather generic, with noticeable recycling of various assets. It is to be expected for a low budget indie title, but considering how small the game is, it does make it feel like the developers bought most of these assets instead of making their own.

It is slightly impressive what a small team was able to put together, and the team's influence was obviously the "Saw" films. From creepy figures on TV sets putting you in puzzle rooms full of esoteric little objects to be used as keys and complete with cryptic and foreboding scrawling on the wall, the developers do try to create their version of Jigsaw. The problem is that the characters in "Saw" were interesting and people got invested in them, which is clearly what Dying: Reborn was not going for.

Screenshot for Dying: Reborn on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

A wasted opportunity. Some decent graphics and a couple of engaging puzzles aren't enough to save Dying: Reborn. The overreliance on safes, keypads and combinations highlight the developer's lack of imagination. This feels like a step backwards from the older low-fi titles from Konami and Capcom, who figured out how to make interesting and fun puzzles in horror games. While this version of Dying: Reborn is a better buy than the PSVR edition, it is not better by much.

Developer

Nekcom

Publisher

Oasis Games

Genre

Horror

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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