Tormented Souls (PlayStation 5) Review

By Luke Hemming 19.02.2023

Review for Tormented Souls on PlayStation 5

While there is no denying that the evolution of, for the most part. Resident Evil titles have elevated the survival horror genre to appeal to even the scarediest of scaredey cats, a return to what made the originals so tense, has been the aim for more than a few loyalists. Developers Dual Effect aim to capitalise on that craving with their latest PS1 throwback, Tormented Souls.

Hitting all the standard horror tropes used in the 90's to set the scene, our hero Caroline begins her journey with a note and picture ensuring that rather than sensibly calling the authorities, a trip to an abandoned hospital may be the best idea to make sense of it all. True to the games of the time that inspired this, the majority of uncovering exactly what went on comes from the items found along the way, in this case, diaries and letters will provide an insight not only what has happened to you (why Caroline is now missing an eye for example), but also why this place of healing has suddenly become a place of horror.

Speaking of horror, one of the greatest strengths of Tormented Soulsis its ability to make every movement scarier than Ezra Miller in a nightclub. With a more open world and a controllable camera, a lot of tension is lot by the ability to view all surroundings before proceeding. Here, every long corridor could potentially be a death-trap as the fixed camera angle can hide so much. A mechanic like this was uncomfortable back in 1996 but with the graphical prowess of the PS5 as well as the beautifully dark backgrounds designed to be shown on it, it's quite easy to feel like not wanting to continue, just to feel safe. Creating the perfect storm of unease is also the complete lack of resources throughout. Mostly armed with a blunt crowbar, at all times players feel completely out of their depth and the need to run at every opportunity. Other weapons can be gained if brave enough to progress however at no point are items and ammunition in abundance. By adhering to that rule, Tormented Souls does something a lot better than the majority of Capcom themed horror by never allowing players to become death wielding heroes.

Screenshot for Tormented Souls on PlayStation 5

The final element of fear and a genius one at that, is the gloom itself. While wandering the halls, Caroline cannot spend time in the shadows for prolonged periods. Doing so results in death from above, Corgan style (or below, maybe even the side, it's in the dark so you can't see). AN easy fix is the lighter stashed away in the inventory, candles can also be lit to provide a small slither of comfort before something slithers out and rips you in half itself. The coup de grace? No autosave. As previously mentioned with items, save tapes and scarce meaning every choice to call it a day has to be meticulously considered. Everything done here seems to be the perfect blend for a great trek through a nostalgia ridden gorefest, what lets Tormented Souls down at the last hurdle, however, is the puzzle element. Each seems to be extremely drawn out and complicated for complicated sake, more so than the titles that inspired it as well as some recent masterpieces. Sure, some 'purists' (aka people who don't enjoy fun in their games) will love it, but for the rest of us, it jars a great experience.

Screenshot for Tormented Souls on PlayStation 5

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Tormented Souls is a great nostalgia trip taking full advantage of updated graphics and controls to bring a tense, uncomfortable trip for all willing to risk it. Worth taking the time on by both fans of the genre and newcomers wondering what all the fuss is about. Turn those lights on full, open the curtains and prepare to have nightmares.

Developer

Dual Effect

Publisher

PQube

Genre

Horror

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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