Narcosis-Review Narcosis Review

   12/09/2018 at 12:03       Chris OToole       0 COMMENTS. - Score 2/5
 - Horror, First Person, Xbox One, PS4, PC

Review by Dean Davis.

 

Narcosis is a first-person horror game set on the ocean floor. You are the only survivor of a deep-sea methane mining crew killed by a devastating earthquake, you are tasked with surviving the disaster and making it back up to the surface. Unfortunately, you are not alone. The setting and the overall plot are both interesting and somewhat fascinating, but the game is let down by some poor decisions, with a weirdly dated control system and poor combat mechanics being the biggest (but not the only) issues.

The story revolves around the main characters struggle to survive and cope with the loss of his fellow workers and friends, left with nothing but your diving suit and a rudimentary knife you progress through the game while the main character narrates.

Narcosis has some interesting ideas regarding survivability here which do not pan out as I would have liked. As you go through the game your oxygen tank is constantly draining and any time you become panicked it speeds up the amount of oxygen you use. This means walking a tightrope between reaching the next objective and making sure you have enough oxygen. The problem is, you are constantly panicked, the game uses cheap jump scares constantly (to the point that I am more surprised when I don’t turn around to find a dead body or monster behind me) and reducing your panic level is not difficult but seemingly impossible. Add this to the sporadic tank refill stations which seem far more numerable in safe areas and a broken checkpoint system, in one case I died looking for a seemingly non-existent oxygen tank only to respawn in the next area.

The real problem with this game though is the controls, for a game to come out in 2018 and still use tank controls is surprising, to have them be so sluggish and unresponsive and with no ability to side step seem almost criminal, especially in the tight confines of the mining facility. Add this to a weird system of turning the head of the player character with the right stick meant that I never felt like my character was facing the right way, leading to me walking into obstacles more times than I would like to admit. These poor controls bleed into the ‘combat’ which gave you unavoidable enemy attacks which locked you into annoying (and far too frequent) QTE segments.

All of this is quite a shame as the plot and the premise really excited me, but unfortunately the execution did not live up to expectations. The setting was superb, and the graphics/sound design did a competent job of making you feel like you were alone on the ocean floor. Over time though the poor gameplay mechanics caused me from wondering what was going to happen next to be wanting desperately for it all to be over.

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Better late than never, eh Ror?
 
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