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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

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Penumbra: Overture Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Applelinks has posted a review of Frictional Games' Penumbra: Overture. The game drops players into a creepy environment of horror where they must solve puzzles to survive. Applelinks gave the game a score of 4 out of 5.

From the review:

I found the familiarity of Penumbra Overture's plot—which is revealed through scattered letters/journals and through radio transmission from a fellow named "Red"—to be endearing, actually—like dusting off an old book for another read. The one problem, though, is that I felt no real attachment with Phillip, the main character you control throughout the game. He starts to question his own sanity almost immediately after he begins his descent into the mines, which rang false to me. Dude, if you're scared already, just leave. There's a big area between "I'm kind of frightened" and "Get out my head before I lose my mind! Or is there? Next time my daughter tells me she's afraid of the dark, maybe my first question should be, "Do you think you're about to go insane and start eating spiders?"

Thankfully, the game's structure and style compensate for the lack of a logical/involving story. Adventure games may pretend to be about adventure, after all, but they're really just about solving puzzles. Penumbra has some fun and unique puzzles, many of which are based around the physics of the game. For instance, early on, an electric fence is blocking your path. In the old days, getting around it would've required finding a MacGyveresque combination of a paper clip, yarn, electrical cord and rat food to disable the electricity. In Penumbra Overture, you just need to stack a couple boxes, place a wooden plank from them to the fence, then walk across the plank. In other words, most of the puzzles here are meant to be solved the way you would in real life, because the game utilizes a more realistic physics engine.
Check out the full review at the link provided below.

Applelinks: Penumbra Overture Review
Frictional Games
Penumbra: Overture

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