Simulacra – Xbox One Review
I have found myself in the past really enjoying two different genre types, especially when it comes to games. I always do enjoy a good FMV game, and although the concept of an FMV is dead simple, I always do enjoy playing and watching through a game as if I was watching a film. And the other genre that I quite like, is the horror genre, and whether that’s a video game, or a film, or a program, I love being immersed in the world of darkness and the world of uncertainty, in what’s to come. And what do you get when you cross the two together? Wale’s Interactive’s next FMV title, which comes in the form of Simulacra, which is a FMV horror style game. My cup of tea.
Simulacra is developed by Kaigan Games and published by Wales Interactive, and launched a few weeks ago on console. It is a an interactive FMV game that mixes with the genre of Horror to create quite a unique experience. You start off the game looking at a mobile phone, and after working out it’s owner, a girl called Anna, you have to decipher and work out what has happened to her, using clues and puzzles to open up applications and to explore through her phone. Not everything is as it seems however, and you could start to fear the worse.
What I quite liked early on that I noticed is that previous FMV titles that I have played, have involved mainly watching cutscenes where questions were asked and answers were selected, and the answers selected took you out on a different path. The butterfly effect so to speak. I played a title not too long ago that mixed the FMV aspect with puzzles, and what is apparent early on in Simulacra is the use of puzzles. You’ll need to explore through different applications (All of which would represent real-life apps that you can download today on your app store) and find out what’s happened to Anna. You’ll need to cross between apps in order to gather information that will help you with progressing the story. Nothing too major I found in terms of the puzzles, although some of them do take some working out at first. I personally quite enjoying putting some of the pictures together. They were good ones to try and crack.
I found myself sitting there with a headset on and getting quite a unique and vast experience. There are moments where the phone would glitch and mixed with a sudden change of tone in the music, made for quite an eerie jump. There are a few different jump scares throughout the game, and I always suggest to people who play horror titles to use a headset and sit there in the dark, as for me that`s when a horror game is at its most atmospheric. If you’re not a horror person then you’re probably going to be turning this off quite early on, but it does add something to the atmosphere of playing.
In the past I’ve been a bit critical when it’s come to the acting on offer in these types of games. Although nothing is spectacular or staged within Simulacra, what I do like about it is that it offers a sense of realism, and the sort of thing I would expect to see who took pictures and videos with their phone. It offers more of a realistic experience and makes for quite an interesting and not so much of a staged experience.
Simulacra is a title that offers a unique experience, and mixing the two genres together, with a bit of puzzle in there too is a great move. If you’re someone that doesn’t deal too well with jump scares or horror aspects then this probably is going to be something you’ll be taking much interest in but you do get a game that offers a enjoyable few hours to play through and find out the truth in what is a unique title.
Review code supplied by Wales Interactive