Sunday, February 17, 2008

Penumbra Black Plaque Review

Penumbra: Black Plaque is the second action horror game in the Penumbra series.
The series is made by Frictional Games and published by Paradox Interactive.
Black Plaque is released for PC, Mac and Linux.
The game is sold for only 20 USD in retail stores.

Penumbra Black Plaque continues were the first Penumbra started.
The game is about an man who in search for his father goes to Greenland.
He gets lost and finds a hatch, he needs to get in or else he would freeze to death.
In Black Plaque your mainly in an research facility, which is filled with dead scientists and strange zombie like monsters.
In Black Plaque you also find signs of live from your father and ofcourse you even go father in trying to find him.
Black Plaque has a lot of speaking NPCs in comparison with Penumbra episode 1.
The story is very scary and sometimes I just quit the game with an aftershock.

Penumbra is based on a normal adventure game, you pick up items and use them in the environment, but the think what makes Penumbra different is that it has an physic based system, your cursor is an hand which can pull levers, pick stuff up, throw things etc.
With the level design you really can seen the developer have been playing Bioshock a lot, all levels look like Bioshock levels and the puzzles also look similar so if you want more Bioshock action this might be your game.
Maybe the one bad thing about Penumbra is that it doesn't have any combat what so ever, you can only run and hide, even though I don't like this it sure helps with the fear factor and you'll be running you ass off.
Black Plaque also has Save Points and no normal saves, I find this quite relaxing with other PC games I always forget to save and when I quit the game or it crashes I'm always pissed that i need to start over again.

Black Plaque looks a bit dated, the graphics are very last gen but with what it does (physics, breakable items etc.) the game runs quite smooth and I have to turn down the graphics to play the game without lagging.
Also with all the darkness and spooky looking placing you won't even focus on the graphic but only on the growling zombie that is walking around.
And for an Indie game the graphics look quite nice.

Replay Value
There isn't much of replay value in Black Plaque, but a few, there is the quite long singleplayer game and there a few artefacts to find to unlock extras, thats about it, the singleplayer game is quite hard so that will keep you goning for a while and for only 20 USD it's quite a deal but not a very good one.

Black Plaque is a quite an good deal but lags Replay Value.
But it's so scary I haven't finished it yet and if I don't ill be scarred for life.

Score: 7,5/10

Main Site
Free Tech Demo


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