By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on February 28, 2018
During our time at last year's GamesCom we came across a game called Past Cure by independent developer Phantom 8. We were impressed by how well the game works and how awesome it looks. After another half year of hard work the developer's dream of releasing their game has finally come true and I, for one, am anxious to see it in action!
Past Cure is a third person action/stealth game which tells a thrilling story about how, during war, prisoners are sometimes used for sinister experiments. What happens to the prisoner guinea pigs after the war? And what were the experiments all about? Our protagonist, Ian, is such an unlucky individual. He was in the army and, now, after the war is over he has problems remembering what exactly happened to him during a period of three years. One thing is certain; something has changed Ian. He now suffers from bad dreams, which seem to claw their way into real life. If he wishes to unravel the mystery surrounding what happened to him, he has some serious digging to do.
During the first part of the intro, you wake up in a room that looks kinda off. This is mainly because of the fact that the furniture is on the ceiling. So, either one of the developers had a rough night before creating this room, or someone is really good with superglue. Either way, as you can imagine, this room is very confusing for Ian and he desperately wants to get the hell out of there. But that's easier said than done. This part of the intro is really cool, because every time you enter a new room you will be warned by a very disturbing sound, which indicates that an enemy has entered the room. You need to shoot them before they get you, which always, without fail, results in your untimely death. But if you pay close attention to the color of the light seeping under the doors, you might figure out where the enemies will turn up. Big thumbs up for this level's design and game play, it's awesome!
Lucky for Ian, it all turns out to be a very bad nightmare and soon you'll discover that this wasn't the first nightmare you had. Your brother Markus offers help and lends you his beach house. I must say I love the Beach House! It looks very nice and it even has its own melee training room and shooting range. How cool is that? Alas for Ian, this whole adventure does not have anything to do with an actual vacation. He suffers from hallucinations and the only way to stop them, albeit temporarily, is by taking blue pills. So that's something you need to keep an eye out for: make sure that Ian takes his blue pills on time to keep his Sane level at a decent height.
The game is filled with puzzles for you to solve. Beside missing three years, Ian has gained a couple of very cool abilities. He is able to manipulate time and he can use telekinesis. You can use your abilities at any time, but it will drain your sanity bar. When solving these puzzles, you will see how handy your new abilities are. But also during battle; when shooting enemies, you can slow down time. That makes it a lot easier to aim and shoot your opponents with much more accuracy.
As mentioned earlier, Ian suffers from hallucinations and, especially in this department, the developers did such a good job that even you yourself can't trust your eyes. Doors appear where they weren't before, walls change at random and characters and objects can pop up at any time. So make sure that this game will not cost you your own sanity.
I was really eager to play Past Cure and I have to say that I immensely enjoyed doing so. A tip: Check the volume levels before playing, because the volume of Ian's speech is a bit on the low side at times. I had to put the voice and the cut scene volume level at its maximum, because I almost couldn't hear Ian speaking. Early in the game, it is explained that Ian talks to himself a lot, because this is the way how he focuses his mind and puts thoughts in order. So yeah, it's kind of important to hear what he has to say. And, I hate to say this; while playing Past Cure on my PS4, the game crashed four times, so I had to start from the last checkpoint again. Especially when you progress through the game, that's not what you want to happen. But I can tell you, the developers are aware of this and working on a update to fix it.
Past Cure is a great game for everyone who likes a good third person game with action and stealth elements. The abilities that Ian uses are nothing new, but they are applied in a brilliant way. I love how the developers have incorporated just enough mystery into this game, which will make the player doubt his or her own sanity. I can truly say that Past Cure is totally worth your time and effort!
February 23, 2018