Friday, 4 December 2015

Among the Sleep PS4 Review

Oh hai! Jason here. Thanks to the lovely Krillbite Studios I'm happy to say I'll be reviewing the PS4 version of their unique horror game Among the sleep before it hits the Playstation store, Unless you're reading this some time in the future in which case save some of that moon money for me. Among the sleep was originally released back in May 2014 but we're now getting to see it on the PS4 as of December the 10th. The game is also playable on Oculus Rift but won't be coming to Playstation VR for reasons the the team explain here.

So what exactly is among the sleep about? Well the big hook of among the sleep is its rather unique protagonist...a 2 year old child. Krillbite have done their very best to interpret how the world would come across to a 2 year old with the world full of objects that seem much larger from your child like perspective and every creepy noise feeling more amplified and oppressive. Much of the games horror comes from the fact that simple things seem much more terrifying to such a young child. The game starts fairly gently as the un-named nipper that you play as is having birthday cake with his Mother who then carries him off to his room. After playing around a little and meeting the games guide, your brand new Teddy, your Mother puts you too bed. This is when an unseen force seemingly takes teddy away and tips over your cot.

So at this point you're 2 years old, you're free of your cot prison....what do you do? Nope you don't go out on the town and drink tequila, you wander around your house noticing increasingly creepy things until eventually you end up in a  dream like world. At this point Among the Sleep takes a turn for the abstract as you explore a variety of varied, but always creepy locations that range from caves with playground equipment in them to a creepy old house with trees growing out of the varnished floor. For the most part Among the Sleeps horror comes from its atmosphere so if you're one of the many horror game fans who complain about jump scares then you'll love this focus on creepiness that among the sleep has. That's not to say that there's nothing threatening you as there are times when the music will slowly build and your vision will become distorted. There's something stalking you through the levels, and the most memorable part of the game for me was the first time I caught a glimpse of this being (amazingly I was half way through the game before I first saw 'it'). I won't say too much but the thing which stalks you is very creepy especially with the distorted vision thrown in.

So how does the game actually play? For the most part you're simply walking around in first person view, you can pick up and pull many objects in the game in order to reach door handles and get to higher places, you can crawl, which is faster but noisier and even sprint for a little while using L1, although being 2 years old, your coordination isn't great while running. You can also cuddle teddy to make yourself feel reality this makes the immediate area a bit brighter which is handy in the games darker spots. Generally the controls are good, they manage to portray the limitations of being a child without being unfair. But there are times when you'll wrestle with them a little especially when opening draws and doors but turning cranks and wheels can be especially awkward. There was one bit with a well that was a struggle, but this is a relatively small nitpick. There are also a few occasions where the games character can get lodged in a little bit especially if you're in an area with numerous open doors.

Visually among the sleep is good but not spectacular. The game conveys its eerie atmosphere well but there are some areas where objects seem to float a little...most notably in forest like areas where trees don't seem to be completely embedded in the ground. The sound however is very good most notably in the way the music picks up when the being that is hunting you grows closer. Not only is this method of using music very spooky but it also acts as a useful tool for the player, telling them when to hide and when they can press on.

So is Among the Sleep worth getting? It is a very effective horror game that focuses more on atmosphere and tension than monsters jumping out at you. It also has a very interesting story...I don't want to say too much about the ending, but it deals with a surprisingly heavy concept without taking sides. Once I'd started to realise the truth about Among the Sleeps story I found myself feeling surprisingly moved and felt sympathetic to the games 'villian'. But Among the Sleep has one significant issue...its very short. The game does include the prologue DLC however this is actually hidden away a little as if you just play the game from beginning to end you'll bypass the DLC completely (it can be found by going to the chapters section on the menu). But even with this the whole game can be completed within a couple of hours...maybe even less if you were to rush through it....which you really shouldn't. So in all Among the sleep is a very effective and different horror game with a fascinating hook. I just wished there was more of it.


Among the Sleep is out on PS4 on the 10th of December for the price of £14.99

You can follow Krillbite studios here.

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Hope you enjoyed my first 'proper' review, and hopefully we'll be seeing more game review in the future, catch ya later yeah!

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