Sunday, 30 December 2012

REVIEW - White Noise : A Tale Of Horror (XBLIG)

White Noise : A Tale Of Horror [80 Points]

Coming from the dependable Milkstone Studios I was expecting something better than the usual XBLIG standard, and I was not disappointed. White Noise is a pure horror first person game. There is no 'shooter' part to this game though, it is purely explorational. Armed with only a torch, you walk around a dark and sinister graveyard and forest area, trying to locate 8 hidden tape recorders. As you near the items you hear radio static, much like that heard in the original Silent Hill game. 

Exploring the creepy landscape in almost pitch darkness leaves you feeling very uneasy, due in no small part to the grainy visuals and atmospheric sounds used. The torch also flickers after prolonged use, though thankfully never runs out completely. The thing that makes White Noise such a nerve wrecking ordeal is the fact that you are not alone. From the moment you locate the first tape recorder a hideous creature begins stalking you. It moves quickly and often appears in front of you in a brief flash, jangling your nerves and making you physically jump. Luckily his approach is signified by static appearing around the screen, like an old television set jammed between channels. 

It is a truly terrifying experience that will have your pulse racing and your hands sweating. Hearing and seeing the static before catching a split second glimpse of the creature will have you jumping out of your seat and, in-game, sprinting for your life. The only other games I have played that that instilled this same sort of real fear were Amnesia : The Dark Descent on PC, and Silent Hill : Shattered Memories on console. Like White Noise, both of these games keep you constantly on edge, not knowing where or when your assailants will appear, and when you do find out you are defenceless against them. It can be quite frustrating at times as, although the game only requires you to collect 8 items, the creature can often appear right on top of you with little warning, meaning you have to start again.

In a gaming climate where survival horror seems to have gone out of fashion, being replaced with more action focused versions of this genre, it is refreshing to see a game that truly scares you. There really isn't anything else like it on Xbox and it comes highly recommended to fright junkies.

The Good:

  • Genuinely frightening
  • Excellent use of lighting

The Bad:

  • Can be frustrating
  • Game is fairly short