04/08/2022

๐Ÿฉธ๐Ÿ“ธ MADiSON PS5 Review 6.5/10 “Many Scares To Be Had, But Far Too Formulaic” ๐Ÿฉธ๐Ÿ“ธ @transvaalgf @MADiSON_Game #IndieGames #GameDev

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MadiSon is a first-person psychological horror game, in which you play as Luca, who wakes up to find his hands covered in blood, and his father screaming at him through a door, questioning how he could ‘do this to the people he loved.

It’s a very exciting and tense opening!

You manage to escape the room and now explore your grandparent’s home, where you learn its dark secrets and understand how Luca has come to be in this position.

The game is effectively a walking simulator in that you wander around the house from room to room, picking up various items and solving some puzzles as you move along. One of the items you pick up is a camera, this plays a large part in the story and is how you unlock and travel to other destinations - taking photos of certain things causes a massive, violent shake and usually unlocks a new area.

The things you need to photograph are very easy to notice most of the time, as they will have Polaroids surrounding where you need to take a photograph, this mechanic works well and although it’s not the most original idea, I do think it’s implemented well and keeps the game flowing nicely.

The house that you explore and the other locations that you get transported to are all wonderfully atmospheric, as locations go - they were sufficiently creepy and had a lot to offer while you explored, as well as being well thought-out and wonderfully rendered. The house in particular had a nice flow to its layout and you easily knew where you were. The audio - as you can imagine - goes from subtle creaks and moans to very sudden bangs. They are scary, but nothing is particularly memorable in the music department.

The biggest fault of this game is that it’s simply very by the numbers, the plot is incredibly generic, the gameplay is certainly nothing new, and the game becomes far too reliant on jump scares. As you progress through the game you learn that your character is possessed and is being haunted, which is where the jump scares come in.

I don’t think you go 15 minutes without the ghost jumping out at you - and in certain places, it’s very trying, I know the point is to be scared and we live in a ‘YouTube let’s play generation’, so scares have to come thick, fast and suddenly - but the last hour just doesn’t let up, you have unlocked all of the house and are tasked with doing two very tedious things that are designed to just get you to walk all over the house in order to have the ghost jump-scare you, it really dragged it down for me. Earlier in the game, you at least felt that you were moving forward, and the scares seemed better placed, but in the last hour or so, the game had basically played all its cards.

The puzzles are fine - some are fun to work out, others involve clocks, and I’ve never ever played a clock puzzle and thought,

“God that was fun, I wish more games had clock puzzles”

They are all quite standard, I don’t think many will stay in the memory long. Speaking of not staying in the memory long, let’s talk about the main character, Luca - whose name I forgot instantly as he makes such a little impression - the game doesn’t imbue him with many characteristics, and he spends the whole game moaning (which is understandable, he is possessed) but you learn so little about him that it makes it really hard to form any emotional connection, which the story desperately needs you to, for it to work.

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