Prisoner 84 Review
- Tense atmospheric level design.
- Simple, psychological storyline.
- Lots of bonus collectables.
- Weapons drain away all the tension.
Prisoner 84 sits on the cusp of being a truly scary game, but its dependance on weapons and dull enemies makes it hard to stay in the moment.
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Prisoner 84 by Hidden Games is a psychological horror adventure title that treads in the well worn path forged by other classic titles such as the Penumbra series for the PC. To survive your ordeal you'll need to creep through the wet, hollow halls of an empty prison while fighting your way past the occasional zombie, however things may not be as they seem.
Prisoner 84 is set in a third-person perspective and is controlled much like a first person shooter. There are several control options to choose from, however the movement stick takes some time to get used to as it feels like a strange hybrid between an analogue stick and a d-pad. Weapons are introduced early in the game with a pistol and a shotgun available to make short work of most threats throughout the game. Ammunition is in short supply, but with judicious use of running you'll never really be for want.
Prisoner 84 perfectly nails the desolate and creepy atmosphere, alternating between shocking imagery such as blood-spattered walls, to the occasional cold, wet and cobwebbed hallway silently echoing in to the distance. However, time and time again all of this built up tension is deflated by the use of a weapon. This is a huge shame as the atmosphere and concepts are truly brain seizing, but without a sense of threat the game boils down to running down corridors to swipe cards or enter the occasional code.
Prisoner 84 will push you to the edge of a dark cliff, but you'll never really get a chance to leave the safety harness.