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cover

 

Platform

PC

 

Genre

Survival Horror / Action

 

Publisher

Encore / Midway

 

Developer

Surreal

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

Q3 2004

 

 

- A mix of The Ring, Scarface and Max Payne

- Pretty scary for a videogame, and I’m never scared of videogames

- Detailed settings and character models

- Simple gameplay and fluid controls

 

 

- No extras to be found, aside from the packed secondary disc

- Lack of gamepad support

 

 

Review: The Suffering (XB)

Review: Resident Evil (GC)

Review: Resident Evil Zero (GC)

Review: Grabbed by the Ghoulies (XB)

Review: Manhunt (PC)

Review: BloodRayne (XB)

 

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The Suffering

Score: 8.5 / 10

 

The horror genre has always been defined by one game on consoles: Resident Evil. Though the series has been dwindling since its mega-huge success on the first Sony Playstation, the series has announced a few more additions to the already classic series. With The Suffering hitting consoles and the PC it might revitalize a genre that has been slowly losing fans and maybe convert some over to the survival/horror genre. The Suffering does an astounding job blending fast paced action with spooky scenarios putting it amongst the elite horror games. In other words, don’t try to play this game in the dark – at least not alone.

 

the suffering pc review          the suffering pc review

 

The Suffering begins with a lengthy intro that reveals very little about your character; supposedly he murdered his entire family. As you start to settle into your new home the inmates around you start being attacked by creatures. Before you even have time to check out your cell, you burst out of there ready to take down the mysterious creatures and anyone else who stands in your way.

 

Torque, the name of the inmate which you control, is haunted by a tragic past. He claims to have had blackouts during which he cannot remember any of his actions. As Torque fights his way through the early monsters he keeps hearing voices and blurry visions of objects that aren’t there. Later it becomes apparent that there is more to Torque than meets the eye.

 

The gameplay of The Suffering is very trouble-free, although the PC version complicates things quite a bit. There is no controller support so the keyboard and mouse are the only “controllers” you can utilize. The sensitivity of the mouse can be 

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adjusted, as well as the keyboard assignments; however the lack of gamepad support is a bit of an oversight.

 

The first weapon that Torque comes across is a shiv, an inmate made knife (similar to those in The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay), and is quite a nifty tool. By running over to an enemy and rapidly clicking, Torque will cut up the creature with relative ease. When 

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I first spotted a revolver I was excited to finally be able to blow away the creatures with less trouble than the shiv but for some strange reason the revolver does not deal as much damage as a shiv. In order to kill an enemy with the revolver you need to shoot it at least ten times, whereas the shiv takes a few cuts. As you come across heavier weapons, such as shotguns and machineguns, both the shiv and revolver combined seem like poodles.

 

The best part about The Suffering’s gameplay is the ability to transform into a vicious creature, Torque’s alter ego. The story later reveals that during his flashbacks he turns into a giant creature, similar to the ones he is fighting, and can do a lot more damage by utilizing his huge arms and quick speed. When transformed into the beast there is only a small amount of time in which he can stay that way. Once the energy is wasted, Torque must go on a rapid killing spree in order to build up adrenaline and turn into the monster again.

 

the suffering pc review          the suffering pc review

 

The graphics of The Suffering do not look as good as they truly are, due to the covering darkness. If you notice the little things, such as Torque’s face and shirt becoming bloodier as he kills a lot of monsters and the blood stains on the wall, you’ll see the amount of detail spent on the game. The abstract creatures and peculiar anatomy really makes the game authentic and a frightening experience. The graphics truly shine in the Max Payne 2-esque blur sequences. For an action game there is a lot of eye candy and spotless detail hidden in the dark corners.

 

Although Torque never utters a single word, a theme more and more popular with protagonists in videogames, the supporting cast does a fantastic job of setting the theme. The voices of his deceased wife and children come out chillingly. The storyline and gameplay reveal little bits and pieces of the storyline, never unveiling too much about the prison or character at any one time.

 

Aside from the a trio of different endings depending on how you played, The Suffering doesn’t offer any multiplayer features or single-player extras to encourage replays. The PC version does come with an extra disc containing making-of videos, concept art, and a documentary entitled “The Haunted Prison.” The videos are quite good, but some other extras would’ve made the game an instant classic. For now, The Suffering is one of the best survival/horror, emphasis on the “horror”, in recent memory. Trust me, you’ll be begging for Mommy halfway through the game.

 

- Eric Lahiji

element@armchairempire.com

(July 26, 2004)

 

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