Lamentum Reader Review – Reader Characteristic

Lamentum – if Resident Evil was an SNES game (Photo: Neon Doctrine)

A reader gives his verdict on the ancient survival horror Lamentum, which shows what Resident Evil would have been like a top-down 2D game.

Looking back, I’m a little surprised that Resident Evil and its contenders were such mainstream hits upon release. Their ambiguous progression, limited resources, and harsh punishment for failure wouldn’t really fly today, as most modern survival horrors, Resident Evil included, are generally much more linear and forgiving. So it’s once again up to the indie development scene to take the genre back to its roots, with games like Tormented Souls and the upcoming WWI-themed Conscript.

Lamentum, a new crowdfunded horror game from Spanish developer Obscure Tales, replaces low-polygon models with pixels, dates back to the ’90s time to a 19th-century Gothic mansion, and replaces biologically created zombies by interdimensional Lovecraftian villains. It also eschews modern conveniences (checkpoints, objective markers, etc.) for a more traditional approach.

The game puts you in the pants of Victor Hartwell, who is invited to the mysterious Grau Hill Mansion with the promise of a cure for his wife’s terminal illness. Shortly after arriving, he wakes up injured and suffers from amnesia. The mansion and its surroundings have been invaded by monsters and you must explore, solve puzzles and fight monsters to find your wife and finally uncover the dark secrets of the mansion.

The game’s gothic horror setting and slow, underpowered weapons suit the genre perfectly, and the use of pixelated graphics alongside recorded sound effects and music creates a surprisingly efficient atmosphere for a low-budget game. Special mention must be made for the music in the game, which increases the feeling of unease and shock as the story unfolds. The ominously soothing music of the save room, where the player can use inkwells to save and unload their limited inventory, feels like something straight out of a Resident Evil game.

Lamentum definitely takes a hands-on approach to exploring Grau Hill Mansion, but there are visitors and staff to talk to. They will fill in the story of the game and, along with a notebook, guide you to your next goal. Maps are essential and must be found for each new area. However, they don’t show the player’s position, and areas don’t change color once they’ve been cleared of items, which we sorely miss.

Puzzles are fairly straightforward matters like placing moon pendants in a statue in the correct order or deciphering glyphs into words, the challenge of scouring the world for crucial items and information. Frustratingly, the images and information aren’t categorized for re-evaluation, and I found myself using pen and paper, or the Xbox’s screenshot feature, for quick reference. A late block puzzle pushed my patience to almost a breaking point with his awkwardness.

Combat is only useful as a last resort, as limited stamina for movement, clumsy melee attacks, and a dearth of bullets meant that I would choose flying over combat most of the time, and even huge bosses. and disgusting gambling can be largely avoided.

Lamentum is never an easy game, but it really veers into unfair territory in its final act. The player must navigate dark and confusing areas (you are given a lantern, but you cannot use it with weapons simultaneously) usually filled with overpowered enemies and key elements that are hard to find, with no map to learn the good route. This is an unnecessary spike in an already difficult game and looks like an attempt to supplement the game’s runtime. Other drawbacks such as ambiguous player health, impossible to avoid dialogue scenes, and the occasional pitfalls to be avoided. a sudden also add to the frustration.

There are different endings in Lamentum depending on certain dialogue options, but you are unranked or not given a bonus for quick or risky play. It’s a shame, because I think the rewards for learning optimal routes, like an old gatling machine gun or armor, would have increased the game time in a nice way, as I beat the game in under six hours and I did not feel any constraint. to get back into it.

Despite these issues, Lamentum was an extremely enjoyable throwback, with a great atmosphere, an intriguing storyline, and more challenging gameplay. Whether this converts players who find this genre archaic or prefer a modern approach is debatable, but for those of us who take perverse pleasure in bypassing overpowered enemies and managing finite resources under immense pressure, it really hits the mark. .

Formats: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC
Price: £ 13.99
Publisher: Neon Doctrine
Developer: Dark Tales
Release Date: August 27, 2021
Age group: 16

By ANON reader

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