Perception PlayStation 4 Review

Perception ticks all the boxes for this genre; it is utterly immersive, challenging, frightening, and truly riveting.

By Gabriel_P, Posted 23 Jul 2017

Video games are so heavily concentrated on visual stimulation; however, The Deep End have entered unchartered territory with their ambitious adventure-horror game, Perception. You assume the role of Cassie Thornton, who travels to an estate in Massachusetts to unravel the meaning behind her continuous nightmares that threaten her sanity. But there’s one catch, Cassie is blind. Yes, that’s right blind. How would a video game work if you’re blind? Echolocation is the answer. It is the ability to determine where objects are by sensing the reflection of soundwaves of the objects, or the echoes in other words.

Perception,PS4,Review,Screenshots,Gameplay

Once you reach the estate, you much search every nook and cranny for clues to discover what is behind your torment. Cassie the ability to hear the thoughts of the person to whom certain items, called ‘touchstones,’ belonged. These ‘touchstones’ can be things like a flashlight, a bottle of pills, or a baby bottle. Of course, you can actually see what is going on, but only when you tap your cane to create sound; otherwise you’re in the dark. This system works surprisingly well and you eventually get good at being blind. However, it does take some sound judgement (no pun intended) as to when you use your cane, as you will quickly realise this is not a luxury you can use whenever you like. Overall, I am very impressed by the echolocation in the game and it adds a unique aspect to gameplay, which allows it to stand apart from most other adventure-horror games.

The sound, as you’d expect, is so incredibly immersive and every small noise, every creak has you on edge. The developers say the first person they called in to work on Perception was Jim Bonney, who was the audio director for Bioshock Infinite. The said of Jim’s involvement: “Think about what it’s like to stand inside an old house. Everything creaks, groans, and hisses. The house was very fertile ground for Jim to create unsettling soundscapes and unnerving ambience.” Well, Jim, you’ve done an amazing job, as I was constantly unnerved while playing Perception.

What is even more impressive, however, is the storytelling of Perception. It is human nature to love a good story, which is why gamers should not overlook Perception. It has intrigue, twists, mystery, thrills and of course, spills. With each clue you find, the story delves deeper and deeper into uncovering what is causing your nightmares, as well as learning about the previous occupants of the estate. It can be gut-wrenching at time, and to be honest, utterly frightening after you learn more and more about what’s going on. The Deep End are a studio formed by former Bioshock developers, and you can really see that influence coming into play, especially with audio tapes you find lying around that give you clues. These audiotapes are masterfully written and voice-acted. The Deep End have stated they drew much inspiration from classic literature, including texts such as All My Sons by Arthur Miller, House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, and A Separate Peace by John Knowles. As for games that they drew inspiration from; they’ve cited Silent Hill 2, Gone Home, and of course Bioshock.

Perception,PS4,Review,Screenshots,Gameplay

There is little that The Deep End have done wrong with Perception; this is a game that cannot be missed, as it breathes fresh life into the adventure-horror/ mystery solving genre. I often say videogames can be a form of literature, and I strongly believe Perception is exactly that. It is an excellent example of how game developers can utilise the power of narrative and storytelling to further enhance the gameplay. Furthermore, the concept of creating a videogame where the playable character is blind is very bold, but they have excellently pulled it off here with the use of echolocation. This is a concept that you will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere in the gaming world, and probably won’t be seen again any time soon. Perception ticks all the boxes for this genre; it is utterly immersive, challenging, frightening, and truly riveting.

Gabriel Polychronis, NoobFeed

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General Information

Perception

85/100

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Feardemic
Developer(s): The Deep End Games
Genres: Adventure, Horror
Themes: Indie
Release Date: 2017-06-06

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