Tecmo tries their hands on the survival horror genre with Fatal Frame, but can they compete with the chills of Silent Hill? Well for starters I have read all of the competitions thoughts on this game and the opinions seem similar, they feel this game does not deliver or innovate as much as it could have. They say it doesn’t change the genre the way Silent Hill or Resident Evil do, well I can’t say that I agree with them. For starters this game is about twice as frightening as RE, nah take that back at least 100 times more than that. This game delivers a frightful punch that yo mama could feel! To put it in lamens terms, this game is scary as shit!! Read on and discover the terror!
The story goes as follows, your brother has disappeared into a mansion looking for a famous author that disappeared there, sounds cookie cutter eh? Well the reason the game delivers such a shock factor is the simple reason that the events going on inside the house are beyond belief. You have things such as blinding rituals and rope strangling that makes your spine tingle with eerie delight. Some of the events in the game are so grotesque I cannot go into detail in this review as it may spoil the game for people who haven’t played it yet. Let me just say that some of the shit going on in this game is way outta there!
First I am going to discuss the visuals, this game is gorgeous. The character models are incredible and Tecmo even seems to have added some aliasing in there for our visual delight. The stages and areas are very creepy and sport some awesome lighting effects that add so much creepy atmosphere to the game it is uncanny. The lighting effects are the main creep factor to this title, the game is basically pitch black in most areas with only the illumination of your flash light paving your path. This adds chill factor to the 100th power, it makes you so afraid that you can feel tears develop in your eyes, this is one game you must play with more than one person in the room and with the lights completely out!
The sound, oh my goodness the sound, this game is just as scary to listen to as it is to watch. You hear people chatting in the background talking about how they died and how they need help. You hear babies crying and people screaming faintly in the distance, as well as hearing the creepy sounds of people walking and ghosts flying by your head and in the distance. The game has such a creepy atmosphere I recommend taking a break every hour to come back to reality! Another really cool feature in the sound is that the game simulates Dolby 5.1 without having to have the expensive setup. For instance if you only have three speakers it makes each speaker play at a different sound level in order to simulate things going on all round you very cool!
Now we reach the game play itself the core of any good game. Well you are probably thinking this game plays exactly like Resident Evil or Silent Hill, nothing could be further from the truth. Fatal Frame has a much faster control scheme making for more intense action. You also are only equipped with a paranormal camera that can see certain things the naked eye cannot. When using the camera your view is shifted to first person to get maximum aim with the camera. You can follow ghosts and capture them on candid camera in first person mode which also adds more terrifying flare as the ghosts come straight out of your tv into your living room!
I have to end this review because I could go on for hours talking about how much I love this game. It has given me a sense of fear that no other game has given me in years. If you are a fan of horror or just being scared you NEED this game. It is the pinnacle of terrifying games and makes all others look like a walk in the park. Get your PS2’s warmed up, shut off the lights, turn up the AC so it is dead cold in the room, grab a couple friends and be prepared to be scared out of your mind, remember play at your own risk! ZT Out!