White Night harks back to a particular kind of survival horror experience which i thought was dead. It’s a world of fixed digital cameras and dark corridors that restrict your vision, and endless back tracking to find inconspicuous items. It is a dated formula, yet one that I am still very keen on – and White Night may be the best example of the genre since Silent Hill 2 .
Alone at nighttime
From the moment you start, White Night’s stunning black and white visual design will be both atmospheric and unnerving – the perfect backdrop to the 1930s horror-noir world. Every element of its presentation builds on this, with menus playing discordant piano notes as you move between options, as well as the opening credits have you driving your own flivver down an empty road illuminated only by your headlights.
It sets the chilling mood that is quickly capitalized on as you take the role of the trench coat wearing, fedora touting hero. After swerving to prevent a child that appears from no place, you roll from your car hurt. These wounds set a sluggish initial pace, as you limp toward a deserted house. Searching for a way into the house you must scour the garden (by which I mean cemetery) for any key. It is a search that introduces you to the core gameplay associated with White Night: interact with everything, find hints, and exercise what you must do to progress (which, in this, is shoving apart a statue to allow the moon’s light to reveal a key).
Things that go lump
But , while your ultimate goal is normally clear, seeing how to reach it is not. Once in the house you become engulfed simply by darkness, with only temperamental fits and occasional (even less reliable) electric lights to show the way. This leaves you fumbling your way forward under frequently pressured circumstances . The result is frustratingly long searches that have you constantly retrace your steps to find obscured items. At one point this particular saw me play for an hour just to find a light switch which i hadn’t spotted due to the fixed points of views. It’s a known issue for the style, but one made worse here because of the darkness and your fragility to the hazards that lurk within.
Roaming the claustrophobic hallways along with you are malevolent spirits , whose origins are grounded in the house’s grizzly past. Your own only defense from these ghosts would be to flee, or to trap them in the warming glow of electrical lighting. Trying to spot these apparitions in the darkness is barely possible, making you to edge slowly forward to exercise where they are hidden, and how shut you can risk getting before they chase and (usually) kill you.
Herein lies White Evening of final problem: its awful checkpoint and save system . To save your game you must sit in one of the game’s arm chairs. This feels dated enough, but an absence of checkpoints compounds the issue, with deaths sending you back to the last period you rested.
Horror fans should not allow these frustrations put them off . White Night is a visually spectacular refinement of a genre that is hardly ever seen these days. Even more wonderful could be the creepy, nuanced fiction it creates. From your smokey jazz tones that frequently drift through the house to collectors items that outline the history of its residents, everything is designed to add richness and depth to this personal story.
Its handful of annoyances are a real pity because (when I wasn’t feeling exasperated) I was enraptured by White Night’s atmosphere and story . Along with better checkpoints and some accurate guidance once in a while, this could have easily snuck on to my personal list of top ten online games. Instead it stands as a problematic, but involving and visually tempting surprise.
Download White Night in Softonic