The Tormented

Rei was bored. This was the third so called haunted house she’d investigated this month. Yet again she took photograph after boring photograph with no result. Just a run down house.

As Miku packed away, Rei wrapped up the last few shots. Centering on a corner she took the photo and gasped. As the flash died down a man was standing there.

“Yuu?” It can’t be him. He died six months ago, it just can’t be.

The man turned and walked away. Rei hesitated for a second then chased after him around the corner. She found herself in a graveyard. On the other side the man walked onwards towards the exit.

“Wait! There’s still something I need to tell you.” Rei had been driving the night of the accident.

Again she ran after him, deeper into the strange run down manor. Eventually she came to a courtyard, in which a huge tree was growing wildly. Small dolls were pinned to the upper branches. Across the courtyard, Yuu was waiting for her. As she came closer he turned and entered the door behind him.

“You’ll never escape.” The voice spun Rei around. The image of a small girl dressed as a priestess slowly faded away into nothing. Rei backed away then turned and ran for the door. As she entered it she blacked out.

She awoke an unknown amount of time later to find that she couldn’t move. Four young girls, all dressed as priestesses surrounded her. They lowered sharpened metal stakes to her wrists and ankles. As one they brought their mallets down on the stakes and Rei screamed.

“Are you alright?” Miku’s voice woke Rei from her daydream.

Later that night Rei was working in her darkroom developing the day’s photos. As the images became clearer she caught sight of a photo that stood out from the others. A man standing in a corner. A man that looked like Yuu.

So begins Project Zero 3 – The Tormented. That night, when Rei goes to bed she’ll be transported into the Manor of Sleep, a mythical place filled with malevolent spirits. There she’ll encounter the tattooed woman who passes her curse on to Rei. As Rei awakens her body is caught in a spasm of pain as a huge snake tattoo appears briefly on it. From then onwards, each night draws her back into the manor.

During her waking hours Rei will hunt for clues about her predicament. Her flatmate and assistant Miku will help her out as much as possible, but Miku herself has secrets to hide.

Rei will also be aided in her quest by Kei, an old friend of Yuu and of Miku’s absent brother. He has his own reasons for investigating the Manor of Sleep and it is he who puts Rei in contact with the Camera Obscura.

The camera is Rei’s only defence against the many spirits that she’ll meet in her time in the manor. Building on the superstition that cameras steal a piece of your soul, the entire Project Zero series has always pitted you against vengeful spirits with nothing to defend yourself except a camera.

Not only does the combat system centre around the camera, but so do many of the puzzles. Found a door sealed by a mysterious power? Take a photo of it. The camera will superimpose an image of somewhere else on the photo you’ve just taken. Find that place and beat the spirit that attacks you there and the door will open. Simple eh?

This installment in the series borrows heavily from both of it’s predecessors as well as several japanese horror films. There’s also a little bit of Silent Hill thrown in this time as well. Most players will liken it to Silent Hill 4 with it’s main setting being Rei’s apartment, but personally I find it to be more reminiscent of Silent Hill 2 and it’s underlying feeling of total despair.

So far, this game is the first that I can truly call a horror game. It creeps slowly under your skin as you’re playing. It niggles at you long after you put the controller down. This is not for the faint hearted.

This is for the tormented.

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12 thoughts on “The Tormented

  1. I've never played either of the System Shock games but I hope to play Bioshock sometime. That's meanta be a kind of sequel I think.

  2. It's certainly got a lot in common. I've seen it to referred as the spiritual sequel.I liked that early Gamecube title set in the haunted house (not Luigi's Mansion. I can't remember the name), until you got further in and it became easy. The bits where you lost your sanity briefly were disturbing.

  3. Just don't use that ability. I like to put my characters through the wringer in horror games. The best for that is Resi 4 due to the fact that when you play again, you can take the handcannon with you (needs to be unlocked in the Mercenaries) and score 1-hit kills on bosses. It's vengeance and stress relief all in one.

  4. šŸ˜† I didn't get that one. I lost interest when you gained the ability to cast a spell to boost your sanity – it removed most of the tension.

  5. There's a bit in Half Life 2 Episode One where you're in an underground garage waiting for a lift to come down. Then the power fails, all the lights go out and you hear zombie noises all around. You have to leg it to where the fuse box is and reconnect the power, with only a couple of short-lived flares for illumination, while zombies (especially the fast, leaping ones without skins) swarm towards you, then hold out until the lift touches down. I played that bit once, damn near gave me nightmares. Haven't been near it since.

  6. Eternal Darkness. It almost got my gamecube smashed up when the sanity went down and it said "To be continued in Eternal Darkness 2"

  7. I never had a problem with zombies. It's the other things that show up in zombie games that get me. You get used to their slow amble then something fast shows up.

  8. The slow ones are fine – it's the dark, leaping, skinless ones that slice at you and scream while it's pitch black, and you have to keep using pistol shots as you've already emptied the shotgun on the first wave.I HATE the dark in games.

  9. Actually it's crap, apart from one bit. You're playing a girl called Aline and walking down a dark corridor. Suddenly a voice starts calling your name. It ranges from deep and booming to really high pitched and sometimes there's more than one talking at the same time and sometimes it's just a whisper, but it just won't stop.In the dark, with that going on, it starts getting to you. You panic as you're trying to work out what to do and make bad decisions in the battle against a usually easy monster just down the corridor.They cut that bit out for the PS2 port even though it's in the PS1 version. Maybe too many people got freaked by it.

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