Sometimes, I really need to play a good horror game. This year for Halloween, since I am fortunate to be off on Monday’s, I decided to give Visage a try. I thought it might be fun to spend the entire day playing a horror game. Everyone loves horror at Halloween!

Visage is a horror game originally released in 2020 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Looking up the history of it on Wiki, it looks like the developers may have wanted to release it sooner – but life got in the way and so it came out during the pandemic.

As with everything, I am late to the party.

Gameplay

I decided to play Visage on my boyfriend’s recommendation. He knows the kind of games that I like and figured this is probably right up my alley. When I reviewed the trailer and read over a few other reviews, I figured it looked pretty good! It has great visuals and the trailer set up a pretty good ambience.

As far as gameplay goes – I decided I would play this on my PS5. I am not a PC gamer, I’m just not. I am entirely too uncoordinated. That said, I feel like this was one of the more frustrating games I have ever tried to play.

I will blame that entirely on how the controls worked. A lot of my frustration came from the clunky menus, or how hard it was to see the reticule.

Visage is a first person game largely completed by solving various puzzles. However, despite it being in first person – you don’t see your character. At all. I’m used to seeing hands of the character on the screen. This helps me navigate or determine where I am trying to aim – but in Visage, you don’t have that.

In order to target things to interact with – you are reliant on this incredibly small, faint circle on the center of your screen. This caused me difficulty in that I could not see what I was targeting, and the hitbox for selecting items was tiny.

I suspect this is largely due to this game being originally designed on a PC. As I had no options to brighten or enlarge the reticule or enlarge it. I was stuck trying to do my best even though it was often pretty much invisible.

The second part of this game that made it so incredibly frustrating to me were how clunky navigating the menus was. For example, in once instance I was running down a hallway to avoid being caught by some creatures, and I needed to open and unlock a door. Although I had the key in my inventory – in order to open it, I had to target the door, open inventory, select the key, choose to use, exit the inventory, and then use the door. All of this time in the inventory screen did not, of course, pause the game time – so I did die just trying to open a door.

This was incredibly frustrating, and it actually came up several times for me. Why not just unlock the door if I have the key?

The next aspect to become incredibly irritating – the game often didn’t make it clear when I could uh, die. That sounds silly, but in once instance I straight up stood in a hallway looking around while I died – even questioning, ‘Did I just die?’ because I could not tell where the tutorial ended and game-play began. That very well could just be me, I’m often not great at these types of games.

I also found the puzzles to be…. obnoxious. While I do understand it is a puzzle game, but I often found that the solutions made no sense whatsoever, and in most cases, were so frustrating to solve that I would forget I was playing a horror game. In one case, I was so removed from the game I began yelling at one of the ghosts, ‘I don’t have time for your shit, Delores.’

I honestly spent more time being frustrated at the controls, the menus, and how difficult getting around was that I very often just forgot the type of game I was playing. I honestly gave it up after 8.5 hours and barely making it halfway through.

Your mileage may vary greatly here, and it sounds like I am not alone in my control frustrations – but it also sounds like perhaps the controls for the console are to blame, as a lot of the folks who played this on PC were able to play this just fine.

Story

I have to give this the caveat – I only made it halfway through this game. Although it seems like Visage had such promise, I was so frustrated that I couldn’t finish it. Of the three chapters – I completed Rakan first and then started on Delores.

From what I have read about the game after, it seems I may have set myself up for a touch time by doing Rakan first – but I played this blind and had no idea what I was doing.

The game starts off with you playing Dwayne, what seems to be a suburban dad. You start in a basement, and for some reason, murder what appears to be your family before killing yourself. From there, paranormal events start happening throughout the house – and picking up certain objects triggers a chapter of gameplay.

Rakan’s chapter is the only one I made it through- although I can not honestly tell you that I understand what happened. I was more often angry at the game and frustrated, so I would frequently forget what was happening or what I was doing.

What I do have to say that is positive about Visage, is that the atmosphere was excellent, the designs of the ghosts and the care in which the developers put into creating what seems to be an excellent horror game.

Overall Review

I’m sure by now you can tell I did not really enjoy Visage as much as I would have liked. I struggle to really rate it based on my experience – and due to not really completing it. If I had to rate it on how it performed on the PS5 alone – I would give it a 3 out of 10. It was frustrating, difficult to navigate, and the controls were so irritating that I gave up out of frustration.

That said, I don’t think it’s really fair to review the game that way. Instead, I would encourage you to try it for yourself (although, perhaps, play it on PC instead) – or check out a Let’s Play on YouTube. I strongly suggest Christopher Odd‘s Let’s Play for it – as I’ve seen several of his LP’s and I really enjoy how he tackles the games, the way he speaks, and his appreciation for the genre.

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