Past Cure Review
Past Cure is an ambitious third person ‘action’ game from German indie developer, Phantom 8 Studios. They say, “Past Cure is a cinematic, story driven experience where the player follows the struggle of a broken man searching for the missing pieces of his mind. With intense cut-scenes and intriguing story items throughout the levels, the players can unravel a story that will keep them guessing til the end.”
The story of Past Cure focuses on an ex-soldier named Ian, who having after a series of military experiments conducted on him has lost the previous three years of his memory and now suffers from severe nightmares in which he’s haunted by red-eyed mannequin styled monsters, among others.
With his mental health deteriorating, Ian is desperate to discover what happened to him and seek out revenge on his former captors. Sounds pretty interesting doesn’t it? Unfortunately its not.
It feels like a mis-match of several games put together without much thought, it looks and plays like a Xbox 360 game at best, think Max Payne meets Alan Wake. The voice acting is wooden and uninspiring which doesn’t help bring the story along any. Actors appear to be reading the script with no emotion. Subtitles are on by default, however on several instances the subtitles don’t match up with what I seen on screen; entire sections of subtitles just go missing and/or the subtitles just don’t match what’s being said. It feels as if the voice actors changed a word to suit their performance, but the changes were never reflected back in the script
The gameplay centres around several elements all of which aren’t done very well. Shooting is basic, and often the controls aren’t responsive or your shots don’t register unless you are shooting directly in the centre of a generic bad guy’s body. The fighting mechanics are sloppy and often punches are missed unless you are standing square on to an enemy (see a pattern here?) It offers the tried and tested, three button combo and press triangle to counter mechanism.
Over the course of the game, you’re given access to Ian’s superhuman abilities. The most useful of these tools is Ian’s ability to slow down time, which can, in theory, be used to do things like cross platforms before they crumble or shoot bullets from the air. The thing is, these more novel ideas are almost never used throughout the campaign. Most of the time you’ll simply utilize this ability to slow down enemies so you can line up a headshot or get away from pursuers before they can catch you with that dreaded one-shot kill.
In addition to being able to manipulate time, Ian can also use astral projection to view faraway areas and hit switches that are out of reach. It’s a cool idea, the problem is it’s never used in more interesting ways, except for on the very rare occasion you’re able to transfer your conscience to an enemy and have them hack a terminal before their brain melts.
In my couple of hours playing the game I have several game breaking crashes (one in particular at the same sequence, three times!) which meant I had replay sections of the game. This was not fun, and made me dislike the game even more!
I didn’t enjoy this game. In fact I forced myself to play more of it, only in order to write this review. I found it boring even though the premise of it and the ideas it tries to portray should be interesting. Ultimately the story is nonsense, the script and the voice acting is uninspired and the gameplay/visuals make me feel like I’m playing something from the original Xbox.
GoG Rating: 3/10