Madison Review – Snapshots Of Potential – Game Informer

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What do a murderous witch, the mysterious death of a grandmother, and demonic possession have in common? An old Polaroid-style camera. Finding out what it means to brave Madison, an indie horror title that fits the mold of a post-PT first-person haunted house. Players survive by solving an impressively rendered homely puzzle and armed with a camera that meets the eye. Despite having a strong premise, presentation, and core mechanic, flawed puzzle design and repetitive fears weigh down the experience.

As Luca, a demon has manipulated you into carrying out a dark ritual inside your haunted family home. Along the way, you’ll learn about Madison Hale, a witchcraft practitioner who performed a variety of rituals before killing herself. While she sits at the center of your plight, the story also weaves into your family history in diabolical ways that sometimes feel detached from the main plot, making it unclear what a supernatural visit to a 1950s church How is directly related to current. planning. Luca’s nervous, eye-popping rumblings also became a distraction, so I’m grateful that a silent mode turned him into a muted, subtitled hero for me to up the creepy factor.

Your extraterrestrial camera serves as your primary interactive tool and occasional weapon. Taking pictures of prominent places can break down barriers, open portals to new areas, and create other cool, reality-bending effects. Photos often serve as important clues. It’s a neat mechanic, and I love the tension of moving the Polaroid to see if the big revelation happens. Since there is no visual indication to take a picture, I learned to photograph something whenever I hit a wall.

When the camera doesn’t respond, you’ll rummage through a limited list of items for the right tool to locate open floorboards or snap chains. The puzzle-solving evokes Resident Evil in that sense, and while there are some clever puzzles, others can be overly opaque, and it can be easy to lose the thread on what to do next.

After receiving a new item, I wandered around the house for over an hour looking for a way to use it, only to find that I had to go back to a room I set out to find an unrelated item. Did a thorough search for what appeared to be the corner floor. A notebook that throws up your next objective in a fuzzy way; The solution required such a huge leap in logic that I screamed, “How do I know that?!” These situations happen a lot more than I’d like, so don’t be afraid to keep the walkthrough open because that feeling of dread is exacerbated by having to revisit the house several times to find a metaphorical needle in a haystack.

Exploring this damned abode during the opening hour or two of hair raised thanks to its oppressive atmosphere and extraordinary lighting work. A shadow-covered corner or ladder always gave me pause, and the bumps and camera tricks of the game’s surroundings made me second-guess every step. Unfortunately, the longer I researched, the more I noticed that Madison made excessive use of its looping soundboard of creaks, groans, and thunderclaps. I eventually stopped jumping on the same door closing sound effect because I knew it wasn’t a threat, and it made Madison’s house feel closer to a County Fair haunted house with a broken record player.

That doesn’t mean that Madison hasn’t had terrible moments; Activating a series of record players while being chased by a monstrous creature from a children’s book terrifies me, and the game has its fair share of “no” moments. I believe less is more when it comes to horror, and Madison is at her best when she stirs up a major scare and walks soberly. As the adventure progresses, it tends to indulge in itself too much. A room-hopping figurine stared me every couple of seconds in more absurd places such as in bathtubs and awkwardly on top of furniture, a few times before I laughed and turned away the danger of it.

Madison also begins to rely heavily on her fear of cheap jumps, especially during the back half, where I was hit by his near-constant barrage. I also experienced the same jump twice in the same spot within minutes. After the fourth “surprise” in a row, I became more disappointed with them than anything. I can see Madison being a hit with the streaming crowd because of this, but I wish it showed more restraint and creativity on that front.

Despite my apprehensions, Madison still offers a respectable evening of dread and is well worth a look for fans of psychological terror. It succeeds in building tension and puzzle variety, when it becomes obsessed with flute players with head-bending solutions and the fear of a limp jump makes their hearts stop. But when the game is done right, you’ll be glad no one looked at your face.

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