I play A LOT of horror games. I also have a wife and a baby so my gaming time is limited to nighttime after everyone is asleep. Lights were out, Astro headphones were on, game was loaded up. I was ready to dive into the world of Perception. What I was not ready for, was how messed up this game would be.
Perception is from The Deep End Games and published by Feardemic.A successful Kickstarter helped make this game possible raising over $160,000 to help finish the games development. Made by a dev team of former Irrational Games employees that worked on Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite, Perception is a first person perspective horror game played through the eyes of a blind woman. Yes, a blind woman. She uses echolocation to see things in her environment and it makes for some truly terrifying scares.
You play as Cassie, a blind woman who has been called to a manor in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Through the use of echolocation, her footsteps, her hearing and her cane you can get a great sense of the manor. This is where the gameplay really shines. Having this forced sense of… ‘Perception’ really makes you appreciate all the subtleties that appear on screen. Movement is very fluid and Cassie can use her cane to help her see what is around her. Be warned though, use the cane too much and The Presence will come after you. What this game does incredibly well is it’s scares. Because of the use of sound is so important in this game when a loud noise happens, Cassie quickly turns around in the direction of the sound. Making you feel just as nervous as she does. Perception is spooky, creepy, and downright scary. Multiple times when I played I had to stop playing because I would get so scared that I would wake my sleeping wife and baby.
Cassie moves through standard first person controls. She walks at a brisk pace and the use of her cane and echolocation are both easily accessible. As mentioned before though, use too much of the cane and you be hunted by “The Presence”. What makes the gameplay interesting is that if you want to not be hunted, you simply don’t make a lot of noise. There is enough atmospheric sound to keep your echolocation working but it makes for a creepier vibe as you can’t see much of the manor.
The game is short, linear, and has some predictable scares but there is also a great narrative. Perception focuses more on telling a story than trying to scare you. You can use Cassie’s “6th Sense” to see your next goal which feels like it takes some of the frighting parts away. At the same time it’s what you don’t see that can be really scary. As creative humans our imagination can be worse than the real thing.
Perception is out now for PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One at $22.99 and for a game like this, it’s a great value. You’ll enjoy a wonderful story while being creeped out. Just remember to keep a small light on.