Tormented Souls has a really fantastic mechanic that I think will pass a lot of players by, at least for the most part. The game is dark, extremely dark. In some places, you literally can’t see a thing without the lighter equipped. However, this mechanic works even if you can see a glimpse of light. There are areas of the game where, if you stand for too long without a light, you’ll die. Something comes out of the darkness, grabs you, and ends the game. All the progress you haven’t saved is gone, and it’s purely because of a lack of light in a single area. I think this is amazing.
The darkness enemy mechanic does give you a warning. The screen flickers like you’re losing connection to your TV. Instead of the screen going blank, it just gets worse until the darkness comes and takes you away. This ensures that players never stand around in the dark for too long, and I think it’s a great way of forcing players to play the game in a certain way. I noticed that some puzzles and routes would be easier if you could kill an enemy in the dark. However, that’s just not an option. If you try to, not only are you blinded, you’re about to be killed by potentially multiple enemies.
It’s a truly creative solution to the issue of players breaking the game by playing it in an unintentional way, and it fits with the survival horror aesthetic. Sure, it might seem a bit cheaty to some players, but I think that being forced to complete the puzzles and play the game in the way it was intended is exactly what Silent Hill and Resident Evil would have done. If you haven’t tried this horror game yet, give it a go. It’s got some fantastic visuals, a really interesting story, and some of the best puzzles you’ll have played through in 2021. It’s a love letter to classic survival horror, and I can see classic survival horror writing back to declare its love as well. I just hope it doesn’t because that would be terrifying.