Tormented Souls has some of the best sound design I’ve witnessed in a game since Dead Space. That game had a lot of time poured into making every scene as horrific as possible, and that’s what’s happened in Tormented Souls. The save rooms even have a similar theme to those in Resident Evil that always makes you feel safe. Just like Silent Hill though, the music is a fantastic way that the game keeps you on edge, always waiting for something scary to happen, or an enemy to come around the corner and kill you in the next few seconds.
Each area has a distinct theme in Tormented Souls. The exploration section of the game has a generally tense atmosphere that keeps you on your toes. The save rooms and large scale areas have different themes that aren’t quite as horrifying. They’re far from relaxing though. I’d actually go as far as saying that they go against any sort of relaxation, making you feel just slightly less stressed instead. Then there are the enemies and mirror world areas to consider. The music becomes all metal and huge terrifying noises at this point. It’s designed to make you want to turn the game off, and it achieves that really well. I hate it, but of course, I keep playing and plowing through.
The sound design of the enemies is particularly good. They’re grotesque monsters with knives for hands, and they scrape along the floor, alerting you to their presence even if they don’t see you. It’s a great way of telling players that there’s a threat up ahead without revealing it. I’ve not seen such clever use of sound design outside of enemies in other classic survival horror games. If more modern survival horror entries did this, we’d have a much richer genre to work our way through, and that would be amazing.
If you want to see what a masterclass in modern sound design looks like in horror games, then this is a title for you to play. It’s not that difficult, but there are some obscure puzzles and truly horrific sections to play through. Still, they’re worth it if you want to experience such a great game.