[ Introduction ]
Now that Halloween has come and gone it is time for the REAL scariest time of the year (at least in America) Thanksgiving and Black Friday! All that food to stuff yourself silly with and all those sales to purchase all the materials you could ever imagine/do not truly need. Where am I going with this? Gluttony and Greed, two of the Seven Deadly Sins to get you a sure-fire one-way ticket to H-E-Double Hockey Stick! Well, I have figuratively and literally been to Hell and back for this review. As famously quoted from Dante’s Inferno, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” because this is ChickenPerm’s review of Agony on the Nintendo Switch.
A damned soul must travel through the anguish of the infernal regions to find the Red Goddess in the hope of salvation.
[ Gameplay ]
Agony is a first-person game in which the soul is attempting to sneak through Heck. I imagined this game like how Frodo and Sam had to stealthily travel through Mordor in The Lord of the Rings because the area is sweltering and overwhelming. You are not some bad-ash hero like Kratos or Sora that travels in and out of Hades all willy-nilly, but an underpowered weak soul that does not stand a chance in battle against any of the creatures you come across. There is a mechanic to hold your breath to help you sneak past demons before they can sense you. If you are detected by any of the ugly creatures, then you are doomed. Once you are killed, there is a way to transfer your soul into a weaker tortured being to continue playing. Otherwise, you will just restart at the last checkpoint.
The map at the top right corner of the screen is pretty useful and marks all the collectables and notes you can get, that is if you dare stray from the path you are intended to traverse…There are even gross looking eye/fruit things you can find to upgrade your soul for perks to make the hellish journey a bit easier. I really like that edition to the game.
Aside from the story mode, there is also a randomly generated challenge option that implements a scoring system for Highscores and replay-ability.
[ Visual and Perfomance ]
I am not a technical expert or snob, but hot diggity dog did this game struggle with the frame rate. No matter where I was or what I was doing, the game kept stuttering. The environment is insanely dark when the brightness is set to what the menu recommends, and I believe I know why that is. When I was playing, I was really struggling to get past the first section because I could not see anything, so I just cranked the brightness to the max. Once I did that you could see how unwell the graphics were done. Personally, I feel like these type of horror games use shadow and blackness to cut corners on the game’s appearance. The game actually became playable once the brightness was maxed out though for me.
The depiction of fire, brimstone, eternal damnation, and torture is done really well. All the creatures are disturbing, and the environment looks miserable, as The Underworld should.
[ Sound ]
Suffering and torment can be heard all around you even if you do not see it. Agony does an admirable job of making it sound like you made all the wrong decisions in your life and ended up in the bad place. There is voice acting, and that is all done very well. The audio is unsettling, and it should be no other way.
[ Conclusion ]
In concept, Agony is one of the better horror adventure games I have played, but in practice, it is horrible. The poor frame rate and lack of graphical polish is disappointing, but I feel like people treated this game as if it were a Triple-A title when it first came out. Do not get me wrong there is not much to say in favour of this game, but at least the creators went out on a limb to try and make something unique. Now that I have played this I could really use a port of Dante’s Inferno from the PS3 and Xbox 360 because that is the best game that uses Hell as it’s setting that I have played. I cannot recommend Agony for its full price of $19.99, but if you were interested in the genre, it would be worth it at half that price in my opinion. In all honesty and regards to gameplay/story/setting, I prefer this than Amnesia Collection, but unfortunately, the game’s performance dragged me to Hell. I have reviewed plenty of games that have put me through much more pain and Agony, though.
After something a little less scary check out this Chibi horror game Obakeidoro HERE!