Developer: BLOODIOUS GAMES
Platforms: PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Serise X PC
Reviewed On: PS5
Release Date: 26/06/2022
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
The horror genre, like all gaming genres, copies a successful game until the next big thing comes out. However, for some reason horror titles seem to do it so closely they start to feel a little too copied. Does Madison break the mold?
In Madison you play as Luca, who has been tricked by a demon into completing a dark ritual inside your grandfather’s home. While exploring and solving puzzles, you will learn of Madison Hale, a witch who completed similar ritual murders before killing herself. And of course she is still a problem now.
The game also likes to add in some family history that feels somewhat pointless when it comes to the main story. As they do not really seem connected to the present.
There is a good story in there once you’ve ignored the fluff you have to wade through.
Polaroid To The Rescue
Madison follows the horror walking sim. Solve puzzles and amble around an overly sized house where weird things happen. While carrying every must have survival tool in a demon, infested house; a Polaroid camera.
Now on paper, this sounds good to me, as Project Zero is one of my favourite horror games. Madison falls down after the initial hour and it is a shame. Initially, the game did a great job of setting the horror feel. Waking up no idea what’s happening with your dad banging on the door. Just like Luca.
The Polaroid is the main tool for solving puzzles by taking pictures of key locations within the house. This was for the first couple of times cool as the house shacks and something changes. After a few more times, it’s like ‘here we go again’.
If the camera does not work, then you will need to examine every aspect of the rooms you are in to find a clue. To then wander aimlessly on how to use it, to find there a new item you didn’t see as you checked the room beforehand. This really annoyed me.
It’s Not Scary
Madison is a problem of its own making. It feels like the developers wanted to do too much and it just does not gel. For instance, the comical angel statue that appears in different places for seemingly no reason. To top it off, it’s not not even freaky let alone scary. It moves so much it’s just daft.
Mix this with the very short track loop playing throughout the whole game. It loses all the scares. Even the jump scares repeat themselves. Not as much as the soundtrack, no idea how many doors are in the house, but one is open every few minutes. I keep all doors open so I remember where I had been.
These are just a few overused examples of this overly packed game.
Madison is the perfect example of why less is more. It has its moments, but the repetitive nature of most of the game, along with tedious puzzle design, drags the game down.