Ever wondered what it’s like to navigate the world as a blind person? Well wonder no more, Perception lets you experience how it’s like to navigate the world without seeing anything. But there’s a catch, it’s a horror game.
Platform Reviewed: PC
Platforms Available: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Developer: The Deep End Games
Release Date: 30 May, 2017
MSRP: Php 549.99 (Steam), $22.99 (Steam)
This review is based on a copy purchased by the author.
Perception follows the story of Cassie, a blind woman who is having some strange dream of a certain mansion. She then was able to locate the mansion and she tries her best to unravel the mysteries within all the while avoiding the threat of the Presence who seems to be out to get her. You must be wondering how all this will work yet surprisingly it does work.
The game is a first person navigation experience. As Cassie, you can navigate the world by the use of Echolocation. It’s the ability to sense objects and location by the mere sound they emit. She can also do this by tapping on the ground so that the sound waves will collide with objects and locations. I like how they do this and makes it seem like it’s her superpower. It reminds me of Daredevil and his ability to do this.
What makes it a horror game is the fact that you have no means to fight back any threats. The only thing you can do is run and hide and wait for the threat to subside. I did notice that even when you’re not tapping or you’re standing still inside a chest you are hiding in. The chest you’re hiding in is still visible. Which makes me wonder if this ability of hers leaves a resonating residue of some sort.
Cassie has other tools to help her in her quest to figure out the mystery of the mansion though. One of them is her smartphone. She uses the smartphone to take pictures of papers and other written materials so that it can be read back to her. Her smartphone has a text-to-speech app that lets her do this. Making it easy for her to figure out what has been written.
Another feature of her phone is the community add-in of the text-to-speech app. This lets her upload any images without texts into a community of users who help describe objects for her. I’m pretty amazed how she’s even getting signal from this remote location. Especially when the landscape of the mansion changes from time to time. Makes me wonder if there’s a network signal in the otherworldly dimension. I do think this is a cool feature and lets you realize how blessed those of us who does not have to navigate the real world like this.
Cassie also has a “third eye” perception. This is not really a feature that she can use on everything but is only there to help her guide to her objectives. Using the third eye allows her to see the location of important objects or locations that will her move forward into the game. There are moments in the game though where this cannot be activated and the game tells you to just explore to get to your next objective. It is definitely not easy to navigate the mansion as you are literally heading into it blind. It’s like playing a game without a map. And I sometimes find myself getting lost and not really knowing how to get to the next objective. It’s frustrating but I believe that is part of the experience. I do think the developers did a great job simulating the world of the blind without it being offensive.
I really like the color schemes of this game. The black and blue highlights are warm and inviting and creepy at the same time. For a game where you can’t see anything, each object is very detailed and everything was carefully made to depict objects and structures. The change in color when there’s threat gives you that urgency to get back to that warm, inviting hues of blue.
Sound really plays an important role as this is your main lifeline in navigating the world. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “things that go bump in the night” as each sound becomes resonated and reverberated throughout your surroundings. It really gives chills and fits the game’s setting.
Overall, Perception is a relaxing yet tenseful game. A game that lets you experience how it is to lose sight. I can’t imagine having to navigate their world this way and all I can say it’s making me see them in a new light. It makes me thankful for my sight and makes me realize that blind people make do with what they have and still enjoy life as it is. I applaud the developers for bringing this experience to us that which makes me more considerate of what a blind person has to go through everyday.
A recommended game, it’s missing a few things but it’s a fun experience for players.
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