The Visage Game Review - Times of Games


Visage Game Review - Times of Games

The absolute terror inside a giant house.

The PT, demo of the now-canceled Silent Hills was released in 2014 and has remained in the history of Horror games. Silent Hills may have been canceled and PT dropped from PlayStation Network, but this demo has left its mark in the category, as we see the impact even in quite recent titles. Since 2014, several developers from large and small companies, have made several attempts to create Horror titles that are worthy of PT and several of them are quite honest, such as the Layers of Fear series, while we also see big titles like Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, to be inspired in some areas by it.

One of these companies is SadSquare Studio which started in 2015 to develop a title, which has the ambition to be as scary as PT. SadSquare launched 2016 a campaign on Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight, which were successful and in 2018 released the first chapter of Visage in Early Access and a few months later followed the second. Visage received great reactions from the public and the streamers, whom it terrorized and so after two more years under development, it was released in its entirety with all its chapters in October 2020.

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When the sins of the past come to haunt you.


The story of Visage (= Visage in French) takes place in the '80s, almost all in one big house and consists of four chapters. The protagonist is Dwane Anderson, who is the latest owner of the house. The first three chapters, which you can start in any order, are each dedicated to a special person who lived in the house before Dwane and tells us their tragic stories, how their life in the house evolved, and the final their fate. The fourth chapter is dedicated to Dwane and to start it you must have completed all the previous ones.


The story that Visage tells us is not the most innovative that has ever existed, but the way it is presented to us is quite original and is done through gameplay, as the cutscenes are minimal. Inside the chapters, there are some collectibles, which can give you some more information but even without them, the story is quite complete. As a whole, Visage took us around 7 hours to complete, a satisfactory duration for a game of this kind. Of the four chapters, perhaps one was a bit disappointing, as it relies heavily on chase and trial and error. But each chapter manages to be unpredictable and different from the rest.

Exploring the empty dark house.

In Visage, you play from a First-person perspective and explore this big house looking for clues to puzzles and answers to what exactly happened. To start a chapter you have to interact with a specific object, which is important for each character and its story. Once you start a chapter various events will start happening in the house and puzzles will be created. Puzzles can range from finding a key to a particular door to a hammer to break mirrors. The puzzles are relatively difficult, mainly because the answer may be several rooms away and there are seldom clear instructions.


Your purpose is not always clear, so you need to constantly wander around the room to see if anything has changed or if you missed something. In some cases, however, there are clues to get you where you need to go. One downside is the inventory which is cumbersome and more complicated than needed. To throw an object or move it from one hand to another you need button combinations that the game does not tell you and you have to learn them with effort. So especially in the beginning, it will seem more difficult to get rid of an object than to find the solution to a puzzle.


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Do not move away from light often.


As you explore the house you should be careful to be in the light as often as possible because the longer you stay in the dark the worse your mental health will be as a result of which the creature that chases you, in any case, will catch and kill you. The checkpoints are quite generous and will not be wasted much of your effort every time.


 To avoid the darkness you should turn on the light from the switch in every hallway and room, while there are lighters in several places. To get rid of the worst when you do not find light available, Dwane can also take pills, which calm him down. Metaphysical phenomena in the house, such as closing a door on its own or breaking a lamp, happen several times by accident, which makes Visage quite stressful and unpredictable. Most jumpscares are well-crafted and well-designed, with the result that they achieve their purpose which is to remind you to never relax.

As you progress through each chapter, you begin to move further and further away from reality, and home environments change the form, often to focus on an important event in the character you are exploring. The result is transportation to hospitals, parks, churches, dating sites, and environments that are difficult to describe. In some cases, to solve a puzzle, you have to travel several times between the real and the metaphysical world. At the end of each chapter, you will always be at home, in its true form.


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Face Game Review - Times of Games

There is no combat system in Visage so you can not use a weapon to defend yourself. In each chapter, there is a specific enemy that you will avoid by staying in the light, while when it appears in specific places, you will have to run to escape it. These persecutions are minimal and most take place in a specific chapter, but they are particularly intense and stressful. Some of them end up in a trial and error gameplay where you sometimes repeat a specific scene until you find the right path.

Visage may be an indie title, but it does not have to envy many of the larger and more expensive graphic productions. SadSquare Studio used Unreal Engine 4 and has made the most of it. The house is full of details in every room and furniture. The same goes for the environments you will travel to. Excellent work has been done in each location and it will definitely leave you satisfied. The lighting, which is a very basic element of Visage, is also very careful and helps a lot in the suffocating atmosphere of the game. This is clear in a chapter where you use the camera flash to see patterns on the walls that are not otherwise visible or to instantly illuminate the room you are in.

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The design of the characters and creatures you will encounter is quite good with satisfactory detail. The physics of Visage, ie the way you lift objects to get them somewhere or when you open a door, are clearly inspired by the Amnesia series and follow the same logic. You will need to slide each door forward or backward to open it and the objects when you lift them are in the air in front of you. The game was stable at 30fps on PS4 without frame drops. We encountered some small glitches such as some objects passing through walls, but they were not significant and did not spoil the overall experience at all.


We are scared…

The audio sector is one of the main factors that make Visage so scary as it is quite well made and of good quality. When you wander around the house you will mainly hear your footsteps, while you will hear, among other things, squeaks, doors that open, and steps from the upper floors. The sudden instant sounds known from horror movies appear here too, but without becoming exaggerated. But when the default jumpscares happen, the music becomes very loud and creepy and almost always surprises you. All the entities you will encounter will scare you when you hear them, without having to see them.

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Visage does not have many dialogues, which appear mainly at points important to the story. The actors do a pretty good job in the roles of tortured souls and creepy creatures, especially Jean Habrukowich, who plays the elderly Dolores. It is noteworthy that Visage also has a Greek translation in the menus and subtitles, 

which is unheard of, especially for an indie title that does not have the support of a major publisherOf course, there are some mistakes such as some letters that are missing in some menus or a somewhat incorrect translation in some places. However, in the subtitles, where it is the most important, the translation is almost complete and as a whole is a remarkable effort to support our language.

If you have patience and are not afraid easily try it.


In conclusion, Visage is an excellent and really scary Horror game, which can easily stand among the best titles in this category, next to Amnesia and Outlast. For some of his mistakes, such as the inventory, which wanted a little more work, he atones with his great atmosphere and the variety of his world. SadSquare Studio did a great job and proved once again that to succeed in a game you do not only need a huge budget and hundreds of people and we look forward to seeing her next work. We highly recommend Visage to those who have strong nerves and patience and are looking for a well-crafted horror experience, but not in casual games looking for something to spend their time on. If you belong to the first category then he will definitely make you money.

Pros:

  • - Excellent Horror atmosphere
  • - Beautiful graphics - Well
  • -crafted sound field
  • - Puzzles that require thinking
  • - Greek language support

Cons:

  • - Hard to use inventory
  • - High difficulty and lack of guidance may surprise some
  • - Some glitches
  • - Marginally satisfactory duration

Rating:
Graphics: 7
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 7.5
Screenplay: 8
Durability: 5.5
Overall: 7.5

It one of the worst (in a good way) horror experiences.

The Face Game Review - Times of Games

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