Game Info: (Box Display)
- System: PC, PS4, Xbox One
- Publisher: Phantom 8 Studios
- Developer: Phantom 8 Studios
- Release Date: Feb. 23, 2018
- Rating: M for Mature
- Genre: Action, Horror
- Players: 1
- Official Website: https://phantom8.studio/
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
Past Cure’s preview build contained two chapters for us to play. The first we’ll start with was a dilapidated jail of sorts where we see the horror-like gameplay of Past Cure. We explored an eerie jail, solved some simple puzzles, used a few of our “powers”—more on that in a minute—and witnessed the reality breaking themes of Past Cure’s narrative. In this chapter, we see Past Cure remind us of Heavy Rain and Silent Hill combined with creepy ambiance and strange narrative that leaves you slightly confused but equally intrigued. However, in terms of gameplay, we also saw the first power Ian—the player character—in action.
In Past Cure, players have two main powers—at least so far—one of which is astral projection allowing the player to throw their spirit out and interact with environments and some objects. Then there’s the ability of slowing time but this power is seen more in chapter 2, which we’ll mention in a moment. The first chapter of Past Cure was truly intriguing and at times kind of creepy. Weird mannequin enemies were introduced as the primary enemy in this strange world, and with the ability to kill Ian in one hit, we saw Past Cure’s gameplay being stealth and puzzle focused in chapter 1. However, chapter 2 of Past Cure was quite different.
Past Cure’s second chapter was focused on the action element of the game. Similar to titles like Max Payne, we fought our way through an office building with tons of thugs and bodyguards. Here, Past Cure still allowed stealth to kill enemies but you could also use several guns and even slow down time to increase your chances of surviving in a gunfight. However, we also see that Ian can’t use his powers for too long as they can affect his sight and movement. Past Cure, during this sequence, was kind of generic—though does work well enough—and the enemy AI was quite odd at times. Often, enemies would rush us even if they had no guns and we did, then at times the enemy would have pinpoint accuracy and kill us with no problems. Past Cure worked during the melee/gun play focused action seen in chapter 2, but it felt a bit weak in comparison to the creepy elements seen in chapter 1.
During both chapters of Past Cure’s preview, we noticed one thing that was amazing and that was the visuals. Past Cure on Epic settings looked incredibly especially for a studios first title but even on low it looked solid as well. The jail facility in chapter 1 was considerably nicer than the drab and generic offices in chapter 2 but both looked solid overall. Enemies also were better in chapter 1 as chapter 2’s foes were three models and most looked meh to say the least. We feel that Past Cure’s best use of graphics will be in the horror and mind-bending environments but we will wait to hold our judgments of this until the final product releases.
We also want to mention a few more elements we noticed with Past Cure before we wrap up our preview. Past Cure’s voice acting was to be pretty bad. We loved the story we saw presented as it seems very interesting but how ho hum Ian sounded at times made it seem like a low budget film. The music counters this slightly by providing a truly ambiance focused OST but will it be enough to save Past Cure in the full release? We’re not sure yet but it does kind of worry us to say the least.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Strong use of psychological horror like Silent Hill
- Intriguing story
- Supernatural powers could lead to some interesting puzzles
- Amazing visuals
- Narrator reminds us of Heavy Rain and that’s a good thing
- Voice acting is pretty bad
- Third person gunplay felt generic
- AI lacks smarts