Past Cure asks the question what happens when reality breaks and melds with dreams as well as nightmares? Players will embody a man who has been forced into a world of intense survival. Those who love stories with psychological themes as well as action will find Past Cure quite intriguing. Are you losing your mind? Is this all some kind of dream or is it reality? Past Cure delves into this thought process and many more as you enter its world.
What to Expect
Similar to titles like Silent Hill, Max Payne and even Heavy Rain, Past Cure is one-part action title and one-part horror game. Players assume the role of a man who has begun to lose his mind due to experimentations. While he has gained surreal powers with the ability to project his spirit and even manipulate time, the side effects have begun to take a toll on his mind. Past Cure delivers a narrative and third person title from first time game developers Phantom 8 Studios. With an interesting mix of gameplay themes, Past Cure should appeal to those who like psychological horror as well as movie-like action.
Ian is a man who has found nothing but pain and suffering as of recent. Subjected to horrendous military experimentations, Ian has gained power at the cost of his own freedom and sanity. Ian will find his dreams and nightmares slowly begin to bleed into his everyday waking life and will question what is real and what is a surreal hallucination. Ian must seek a way to rid himself of this pain and will begin to dig into a past he might not be prepared for.
First-time game studios always have quite a challenge ahead of them. They must impress the gaming community but this is no easy feat. That’s why many developers rely on past well known titles to use as a muse of sorts for their product. In many ways, developer Phantom 8 Studios seem to have done this with their recent upcoming title Past Cure but we here at Honey’s Anime noticed it uses not one gameplay style but several. We only got to preview the first two levels of Past Cure but we can already see where Phantom 8 Studios has done some things correctly and other things not so much. Let us look at our preview review of Past Cure for the PC.
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:
Past Cure’s preview build was a nice way of showing what Phantom 8 Studios aims to deliver with their first game. We see a title that melds to gameplay genres not often used together and it seems to work in some ways. The Silent Hill and Heavy Rain narrative makes Past Cure truly gripping and leaves us wanting more. However, the third person gunplay similar to Max Payne seems okay at best and might be Past Cure’s weakest element. Sure, these moments play out like an action film but we can’t say it will turn out well for Past Cure in the final full release. Though for a first title, developer Phantom 8 Studios truly wowed us here at Honey’s Anime. We hope we can bring you a full review of Past Cure when it drops soon as we think it could be a good title especially with the price tag of only $29.99.
Strong use of psychological horror like Silent Hill
Supernatural powers could lead to some interesting puzzles
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
Honey's Final Verdict:
We feel that Past Cure could be a very interesting title when it comes out. The psychological horror and narrative have already made us anxious to play more of Past Cure to see how it will shape out. We also wonder how Ian’s powers can be used for puzzles and other confrontations. However, the gunplay is what worries us and we think it will be the weaker element to Past Cure. Though no matter what, folks, this is a preview build of Past Cure and with what we saw we think Past Cure might be a great title indeed. Are you folks looking forward to nabbing Past Cure when it ships in February? Why not comment down below to let us know and for all your gaming reviews, previews and article needs remember to keep returning back to our hive here at Honey’s Anime.
Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!