Anthology Of Fear is a first-person survival horror with puzzle-solving elements. Developed by OhDeer Studio and 100 GAMES and published by 100 GAMES and Gamersky Games, Anthology Of Fear dropped on PlayStation on December 7th this year. It’s also available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Steam.
Search The Tapes, Find The Answers
Anthology Of Fear starts in the shoes of Ethan Sorren searching for his brother, Nathan Sorren, who’s been missing for two years. Following a lead to a supposedly abandoned hospital, Ethan breaks in and looks for answers amongst video tapes, cassettes and documents.
In Anthology Of Fear, the player will locate video tapes which take them into the named patient’s memories. Inside and outside of the videotapes, the main gameplay elements are puzzles, finding and listening to cassettes and reading documents to find clues and answers. The videotapes serve as levels in the game. Most of the story players learn about the story through notes and documents.
Puzzles vary throughout and are pretty straightforward to figure out. Some are finding the right tool to perform a task or placing the correct objects in their corresponding location based on clues from nearby notes or instructions. Excluding, for example, finding keys or a crowbar to progress forward, there aren’t a lot of puzzles in the game, and most of them are close to the end of the game.
Survival & Enemies
Unfortunately, the survival horror aspect is very light. I didn’t encounter any enemies or threats, with the closest thing to it were scripted moments and jumpscares. Only one segment of the game had a potential threat. However, you are provided with a means to defend yourself and don’t have the option to hide. The encounter is easy to survive and doesn’t take much to overcome. It was a bit disappointing as it’s labelled a survival-horror game, but there’s no real threat for most of the game.
Graphics & Audio
Graphically, nothing stood out to me in Anthology Of Fear. Generally, the textures and environments were fine, but nothing grabbed my attention. Most of the environments were things like run-down homes and abandoned buildings.
There were few character models in the form of characters or enemies, so players mostly saw furniture and occasional gore. Unless you’re scared of mannequins or feel creeped out by dilapidated buildings, there isn’t much of note to draw your attention. The jumpscares and creepy moments were few, too, and weren’t anything particularly new or notable.
I noticed an odd error when doing some puzzles. When I picked up a bunny statue, placed it down and then picked it back up, it was called a Toy Skull. Additionally, I got an achievement for collecting a glove, but I hadn’t collected a glove: I interacted with a rocking chair.
The same applies to the audio. Since there seemed to be no real threats or enemies, there was little audio to match, and any creepy ambience didn’t do anything without something to back it up.
Unfortunately, Anthology Of Fear was a miss for me. It didn’t offer anything I hadn’t seen before, nor did it present itself in a way that’d catch my attention. With a lack of enemies, threats, or even jumpscares and creepy events, most of my time within the game felt empty and bland. I felt like I walked from place to place and saw the same corridors and areas. Most unfortunately, I couldn’t even finish the game. On the second videotape, I had to do a mini-game to progress, but the controls stopped working every time I got to it. I tried restarting the level and the game and played the game up until the same point to no avail.
Though the price point is low, I wouldn’t recommend Anthology Of Fear until a few months have passed. If you’re a seasoned horror game fanatic, I would give this a pass, as it’s more of the same you’ve probably seen before.
I award Anthology Of Fear the Thumb Culture Bronze Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.