S.W.A.N.: Chernobyl Unexplored Review

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Welcome, all to my review of  S.W.A.N.: Chernobyl Unexplored a game from the publishers at Art Game Studio (they had also published WW2 Bunker Simulator) and the Developers at Volframe.

Psychological horror is right up my alley so I was pleasantly Excited to play this game, keep reading on to see how I got on.

FPS? Scary? Puzzles? They all fit. but Together?

One of the many Dark and hollow Passageways

When reading up on this game I was excited I got a lot of outlast vibes from it and the opening sequence was truly amazing.

I am a sucker for psychological horror movies so when I saw this game I was so ecstatic to play a game of my favourite genre of movie. I could just see myself roaming around the plant awaiting anything to jump out and scare the pants off me.

Albeit that is not what I got from playing the game it still has an interesting concept.

Gameplay

Uh hi, floaty guy…

Now at the beginning of the game, you get a nice lengthy cutscene about the Chernobyl disaster and what and why you are doing there. Then you simply get dropped into the game and you are meant to explore the facility you are in, this is where I was most scared, it was dark, the creepy ambience in the background made me think of my every move.

The story is 9 months after the disaster in Chernobyl – a team of scientists from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology received signals that proved the existence of people operating in a previously evacuated area. Also, various, unexplained anomalies had been discovered.

on paper, this is an amazing concept a team of scientists grouping together to find out what these weird anomalies are but the execution just did not live up to me.

It started when I got all of these Abilities and the horror of the game slowly dwindles and felt more of a SciFi Adventure with horror elements. I felt like half of the time I had no sense of direction and no complete objective apart from walking around finding what you need and going elsewhere, now this may be what certain people like but for me especially it wasn’t my cup of tea.

Graphics and Audio

The graphics in this game are quite spectacular until a certain part in the game where it goes to look like something out of the ’90s Doom game.

All together the graphics are quite realistic and had me feeling as if I was there and the atmosphere in the early game was amazing from the light shining in from the windows illuminating the room to the total darkness, with only a slither of a flashlight holding your sanity together. That is one thing S.W.A.N.: Chernobyl Unexplored does well keeping that atmosphere on the brink of sanity and illusion.

The audio can mess with you at times throwing static/white noise around messing with your perception of what is happening. The lonely footsteps in the background to the cry/shout of an anomaly have you really thinking of where to go next and if you want to continue.

Am I playing Doom?

Longevity

Now depending on the player that lies with how long you can play this game if you like to roam around solving puzzles and reading all of the lore with a game, then this is for you.

It is a quite big game and can take your time up in an instance but for me, I did not enjoy that style, I felt like I had no direction and couldn’t fathom out what I was doing next.

Final Thoughts

My final thoughts on S.W.A.N.: Chernobyl Unexplored are varied, this had the potential to become a great game but for me, the execution did not live up to my expectations If the game stood with its first five minutes and kept it like that with progression this game would have been a big baller for me.

although if you have time and enjoy this type of game I say go and try it out, it may be completely different for you than it was for me.

Now with all that being said, I am going to give S.W.A.N.: Chernobyl Unexplored The Thumb Culture Bronze Award

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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