Play this innovative horror game – The Cowl
Get into the Halloween spirit with this immersive experience
by Dave Argento ’21 Staff A&E
While most ghost-hunting TV shows will make audiences laugh more than shudder, the immersive elements of the trending new game, Phasmophobia, takes gamers beyond any psychological horror video game before. Four ambitious Ghostbusters team up to investigate and report on paranormal activity that has increased in environments such as a school, several street houses, farms, and a huge lunatic asylum.
The group of players should use their limited ghost hunting gear to find as much evidence as possible to locate and report the ghost they are dealing with, but only if they are not caught up in the process. What separates Phasmophobia other horror titles aren’t the graphics or complexity, but rather the innovative use of audio and video features that only games currently allow.
Players must all connect via the in-game audio features to communicate with each other, making proximity to your friends vital so as not to get caught by a murderous specter during the game. The game uses word recognition to tailor the experience to the players. Each ghost has a name that causes an in-game reaction when spoken. Say the ghost’s name once too often and your friends might not hear your voice anymore.
What takes Phasmophobia to the next level is the virtual reality capabilities that can make a player loses some sleep at night. This combination of realistic visuals, looking around the room physically, and whispering ghosts creeping into your headphones makes the hunt more realistic than expected. You will find yourself having a conversation with an in-game ghost that responds in a spooky way.
Rich Stanton, a games reporter, writes, “Phasmophobia the genius is that it is a game of restraint and subtlety. As you become more familiar with the minimalist designs of the items, which you can only carry three at a time, and the movements of the characters, the ghosts you will encounter become more and more aggressive and playful. They’ll cut you off from your team, blow your ear, and send silhouettes in front of you for brief seconds, leaving you less confident that you’ve walked in. On each turn, your team will earn a certain amount of in-game money for your performance at work by identifying ghosts, losing money for each crew member who doesn’t return.
Phasmophobia has skyrocketed in popularity sinceIt was released on September 18th due to the many Twitch.tv streamers and YouTubers who enjoyed it. According to TwitchTracker.com, Phasmophobia was the fifth most released game during the first week of October 2020. Its long term success will depend on the ability of game developers to step up gameplay optimization and add new content to keep players coming back for more. .
Reasonably priced at $ 13.99 on the Steam Community Market, Phasmophobia is the perfect way for you and your friends to test your fear factors this Halloween. Turn off the lights, put on your headphones, and good luck finding out how scared of ghosts you are.