The Suffering

Overview

The amount of survival/horror titles being released on consoles has risen over the past few years. We have seen different types of horror games that try to find different ways to get into your head, and scare the living daylights out of you. Well, Midway has jumped on the bandwagon, and together with developers Surreal Software, they bring us a title that is just downright gruesome. It’s The Suffering for your PS2.

Gameplay

Before I make headway into the review of The Suffering, there are a few things I must say before moving forward. The Suffering is a game that I would never recommend to children. Make no mistake, this is one of the bloodiest games I have seen on consoles, with that they drop "F Bombs" like there’s no tomorrow. The game was developed for the big kid crowd and I must say you should try and keep it out of the hands of the little ones.

In The Suffering you play as a character named Torque, not your nicest fellow, who was sentenced to death for slaughtering his family. Nice guy eh? Well Torque was sent to death row for his conviction at an island prison (sounds similar to Alcatraz). Right after Torque is checked into his cell, the prison is attacked by evil monsters. With all the prison guards taken out, you’re left with a chance at escape. There’s only one problem though, there are monsters everywhere.

The game’s story is one that is just downright scary, and it really does look great. The story itself has some holes in it, that don’t make a whole lot of sense, but for the most part you have a game that was made to scare you, and it does a great job of doing just that.

As you play through the very first part of the game, you will find out that Torque can transform into an evil room-clearing monster when the insanity meter is full. This is a key addition to the game that really does an excellent job of mixing things up. You must make sure though that you don’t let the meter totally drain, or Torque will not be able to make it, and you will end up dying.

Throughout the game you will be given a variety of different weapons to take out enemy monsters. These firearms are going to be your ticket to completing this game. One thing I found pretty disappointing about The Suffering is that it doesn’t really utilize the monster transformation very well. This is more of an afterthought for the game, because it is just as easy to pick off monsters with your guns rather then having to go and transform into a monster.

The Suffering is more of a third person action horror shooter then anything, as each level will have you taking out monsters over, and over again. This is where I think Surreal could have improved The Suffering. You will find that as you get farther into the game you will find that the game just becomes downright repetitive. There is absolutely no strategy involved in the action of The Suffering, basically go in guns blazing and you should be pretty successful in The Suffering.

There are some breaks from the shooting with some puzzle solving in The Suffering, but those are few and far between. This is probably a good thing, because all of the puzzles seem much uninspired and plain boring.

Most of this review has been pretty negative but there are some positives to come out of The Suffering. The game does have the storyline, which is gruesome as a major incentive to keep you playing the game. Also the controls are pretty decent, controlling much like a First Person Shooter, this should be easy to pick up for most gamers. The game plays like a typical horror action game, nothing more, and nothing less.

Graphics

We have all seen our fair share of both bad and good looking horror titles. So which category does The Suffering fall into you might ask? Well let’s just say there is nothing negative to say about The Suffering’s graphics.

There are two things in The Suffering that really does well. First the lighting which was done very nicely, in such a dark setting you truly need a great lighting system to make things work out correctly, and that’s exactly what The Suffering did. Another big plus for The Suffering is the monster designs. You will find that the monster models were done very nicely and have some very unique monster models which were nicely created.

Overall the graphics of The Suffering were nicely done, they’re not perfect, but they are to the point where you’re not going to have anything to complain about.

Fun Factor

Well if you are one who gets scared easily then you probably won’t enjoy The Suffering a whole lot, but if you are one who doesn’t mind these types of games then there is some fun to be had with The Suffering. As I look at this game and my experiences with it, I find that it can be quite repetitive and could have been done better in many categories. It remains fun throughout with the interesting storyline, but there is still plenty of room for improvement.

Overall

If you are looking for a game to scare the living daylights out of you, then you should definitely think about picking up The Suffering because it’s a good game for you. Otherwise if you’re just looking in the game market for a new game, I would recommend this as a rental.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.