Agony presents itself as one of the most anticipated titles of this season, offering itself as a possible pillar of Survival Horror in first person, with a setting that aims to be exciting and immersive.
This game has won a long battle by proposing itself on the site Kickstarter with a fundraising campaign to be able to make it and bring it to our screens.
The campaign was a great success, exceeding the initial goal of $ 66.666 by more than double. Below we leave you the opportunity to visit the Kickstarter page of the project with related achievements.
Will it have met our expectations? Let's find out together in this analysis of the title, which we got to try on Playstation 4!
Agony: What is it about?
Agony is a game set in Hell developed by Madmind Studio and distributed by Koch Media, where we will take on the role of a tormented soul in search of salvation and without memory of its past.
Our task will be to wander this land of torture by solving puzzles and escaping the clutches of ferocious demons, in order to get closer to the truth about our past and to a solution to escape.
We are talking about a title announced a few years ago, which during its development stages gradually gathered a growing audience that was anxiously awaiting its release, and when it was finally announced the community burst.
The title was shown in more than one trailer where it was possible to get a taste of its evocative settings and the functioning of its gameplay.
Here is the trailer official language in italian:
Our "Highway to Hell" begins
Small musical reference aside, we begin our hellish adventure by learning about a divine figure inside Hell, the Red Goddess.
This goddess is the mother of wandering souls, the salvation that everyone seeks and the source of martyrdom that everyone aspires to reach.
During our journey we will have the opportunity several times to hear his voice and to hear about it from the other unfortunate travelers we will find during our adventure, who speak of it as if it were their only source of purification.
Our survival instinct, the moans and screams of joy will be the only elements that will guide us, and following them will be the key to immerse yourself in this setting that is all based on auditory and visual suggestion.
The game system is very basic, allowing you to move, run and bend over. To escape the numerous dangers of Agony, moreover, it will be possible hold your breath to reduce the chances of being tracked down or possess the soul of a wanderer whenever we happen to die.
Death is an important part of the game, as it is omnipresent and sometimes mandatory.
The huge flaws of this title
Agony is a title that like few recently has created a lot of anticipation, and in the same way has been able to ruin it and even completely overturn the idea of the players, resulting in a game that unfortunately lacks on many aspects.
Let's analyze together why the title, although it has good potential, has not been able to exploit what it has shown to the public.
Plot and setting
There is very little to say about the Agony plot, because the presence of new scenarios and plot developments is practically non-existent.
From the beginning we will have our goal very clear and we will have to do everything to follow it step by step within the game, but we will not be lucky enough to witness unexpected twists, significant characters or key details. The whole title is narrated in a very superficial way.
The setting for its part is instead well rendered. We can witness crudities of different kinds and shapes, well studied and very imaginative.
An example of a well-rendered setting is the exploitation of the corpses of the damned to create structures and walls of different shapes and sizes, which perform very well in the context.
The feeling of anguish and anxiety is satisfying, although it is overwhelmed by the game's many flaws.
This title, if we had to sum it up with a funny title, could become "Inferno Walking Simulator". Less funny is the fact that in many ways this is indeed the case.
The possibilities at our disposal are very few and repetitive, and even if the game has an enhancement system with the expenditure of points, the result changes very little. Throughout the course of the game, although the settings change, (and not by much) the actions we will carry out will always be the same: explore, escape, die and possess souls.
Furthermore, the mechanics of the game, although they are few, are often not explained in an exhaustive way, complicating the gaming experience.
Everything would also be justified if these few things were made to the best and used intelligently, but this was not the case.
This title, focusing everything on being suggestive and immersive, should shine when it comes to the graphic details, textures and complexity of its game maps. Unfortunately for us the agony also reaches graphic levels.
Very "stretched" and low quality textures, very little detailed models and badly exploited particle effects will be our worst enemies, combined with a character used for dialogue that is really annoying and not very useful if you try to keep your diopters constant.
The game, using a powerful graphics engine like Unreal Engine 4, is very disappointing that it hasn't released a patch for Playstation 4 Pro and Xbox One X.
The sound is perhaps the only aspect of Agony that can be defined as sufficient. Sounds such as screams of pain, eviscerations and other sounds produced by bones or animal sounds are well rendered, having been rightly made for their purpose, which is to share the suffering that can be suffered in this "digital hell".
The voice acting of the characters is of good quality, except for a few voices very often reused for the wandering souls of Hell, but overall it is acceptable.
Agony has created many expectations, which unfortunately have not been satisfied. The game is definitely in need of improvement on all fronts, having truly disappointed the players and having wasted the opportunity to be a potential pillar of Survival Horror.
The fact that the title is too short in duration (reaching a total of about four or five hours of play) makes it even less justified, knowing that the list price is currently around 40 €.
In the hope that this title receives updates that improve it and do it justice, our judgment remains very negative for now.
However, one premise has been respected: It was an Agony.
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