Review: Agony (PS4)

Review: Agony (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • Blu-ray Disc
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
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Title: Agony
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (10.5 GB)
Release Date: May 29, 2018
Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: MadMind Studio
Original MSRP: $39.99 (US), €39.99 (EU), £34.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: M
PEGI: 18
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Everything about Agony is just plain wrong. Although, in all fairness, I am describing a game set in the putrid depths of Hell. You begin the game at the gates of, yes you’ve guessed it, Hell.

Just in case you have the same idea as me, no, you cannot just turn round and go back, I tried.

You are apparently a tormented soul with no memory about your past and like everyone else in this nasty place, trying to find a way out and with any luck making it to the good place.

And by that, I mean Heaven, not the excellent series with Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, although I wouldn’t mind that option either.

It isn’t long before you bump into a few weary people. All seem to have sacks covering their ugly faces and you can remove the shroud. When prompted, they spurt out a depressing remark. With a quick swipe of my newly acquired flaming torch I ended their pitiful existence, again. Then, I stumbled across someone who knew me, before we ended up here. It turns out it’s a small –world– in Hell too.

Your character, who has a full and bedraggled body, can do a small jump, a crouch, and interact with a few things including the aforementioned torches that frequent this unpleasant place. There is a sprint command but it feels more like a slightly quicker walk. You can also make the camera zoom in to get a better look at the horrible scenes all around you.

Review: Agony (PS4)

Your objective is to meet the Red Goddess. I’m not sure why, but I’m guessing it isn’t for an interview and photo session. According to the developers at Madmind Studios, there are seven endings but I’m not sure if I’ll have the desire to see any.

A recent patch has fixed many problems and bugs but they cannot fix the dated mechanics and slow plodding nature of the game. Nothing has scared me during the slow crawl through the corridors and rooms of this tedious experience. I was, however, sick to my stomach at one individual’s wall-building method and a few other grotesque moments of gore.

The enemies hunting you can be killed and on one occasion I luckily led a very unpleasant thing into some fire. Instead of writhing in pain and agony as the fire spread over her rotten flesh, she just crumpled to the floor in an embarrassing heap without a single scorch mark or singed hair. Although, if my recall of the abomination is correct it doesn’t have any hair on its head, it hasn’t really got a head, more of a disturbing mouth with sharp teeth.

There’s also some arm-spider-things, as my brilliant name suggests they’re just lots of arms attached together in a spider-shaped thing. Not scary at all I can assure you. There is also a scribble variety of the army-spiders that, if truth be told, amuse me, even when my character is being smothered by it.

It turns out death in Hell isn’t the end for my character and once the current vessel is no more, my character’s soul can possess any weak people and even one or two creatures if it can reach them in time. So, the pitiful people who I clubbed to death were continues of sorts. Oops. You can also reappear at the last hand-mirror-thing you saw but they are infrequent, to say the least.

Review: Agony (PS4) Review: Agony (PS4)

As you might have guessed I am being quite vague at describing most of the things I see and interact with, partly because most of it is just plain weird and more importantly just horrible to witness. If my kids ever gazed upon this game I fear they wouldn’t sleep well for days. Heck, even the game’s icon on the PS4 menu is so vile I had to hide it away in a folder.

The game did crash on me when I had just finished a cutscene and some of the loading and automatic saving momentarily pauses the game, which is off-putting.

Visuals:
Agony doesn’t shy away from the naked form. However, I doubt anyone would desire to see any of the old withered men’s genitals. There are women too but it would seem Hell doesn’t accept attractive people and the sight of these disheveled and unpleasant people put me off my dinner.

Aside from some nice graphical effects the look feels dated and in some small way, unimaginative. Once you’ve seen one corridor of teeth, you’ve seen them all. Okay, I’m being too harsh. Hell has a theme and it quickly becomes very apparent the human form is everywhere, at least parts of it, often splayed out in gruesome ways.

I have witnessed a few moments where I felt compelled to press the Share button, but sadly I cannot show most of them due to their graphic content.

Review: Agony (PS4)

Carnal desire and lechery are very apparent in this game, seeping through every pore and orifice. With scenes of utter pain and anguish plastered in all of the cracks and crevices, it all combines to make a horrific combination, like the opposite of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Credit where credit is due, the team at Madmind put tons of effort into this game and it shows in all of the unlockable content, from comics and paintings to prototypes and letters, there is a wealth of things to see and examine.

There is also a 3D viewer with thirteen things to unlock. All can be rotated and zoomed in on for a better look and there’s also the option to see their animations and skins. This section features what could almost be described as a musical easter egg.

Audio:
As you would expect, unsettling music and sounds of horror frequent Agony. It works well to set the tone and the sounds of footsteps echoing through the halls can be unsettling. So too can the squelching of the characters feet as they walk on things that I would rather not describe.

Just like the macabre visuals, the audio features some adult language. Nothing is left unsaid and I would expect to hear it all if I ever go to Hell, not that it exists.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only but does feature some online leaderboards for the Succubus Mode, which is unlocked once the game is complete.

Review: Agony (PS4) Review: Agony (PS4)

Conclusion:
After the most recent patch Agony became an average survival horror game that some will like. While nothing scared me, I sometimes felt very uncomfortable. Some may argue the nudity and graphic scenes are provocative for the sake of attention and I agree to a small degree.

What Agony manages to do is create an atmosphere of repellent mystery. Although, my desire to see the outcome of the slow trudge through such abhorrent scenes just isn’t compelling enough.

Score:
6.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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