There’s been an influx of Horror games on the market since a mass of indie developers came onto the scene and brought some of the best experiences in the genre. In the 8 years we’ve seen the likes of Outlast, Amnesia and Observer. But while we have some amazing cult classics and smash hits, there’s been plenty of duds and titles that try to rake in on the success of others.
Rise of Insanity has been gaining positive momentum on its early access stages and set itself the difficult task to deliver a unique and compelling horror experience. Does it live up to the hype? Hmmmm.
Rise of Insanity is a difficult game to decipher and one that pushed my patience as a gamer and horror fan. What starts off innocently enough turns into one of the most tedious and uninspiring horror games I’ve played in a while. Focusing on extremely linear paths, tedious lateral elements and jump scares which at the best of times only startled me and then just made me mad at how lazy there were.
The plot follows a renowned psychologist who’s suffered a traumatic event, with both his wife and child being murdered by their trusted gardener. What follows is broken journey that switches back and forth between places of interest to our protagonist. Exploring areas such as the stately home, hospital, gardens and even a surreal other world that links all these places together. Rise of Insanity delivers the story in small fragments but overall, the plot is paper thin with little to engage in, other than reading some scribbles of the murder which took place.
The environments while nicely detailed are boring to explore. There’s little to interactive with and the bulk of the experience within the world boils down to simple and pointless fetch quests, discovering random notes and the odd and very rare jump scare. There are no challenging lateral elements, or interesting set pieces or even that many scares. Games like Layers of Fear while didn’t incorporate combat they at least brought together a fair amount of scares, interesting locations and a decent helping of puzzles to complete. Here, there’s hardly anything to do other than to walk around, pick up an item or two including random rubber ducks and answer the ringing phone.
Rise of Insanity is visually stimulating at times and has an intense atmosphere that can unnerve players. But these features can’t distract us away from that fact that, nothing happens. This is another case of a walking simulator where hardly anything happens and when it does, it’s nothing more than a tedious jump scare. The developers have instead borrowed heavily from other films and games such as The Shining and Layers of Fear and by borrow I mean rip off. Blood from an elevator, seen that before.
With the complete absence of tension, threat and consequence and reward, this all becomes absolutely dull, tedious and boring.
I don’t like ripping into Indie projects as I know these guys have a tougher time for development. But Rise of Insanity feels shallow and uncompleted, as it lacks any engaging features, an interesting story or even any real scares. I don’t count a pop up of a man wearing a mask two or three times in the game to be a scare. This is a lazily made horror themed walking simulator that has nothing new to other or anything worthwhile playing for.
++ Has great atmosphere
+ Good sound design and visuals
-- lacks any payoff
-- dull, tedious puzzle solving
- short in length and uninspired story telling
A review copy of Rise of Insanity was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review