are amazingly created, detailed, inspired and worthy to be explored.
The horror, religious and serene elements are also perfectly delivered, every time managing to get you disgusted, terrified, intrigued or even in awe until the very last scene of the game.
Gray Dawn takes place around the year 1920, in a remote village in England, following the story of a priest on a quest to prove his innocence. Yet, the priest, beyond the real accusations of murder, is also assaulted by devils, trying to break him.
Throughout the game, you will be transported to beautiful locations in Romania, completely contrasting the terrifying initial location and, because of this, I find the game having extreme sides, one of horror and conflicts, another of beauty and serenity.
I, not being into horror games, really appreciated these moments, when I could breathe, reflect on what happened and even prepare for what's to come.
Now on the controversial side of the game... The story also follows this method and it tells the events out of order, with many revelations in each of the contrasting zones. This might not me a best way to tell a story, as I found it hard to follow and sometimes distracting from other enjoyable elements, but still... this makes for a more original delivery and manages to make a simple story, which could be told straightforward and be boring... to make it really more interesting, because you're always trying to figure out what happened yourself and to include the elements that the game provides, as they come... You'll either love this fact or hate it.
On the downside... I found that the ending drops in the collectable trap. Yes this has some hidden objects to be found and I did appreciate them in the start, because they give you a reason to explore. BUT... even thou the endings are good from a story perspective, making them tied to a 100% Completion Condition aka "Did you find all hidden items?" really defies the purpose of having alternative endings and, for me, made it really disappointing.
Also, it’s the same deal with the animation. Mostly well done and not detracting from the game, the particle effects being quite good too, but the kids... the kids... the more complex animation given to the kids is almost cringe worthy.
Moving forward... Sadly the voice-acting doesn't manage rise up at all to the same level of the visuals. Because of it, I did not really found myself liking or getting to care for any character. Yet, for a 3 man indie studio developing their first game... this is understandable and, I for one, did not find it a problem EXCEPT... when this became a distraction. Like when you are really enjoying the atmosphere, but the voices in your head don't stop talking, don't let you enjoy the visuals. I mean, I feel that the game needed some parts where you could just be left to discover and interpret yourself some parts of the story... not everything needed to be voiced.
On the other side, the music really helps delivering the serene locations, the melancholic and sad events and I found it quite good overall, even thou sometimes repetitive.
I will also mention that the horror locations are so good because the background audio design is perfectly created for the terrifying or disturbing scenes, making them one of the best parts of the game.
From a length perspective, this will last for about 4h and because it is a real short game, the whole experience felt a bit compressed and crowded. Especially all the religious and iconographic elements which were everywhere. I did enjoy them, especially the parts containing elements from Romanian's culture, but I do agree that they can get a bit overwhelming, especially if you are not familiar with them.
In the end, I really enjoyed my time with the game and I felt the whole experience was worth the purchase. So, if you do not think all the elements of the game are for you, but you are still interested, I would recommend to get this game at a discount.
But what I appreciated most, was that you can clearly see that this game is a product of passion, love and effort... and this I understand and value.
Hope this review was helpful & Game On!
PS. If you wanna give it a chance, find it here:
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