Picked up True Fear: Forsaken Souls Part 2 on Steam at the start of October because they taunted me that it was on sale for that day only for $5 LOL It continues the story of Holly Stonehouse
, who learned in the first game that she had a second sister who was kept at the Dark Falls Asylum, and thus goes there to learn about that sister (who is supposedly dead) and to figure out if her mother really died by suicide.
Despite my low views of part 1
, for some reason, I put part 2 on my wishlist because why not.
Like the first one, it is supposed to be a “horror” game, but it really is mostly just a seriously too stupid to live heroine mixed with a few cheap, ridiculously telegraphed jump scares and obvious “boo” attempts.
I mean I know characters may have to be at least a little dumb in horror-type games to get the story going, but she took the cake for me. Seriously, just when I thought she’d reached the height of stupidity, she had a “hold my beer” moment of just sheer, unadulterated idiocy at the end of the game (which ends on a cliffhanger because part 3 is planned). I was yelling at the screen at how dumb she was. OMG! It really didn’t help that she had the emotional depth of a fish. Like she barely reacted to anything, even the “scary” stuff players were presumably supposed to be scared off.
The game very much shows its roots as a hidden object game – the only things missing are any actual hidden object elements which I presume were removed for the Steam version. Now, I used to play a ton of HO games via Big Fish, so I’m well familiar with the genre – and in that regard, True Fear is quite fitting and is decent enough. It’s cheesy and, as noted, the heroine is really just an idiot. At least they mildly explain it by her not having slept for 2 days, but still, OMG woman!
Like any HO-type game, there is a lot of going back and forth looking for some item to solve a puzzle or open something. At times it has you looking for stupid stuff – you need to clear some vines, but you can’t burn them, cut them with your knife, or just move them aside with your gloves. Nope, only a rake will do which you won’t find for two more hours, yeah! Most of the puzzles are very simple, even on “advanced” mode, so this isn’t a game likely to challenge you expect by dent of some just being annoying.
Beyond the aggravation with her idiocy, playing the game was a rather interesting experience particularly because I found it so frustrating in terms of the story, the horror elements that were anything but, the constant back and forth, and convoluted things you had to do just to find a screwdriver or that damned rake. Why would that be interesting though?
Because, as I mentioned, a few years ago, I was playing dozens, even hundreds of Hidden Object games every year through BigFish. True Fear really started as an HO game, so that it had the same gameplay elements and tropes wasn’t a surprise. And yet, I found I could barely tolerate it playing it now, when before I’d sometimes knock out 2 HO games on a weekend afternoon.
So it made me wonder what changed, or maybe what temporarily changed that drew me to those games for a good 2, maybe 3 years before I lost interest? To that, I still have no answer. I also wonder if I would have been so frustrated with True Fear if I hadn’t played so many HO games before…had I just burned myself out on the genre as a whole? Possible, since when I stopped, I pretty much just quit cold turkey, and others on Steam seemed to like True Fear fine.
On the whole, do I regret its playing? Probably not. I am glad I got it for only $5, I would be pissed at myself if I’d spent more than that. Would I recommend it? Probably not, unless you’re just curious about HO-style games without the trash-pile that form most hidden-object puzzles, or you just really want to yell at a vapid idiot for awhile.
I also streamed my playing this one, so if you want to see how bad it is: