I had no preconceptions of what this game was when I installed it. Which is a very very good thing because after slugging my way through what the would appear to be about a third of the game I had no reservations whatsoever in saying to anyone who wishes to fork over the £24.99 to buy this game… DON’T! Seriously, avoid this steaming pile like the plague.
For an Unreal Engine game Past Cure is abysmally optimised with controls that can’t be remapped and although it claims to have full controller support I couldn’t get a Dualshock 4 to work at all. It was easy enough to change the button layout though, even if all that did was change on screen prompts to pressing X and Circle instead of space and E.
The voice acting in Past Cure is flat and uninteresting, the central character “Ian” looks like a cross between Ladybeard and Hugo Weaving and apparently is unable to jump despite being able to astrally project and manipulate objects telekinetically. Of course, his astral body can’t pass through solid objects, or even between the bars of a rusty jail cell.
One mechanic I liked was the sanity meter that reminded me of Call of Cthulu but unlike that game when your sanity runs out you can just pop a little blue pill and all the hallucinations go away. Using your psychic abilities consumes sanity and eventually that little resource management issue gets… boring. Nothing is more of a turn off than needlessly expending a resource and you will end up doing that a LOT.
The tutorial for this game is WOEFUL, it’s a plodding slog through generic advice on how to punch, aim, shoot etc. in the same way as has been shown in more games than I care to think, but interspersed with bad dream sequences featuring mannequins, and badly acted disembodied voices.
Once you manage to fight your way through this neck deep metaphorical porridge dear old Ian gets sent to a hotel with a parking lot the size of New South Wales. It also has cars in orientations and placed in ways that would cause a parking warden to eat his hat and retire to a nice place somewhere they don’t allow cars.
The gunplay had promise but is ruined by hit detection that doesn’t most of the time. Seriously, Ian couldn’t hit a cows arse with a banjo half the time.The stealth mechanics are juist dreary: You’re either spotted or not and the kills are plodding exercises in wandering up behind guards with an A.I my Maine Coon cats could outfox (and they like licking wall tiles).
Checkpoints in this game are just horribly placed. On a number of occasions one wrong decision can end up with you backtracked an inexcusable amount and half the time that’s not through your own mistake, it’s because the 6 shots you’ve pumped into the face of someone miraculously swooped around the offending cranium and smacked into the wall.
It’s always tempting to give independent development studios a bit of slack: No one wants to put off the little guys after all, but when this mess is placed against work by the likes of Reakktor, Studio, Wildcard and Harebrained Schemes, I can’t help but think maybe your £24.99 would be better spent elsewhere.
Past Cure (Reviewed on Windows)
The game is unenjoyable, but it works.
I’ve read scarier issues of the Beano in this clunky, buggy mess of a wanna be Deadly Premonition.