D.Y.   Brunei Darussalam
:re7phone: Master's Student :LIMBO_candle::gmh_psh:
:handcamera: Horror-aficionado :WhiteDaycellphone::pasternack:
:cleancake: Voice Actor :UDG_HackingGun::campsunshine:
:infolaptop: Aaand... B O O :crtstressed::AOTS_Teacup:
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Review Showcase
26 Hours played
Curator page here--> DaRevieweD #234 <-- New review whenever


Here's The Thing:
Smile, for you play the part of Riley Townshend, an ex-news camera operator searching for her missing sister Laura. The latter of whom was last seen taking part in a sinister scientific experiment of unknown description. Now, armed with great concern, indignation, and curiosity, she navigates the bunker rife with red flags and eyes everywhere. Will the truth get out and more importantly, can Riley?

I swear, my disclaimers get longer with each review… but I must tell you anyway. Right, I am one of the voice actors (Geoff) in this title. Yes, I was intensively involved with the playtesting. And yes, I backed this game and believed in it when it still was in its embryonic stage. So, why am I writing this? Because the world must know of the evil lurking in the, oh umm- I meant to say I am perfectly capable of critiquing a game fairly. Can I help it that I only happen to play quality titles?

[+] PROS;

Right off the bat, the dual-perspective gameplay makes for an unbelievably fresh take on a horror work. One where you spend exploring and solving puzzles while alternating between 1st person view after you pick up the camera and 3rd person point-and-click adventure style for when you’ve set it down. Each with its own set of dangers and advantages. For instance, you are safe from the most harmful being while looking through the lens, BUT you cannot turn that valve or exert much force until both hands are free!

Devout P&C adventure fans are also in for a treat as the 3rd person mode is not just a cool or aesthetical gimmick; it literally feels and plays like your beloved Sierra Entertainment titles! This means you should expect smart-aleck observations from Riley as she “interacts” and “examines” various objects, some degree of backtracking, and even creative solutions to the handful of puzzles. Who can forget the various classic unfair deaths that can regress your progress as well!?

Furthermore, there are many optional things to do, some of which grant you lore, achievements, and others just because! The three Acts will occupy around 4-5 hours in total, but who can say for sure!? Like I mentioned, it’s really up to how good your memory is, how thorough you are, and how fast you can commit to the rules of the experiment~

1) Save often! And save smartly!! I’ve said too m-.
2) I wonder what double-clicking does?

I’ve always been dense about graphics, but what caught my eye, or the lens rather, was Andrew’s unwavering dedication in crafting a real and “sterile” artificial environment. And I’m not just superficially talking about the novelty of the bunker either. The same extends for its daunting universe, but more so how it is able to breed questions, paranoia, and above all a sickening slow-burn spiral into insanity, even if it never quite reaches that point out of sheer restraint.

Every single room to each floor is not without purpose, and it’s exceedingly rare these days indie-horror-wise, that such meticulousness is applied towards the location design. A point I’ve only solely deeply commended to none other than Ghost at Dawn for their Pines Hotel. And my goodness, the sound design is flawless as well, albeit much easier to overlook in brilliance due to the elevated horror pacing. The OST, brings out the tinges of intrigue and distrust, all in spite of the limited number of tracks.

Now, let’s talk voices- don’t worry, this will be excluding mine, although I KILLE-! Anyway, first-timer voice actor Kaylee May in particular stole the show with her blasé-empathetic reads as Riley, coming off a very genuinely normal individual who’s dealt a bad hand. Vanna Oh’s no-nonsense and intimidating poshness as The Administrator also stood out! Really, there was not one weak link in the cast in terms of performance, which only added further to the quality of the work~

I recall being incredibly blown away by my time in the demo, especially when it came to the story, and how it laid out a ton of mysteries that I just could not connect, AND I have an innate talent for it, mind you! Now, I can safely say that the final product delivered on that front too by providing an overall groundbreaking plot, whose revelations take a turn into the unprecedented just as you barely formulate a hypothesis of your own. A mish mash of genres with neither a lack of detail nor attention. You can just tell that Andrew spent weeks, perhaps locked away in a bunker of his own, coming up with this stuff!

If you’re not careful, you’d make the mistake of assuming it was an adaptation of a book! Which only speaks volumes of how much of an avid reader the developer is. I’m telling you, beginning to end, the twists and turns will be as frequent as the number of times you have to switch between the two perspectives…! If I had to name movie inspirations, and these are just thin references based on the setting and approach; they’d have to be Rec (2007), Shelter (2015), 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016), and V/H/S (2012). Everything was assembled together in a way that doesn’t just give you that singular a-ha moment but a series of them. Nor does it come off strewn about in hopes of making them work together. It’s one of the best & unusual stories you’ll encounter in horror this year~

The idea of “trust,” whether it be towards the authority in charge or Riley’s own instincts, is fully fleshed out and scrutinized, with it being constantly put to the test on top of the objectives of the experiment. Do you abide by every order without failure? How much do you really know about what is going on? At some point, you just end up doing things like a sheep to avoid from the pressure of thought… Maybe that’s what they want!? Who knows.

This title also voyeuristically plays around with the dichotomy of watcher and the one watched, not just because 99.9% of your time is spent either being subjected to it or doing it yourself! Rather, there’s no telling when one truly starts and the other begins. With Osiris being a question mark company specializing in high tech inventions- the possibilities of what could go wrong become endless. Not to mention, every variable could wind up being manipulated too. You feel powerless in that regard and perhaps you even come to enjoy it. Now smile for the camera~

[-] CONS;

Now I personally don’t mind the lacking of intensity and fast-paced action of the “usual” variety in the horror genre. That is to say, there is an absence of truly urgent & hostile encounters that impatient players won’t quite appreciate. However, there’s still a great deal of potential for them in that those pesky rules involving the camera and one-off mechanics introduced to you should keep you guessing and anticipating that fight-or-flight~

x No major game-breaking ones!

~ Animations may not be the dev’s forte, but a few blew me out the water!
~ Inconsistency in voice acting quality (not performance).


Last Words?
Highly distinct gem whose two viewpoints and tied-in game elements were captured and framed seamlessly. Its laudably layered plot, eye-catching atmosphere, and all-roundedness make for quite a show~
Review Showcase
25 Hours played
Curator page here--> DaRevieweD #233 <-- New review whenever


Here's The Thing:
You assume the role of Ben O’Hara, a private eye with a past, en route to the Pines Hotel after receiving a desperate plea from one Yuhiko Kosuke. The latter, as she’s detailed in her heartfelt letter, claims no one is taking the disappearance of her sister seriously, who was last seen at the place in question. Can the mystery be solved? Should it even be?? Or will Ben succumb to his frailty first!?

As the voice actor for the protagonist AND the lead QA for Ghost at Dawn (GAD), I probably shouldn’t even begin to review it… but I’ll let my words & carefully pondered analysis speak for themself!

[+] PROS;

You’ve seen it before, breathing down your neck, tugging on your bowels, yet not quite in this fashion. Correct, I’m referencing none other than everybody’s great distant survival horror relative Resident Evil, the most obvious of its lineup of influences. The initial false sense of security, surely you’d be more than acquainted with the genre by now- just aim and fire!? Then sweat trickles down when the unexpected arises, and your clammy hands barely get you out of the paranormal threesome. The inventory dilemma makes a resurgence, a six-slot case tougher to crack than the one you’re working on. Before finally, the eventual slip-up, whether it be out of cockiness or carelessness is unimportant, for the consequences come bearing down on you all the same… until your life gets snuffed out. Sometimes by your own hands and other times by ghostly helping ones.

That’s where the uniqueness of this gem arrives, it offers the familiar in ways that disarm you until you don’t really know how to feel about them. For starters, there is no conventional health bar to mismanage anymore… what you’re met with is an “invisible” sanity that gets drained the longer you let the malevolent spirits near you or if you loiter in the darkness. The latter is how matches become vital, serving not only as waning light sources that you could burn through swiftly, but also the difference between death and… more deaths if you decide to somehow skimp on using the incense burners. Additionally, instead of the plain old restorative items to down by the bulk, you actually have to retreat to a safe- well, as safe a space it can be before relieving yourself! Perhaps my personal favorite is the absence of intrusive puzzles, but make no mistake, for the investigation itself is one constant enigma with not much guidance.

Playtime is literally your call, in that you could cease the sleuthing at any time at the expense of missing out on the truth obviously cause YOLO; in so doing unlocking one of six possible endings. Each of which allows you to neatly pick up from where you last resigned to your fate and earning some goodies to stave off the inevitable. My 1st run ate up roughly 4-5 hours and then some, with the remainder of my time chasing that elusive S rank which would score me something wicked & BLOODY cool~

Can I just point out, I had never seen such a structurally sound setting (except maybe the town of Silent Hill itself), until I laid eyes on the Pines Hotel. Not only did it make sense as a lifelike hotel location with meticulous thought pumped into the architecture as its base, after which it only then decides to have its fun by traversing into the beyond and incorporating more haunting elements. Despite its possessed state, it maintains a regal grandeur, and is never too on-the-nose; it just works.

Almost every new room adds either weight to the history leading up to the tragedy, or authority towards the all-subsuming evil that has firmly set up residence. For example, while it is fixed-camera 85% of the time, your perspective sometime can take on a life of its own, tripping you up in the process. It is just as varied as the restless entities that roam the hall. You just do not know what you will walk into next…!

And the music, self-composed by the developer, seek only to reverberate the rich array of moods behind the already personality-laden places. I swear, it’s as if each track was designed and tailored to a harrowingly specific room; all of which ultimately climax together to create this symphony of pain and pleasure…

The woven narrative was nothing short of excellent, like even way before the game starts, another damning piece of evidence that exhibits the dev’s masterful attention to detail. The first cutscene was simply thought-provoking in that it gracefully eased you into this different, might I add, alluring 40s period while simultaneously grabbing your ears and heart through the realistic acting (mine excluded) played back on spotty tech from a bygone era! As the nostalgia reminiscent of your typical noir films drown out, Yuhiko’s plea to find her sister is all that registers in the back of your mind.

It is that unease and dwindling hope that linger until the case gets wrapped up, if it ever does! Every clue you manage to find chips away at the glamor of this classy joint and reveals a much uglier side. It’s a most rewarding mystery to unfold, and an increasingly dark one at that. Ben’s characterization is a bit of an underdog as well, not that you’ll learn much of him, but the details that do come to light in private spaces only paint him positively and a relatable average joe; he’s troubled but tries his best~

GAD is a true return to the once grim and grievous survival horror as felt by your clenched cheeks 30 years ago. In case we are not appreciative enough of that fact, let’s take a minute for it to sink in… It will keep you on your toes, your mind jumbled, and set a precedent going forward that nostalgia alone isn’t the sole way to pay homage to the beloved genre.

Just as it’s easy to get swept up by the dealing with the supernatural, it’s near effortless to forget the core of GAD’s terror . It’s not quite as in-your-face about it, but the trail of breadcrumbs is there; if you thought the “antagonist” was the owner of the Pines Hotel, then you have another thing coming. It is so much bigger than that, realizing who’s indirectly complicit due to their individual prejudices was a wake-up call~

[-] CONS;

Highly subjective take, but one that needs to be raised. GAD can be a tad merciless; instant kills, scarce ammo, and default “hard” difficulty are the pressing ones. But really modern gamers are just testy and accustomed to the good life~

x Ben’s auto-aim sometimes decides to do its own thing.
x Animations get skipped over mid-action.
x Reload sound effect not syncing.

~ Sanity-draining AOE vary from ghost to ghost. Cool but frustrating!


Last Words?
Even with odds and ends curtailing the case, this first-rate survival horror actively hounds you with its ancestors; unafraid to stand out, take risks, and stick to its guns. It’s GAD a lot more otw~

9.6 / 10

Do check out a video review collaboration I did with my BFF Gaming Blanket also of GAD over on YT here! Leave a subscribe!
~ For More TMI ~
Reviewer of horror and other games:

I put out a review every week! Head on over to my Steam Curator page called DaRevieweD!
:cleanseal: :cleankey:


Check out some of my full-length reviews~

232) "Chester: Into The Light",
231) "Tear Factory",
230) "Unknown Memoirs: The Rental",
229) "The Dead Are Not Dead",
228) "Future Racer 2000",
227) "CANINE",
226) "Night at the Gates of Hell",
225) "Lambs on The Road: The Beginning",
224) "Midnight Shift",
223) "Evil is Back",
222) "Rainy Season", and more!

As well as some "previews" and / or for DLCs;

"Devil Devour Alive DX,"
"Unknown Number: A First Person Talker",
"Castle Greyrot",
"Layers of Fear: Inheritance",
"Psycho Bathroom",
"Nix Umbra",
"Dungeons of Dreadrock",
"Sokobos", and then some!

Other lairs
:Janitor_Heart: You can also (if you want) find me on the following platforms; :monokuma_DGR:

...which is my second home, mainly for announcements and just hanging! :WhiteDaycellphone:

...for more gaming content~ :rem2snow:

deadeguard98 []
...for a "face reveal" and daily clips from random games :campsunshine:

:the_silence: I guess that's everything, thank you for stopping by~ :dustpan:
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Screenshot Showcase
Spent 1 hour on this "Dream" alone due to progression-cut bugs, overlapping cues, and unclear guidelines. I really got to know my temper~
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Screenshot Showcase
That in the corner is Riley. Don't be like Riley, who's turned her back on the game! Instead, face it and accept its majesty~
Recent Activity
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DeadeGuard98 Apr 22 @ 7:37pm 
@Wanech You are most welcome! Sorry, that was the best I could for now, as I'm busy with finishing up my Master's thesis. But, I am always happy to talk about it more in greater detail, should you need it. All the best with your work and I look forward to the new update~
Wanech Apr 22 @ 1:54pm 
Hi DeadeGuard98, I wanted to thank you for reviewing Vice Grill: Synthwave Survival! I truly appreciate this. I'm always learning and I strive to set the bar higher with each game I work on, so I am thankful for the feedback and will be putting out an update shortly. Again, thank you!! :peace:
DeadeGuard98 Feb 29 @ 4:59pm 
@Mado4SXT I'll have a look. Thanks~
Mado4SXT Feb 29 @ 4:58pm 
No.1 in 3 of them.
DeadeGuard98 Feb 29 @ 4:55pm 
@Mado4SXT Nani! Are you for real!!? Apatu actually ahaha XD. Thaaanks though ekeke 👏🏻👏🏻😸👉🏻👈🏻
Mado4SXT Feb 28 @ 6:31pm 
Congrats on being no1 in Brunei on SteamHunters