Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. Sometimes the only way to reach the light is to walk the path of darkness
Imagine waking up in a prison cell with no memory of who you are, or what you could have possibly done to get here. As you examine your surroundings, you discover that this isn’t just an ordinary cell; things are very wrong. Skeletons are littering the ground, and bones are everywhere. The entire place seems twisted and warped, cold and ever-judging. A man soon walks up to your cell and begins rambling about salvation and torture being the only way. Torture? Salvation? Did you do something wrong? What exactly is happening? Things looks dark; very dark. It would be so easy to give up and accept your fate that you don’t at all understand. You don’t want to do that, though. You need to find out where, and who, you are. You begin searching for a way out of the prison cell, and thus Tormentum: Dark Sorrow begins.
Tormentum: Dark Sorrow is a darkly-themed Point and Click Adventure game that puts you in control of an amnesiac man as he tries to escape from the mysterious fortress in which he has been imprisoned. Tormentum, as many Point and Click Adventure games, focuses on exploration and puzzle-solving. As players navigate through the bizarre world within the game, they will constantly be faced with new challenges to overcome.
The puzzles are done quite well, overall. While they are indeed challenging, nothing ever seems to get to the point of being unfairly so. The game is, to put things simply, firm but fair. Devoid of things such as beginner’s traps and choices that force you to restart the entire game, the game challenges you to constantly stop, examine your surroundings, and think. While certain things can be carried around, the game never burdens you with more than just a handful of trinkets, making the game much less confusing. The considerable amount of thought that needs to go into each and every puzzle helps to extend the longevity of the game in a healthy way.
While the gameplay is good, the atmosphere of Tormentum: Dark Sorrow is quite possibly the driving force behind the game. The art style is EXTREMELY reminiscent of the late H.R. Giger, and and is replicated in an extraordinary manner. Those who have played either of the infamous “Darkseed” games will notice the similarities between its “Dark World” (which was actually created by Giger himself), and the visuals of Tormentum. The interesting thing about the way in which the visuals work is that they manage to be ominous and foreboding without having terror as the driving force behind them. Rather, the world of Tormentum is SO visually bizarre, that its quite inviting. Within every new room is an abundance of new and wondrous artwork and it serves to only further a player’s curiosity.
The other thing that goes into making a certain kind of atmosphere in a game is none other than sound. Tormentum: Dark Sorrow is not overly-diverse musically speaking, but it doesn’t NEED to be. Rather than adding a plethora of songs, the game adds to the intense visuals with a myriad of strange and, at times, frightening background noises. Walking through empty hallways and dingy sewers is all the creepier with creaks, scrapes, and groans, as well as noises coming from things that you hope never to meet. This isn’t all to say, however, that there is no music present within the game. The game’s soundtrack fits the same feel of the game, with well-crafted songs which emanate mysterious, dark, and at times, driving feelings within the gameplay.
Tormentum: Dark Sorrow is a refreshingly and visually breathtaking adventure filled with intrigue and tension. With its unique art style, clever-yet-fun puzzles, and air of mystery, Tormentum is good enough to warrant checking out even for those who generally don’t play Point and Click Adventures. For those who are into point-and-click adventures, or just those who enjoy a good atmosphere within a game, I’d wholeheartedly recommend getting it now.
Final Verdict: 4.5 / 5
Available on: PC ; Publisher: OhNoo Studio ; Developer: OhNoo Studio; Players: 1; Released: March 4, 2015 ; ESRB: M for Mature ;
Full disclosure: This review is based on a review copy of Tormentum: Dark Sorrow provided by the game’s publisher, OhNoo Studio.