In Sound Mind Preview: Walk Into The Light
Back in March, we took an early look at In Sound Mind, a psychological horror title developed by We Create Stuff and published by Modus Games, launching on consoles and PC later this year. The first playable build introduced players to Virginia, one of protagonist Desmond Wales’ patients who suffers from a crippling fear of being in public due to an injury that left her disfigured. Filled with clever puzzles and a tense atmosphere, it was a fabulously frightening introduction that demonstrated just how the developer hopes to immerse players in the shredded psyches of the game’s various characters.
However, while Virginia’s tape made it clear In Sound Mind wants to get inside your head, the latest chapter proves it’s not opposed to bashing it in, either.
Hello Darkness, My Old Friend
The second tape focuses on Allen, another one of Desmond’s patients. He suffers from nyctophobia: an extreme fear of darkness. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that the poor guy has actually become addicted to this fear, which he describes as “electrifying.” While Virginia’s tape was confined to the claustrophobic aisles of a cluttered supermarket, Allen’s takes place in a coastal area dominated by a towering lighthouse that stands sentry in the distance. It’s a fairly wide-open area, lined with rocky shores and wooded trails that would seem quite inviting. That is if it wasn’t for all the inkblot monsters stalking in the shadows and the insatiable vortex of a monster that’s dying to swallow you whole.
Known as “The Shade,” this creature is the physical manifestation of Allen’s fears. It oozes like a sentient puddle around the environment, swallowing cars and other obstacles as it tries to pull Desmond into the inky void. Thankfully, you’ll be able to take advantage of his insatiable appetite, as luring him towards obstacles causes him to devour them, clearing previously inaccessible paths.
The Shade is relentless. And once he begins pulling you into the abyss, it can be tough to break free of his clutches. However, this slithering mass of shadows can be stopped by large spotlights scattered around the environment. The problem is that someone hasn’t been keeping up on the electrical inspections around the lighthouse. Or so it seems, as blown fuses seem to be as common as the grains of sand on the beaches beneath Icarus Point. That said, many of the puzzles in this chapter revolve around racing from point to point and swapping out fuses so that you can turn on the lights to keep the monster at bay.
Just Another Day At The Beach
My favorite part of the chapter took place on a rocky cliffside. As I made my way towards a dilapidated shack on the summit, The Shade was lobbing boulders, cars, and other debris from above. Watching bridges explode into splinters as I dove to clear wide chasms amid all the chaos was exhilerating. I felt a rush of relief come over me as I finally found shelter in the rickety seaside shack. But that relief quickly turned to panic as the floor began to crumble beneath my feet from The Shade’s non-stop bombardment.
I really can’t stress enough how much different Allen’s tape felt from Virginia’s, whose chapter was all about shining a light on a character who, above all else, didn’t want to be noticed. Instead, Allen desires nothing more than to share his all-consuming darkness with you, as evidenced by the way The Shade is always nipping at your heels. There was no time to soak up the atmosphere or pore over notes. Instead, it’s go, go, go, as you rush from one area to the next, narrowly avoiding a nasty death. Not that I’m complaining. After all, the key to good horror is keeping the viewer on their toes. If these dramatic shifts in pacing are a sign of what to expect from the game’s two remaining tapes, then I’m excited to see what other ways In Sound Mind defies my expectations.
Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind
It’s worth noting that the most recent press build of In Sound Mind is less than half of Allen’s chapter. So I couldn’t get my hands on some things discussed in my preview in March, such as the flare gun Desmond can use to harm The Shade. Thankfully, with the game’s September 28, 2021 release date just over a month away, so it won’t be too much longer before I can dive back in.
If you’re a fan of psychological horror, In Sound Mind is shaping up to provide an electrifying mix of chills and thrills when it arrives on the Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC next month. If you want to dive in and experience the game’s first chapter, you’re in luck. You can download the demo today.
So, are you looking forward to getting your hands on In Sound Mind when it launches this Fall? If so, be sure to sound off in the comments below and let us know.