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Game review: Erica gets released on PS4

Mon, 2nd Sep 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Decision and choice-based games have increased in popularity over the years with more and more of them being released. Aside from Man of Medan which we have already reviewed, another game of this genre has popped up called Ericareleased exclusively for the PS4 console.

Unlike other games from the same genre, Erica is slightly more different mainly because the entire game is 100% live action. There are no traditional gameplay sequences where you control a certain character and move them around the game world.

Instead, the game is more like an interactive movie where you are watching all of the scenes unfold. That being said, the scenes pause from time-to-time which allows the player to make important decisions and choices that pushes the narrative forward in a different direction.

Erica starts off in a scary manner because one of the first things that happen in the game is the death of her father. The main goal of the game is to find out who shot her father and why. As you progress further into the game, you also find out what happened to her mother too.

The majority of the game takes place inside of a mental institution called the Delphi House. It is here where the character of Erica needs to decide who her true friends and who might be some of her foes. Not everyone around her tells the truth, so it's up to the player to choose who should be on her side or not.

In terms of gameplay, Erica players have two ways that they can play the game. You can either control the game using your smartphone by downloading the official app, or you can play it by using the touchpad on the DUALSHOCK 4 controller.

It's advisable that you play the game using a smartphone, because I felt it was too fiddly playing on the touchpad. I found the touchpad on the DUALSHOCK 4 controller to be too small for swiping up and down to control the character's decisions.

Most of the gameplay just requires you to swipe in different directions to interact with the game world or to make various dialogue decisions. As aforementioned, there are no traditional exploration sequences where you walk around finding clues or anything like that. If you want a traditional gaming experience, it's best you go out and play something else instead.

One thing I did not like about Erica is that Erica is the only playable character and the game experience is very short compared to other games of the same genre. Most gamers should be able to complete the game in just under two hours long. That being said, there is a lot of replay value on offer because you can explore up to four or five different endings depending on the paths you take.

However, most of the important decisions you make occur near the end of the game so it can get repetitive playing the start of the game over and over again. There's no skipping chapter option either which makes the grind even worse.

Story and presentation wise, I do find Erica has a thrilling story that is very unpredictable. Not to mention the acting is very good as all of the actors do well in their respective roles. If you're willing to try something different, then this game might be good for you.

I will say if you find all of the endings, there's not much incentive to play the game ever again. This isn't too bad considering the game only costs $17.95 via the PlayStation Store. For a game to play in the weekend, it could be a good idea to pick this title up.

Verdict: 7.0/10

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