FutureFive New Zealand - Consumer technology news & reviews from the future
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Wed, 6th Oct 2021
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Probably the biggest horror game released this year is the excellent Resident Evil Village from Capcom. Well if you like the horror genre, you might want to also check out a littler game called In Sound Mind.

Much like Resident Evil Village, In Sound Mind is also a first-person style of horror game. However, even though they're part of the same genre, both games are quite different. Whereas Resident Evil Village is full of action, In Sound Mind is more about puzzle solving and exploration.

The story in In Sound Mind is an interesting one because it's not the usual zombie plot that is overused in the horror genre. Instead you play as a psychologist named Desmond Wales and he's trying to investigate what the heck is happening to his town called Milton Haven.

Along the way, he also has to find out what happened to four of his own patients as they all died in mysterious ways. It's an interesting story to play through and you'll want to find out what happens until the very end.

While the story of the game is interesting, the same cannot sadly be said about In Sound Mind's drab visuals. This game is the most unimpressive and ugliest looking title I've played on the PS5 console thus far. It almost looked like I was playing a PS3 game at times.

Not to mention the framerate drops sometimes while you're out exploring the dark and boring environments. It's very surprising to me that this game is only available for the PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch platforms. With the bland graphics, this game could have easily been run by a base PS4 and Xbox One console.

As I mentioned before, In Sound Mind is not a game that you should play if you want to kill endless hordes of zombies or anything like that. This game is purposefully slow paced to draw you in until it surprises you with a freaky looking jump scare.

At the start of the game you are only armed with a small flashlight and you need to pick up batteries constantly in order for it to work. A few hours later, you have a shard of glass to cut open inaccessible areas, a gas mask and you can even craft you own pistol. Other items are also available the further you progress.

Combat is few and far between so you don't need to use the pistol that often in this game. However, there are some enemies that you can shoot, although you can still kill them using the glass shard if you don't feel like wasting any ammo.

Gameplay wise, In Sound Mind is going to cater to a different crowd from those that play the likes of Resident Evil or Dying Light. The lack of action is going to annoy some, although the puzzle elements and exploration features are quite unique to this game.

This game does not give you any hints so you will have to use your logic and brain to further progress. One of the more annoying aspects about this game though is that you are not given a map or waypoint to guide you to your next destination. It's up to you as the player to navigate your own way through the levels, and find out what to do on your own.

If you don't follow a guide on YouTube, I have to admit you may stumble a long time just figuring out what to do next. However, the game somewhat gives you some clues and hints if you look at the many fliers and posters that are littered throughout the levels. Nothing is explained to you explicitly so you will need to think and plan before you try anything yourself.

Even though this game is slow paced, it does not mean that I wasn't scared at times. I played this game at night with the light off, and there were several times that scared me. The scariest part was when I was taking a drink, and then a freaky purple guy with a hat talked to me before disappearing away. He did this on more than one occasion!

Overall, In Sound Mind isn't the best horror game I've ever played although I did enjoy the story and some of the puzzle solving aspects. The only thing that really holds this game down though is the slow pace and the bad graphics. Seriously, this game could have easily been ported to PS4 and Xbox One, but it's not.

Verdict: 7.0/10