Song of Horror begins with Daniel — a former drunkard attempting to escape the financial ruin that the bottle has left him in — taking on an errand for his boss. It's one of those go-to-a-creepy-house-and-investigate type jobs that any sane individual who has ever seen a horror movie or played Resident Evil before would know to avoid like cholera. Daniel doesn't see the proverbial iceberg on the horizon, and so it's not long before he's captured by a ghost or something.
Daniel has some friends, which is literally incredible because he's really annoying, but then people like Ed Sheeran, so what can we say? People are idiots. Anyway, these morons take exception to Daniel going AWOL and immediately begin investigating on his behalf.
You play as one of these friends (and later Daniel himself), and you'll play as them until you finish the chapter or snuff it, in which case you take over as another friend who inexplicably knows everything that the first friend did and can just pick up where they left off. Why don't they all go together rather than one at a time?
There's a kernel of an idea here that's really cool, but the execution is all kinds of bad. The character switching and permadeath feels trite because there's little reaction to the demise of a protagonist. Also, having a choice of character for each chapter feels odd, since in most of them there's one character who feels like the right one to pick — i.e. if you're looking for a missing person, it probably makes more sense to play as his daughter rather than some dude who works at the local Greggs.
Most of the time you're actually playing the game, you'll be wandering around locations pulled from the horror cliché playbook, and solving puzzles that are often not so much puzzles as just doing things and hoping that it'll make something happen so you can progress. One head-scratcher involves getting a roaring fire going in the living room so that a corpse will appear in the kitchen. Mm-hmm.
There's monsters, too, but these encounters are somehow annoying and tedious at the same time. You don't really battle with the denizens of evil so much as complete mini-games, such as depressing the triggers in time with your breathing, to avoid being murdered by ghosts. The problem is, once you've done this once, it never really changes and it's never particularly challenging, so any time a baddie turns up it's just irritating.
With limp scares, crummy puzzles, and a clumsy story, Song of Horror feels painfully out of tune.
A bit of advice, whoever thinking of buying it please hold off for the moment as there is a game breaking bug where it randomly hard crash the PS4. I am one of the victim sadly.
If anyone has any questions feel free to @ me. I'm drinking cocktails in my robe and slippies so I can't guarantee you'll get a good answer.
You know a horror game is bad if it fails to scare Dave off of PlayStation Access.
At least I think that's the case, I did fall asleep halfway through the stream.
@Leon_93 For what it's worth, I had zero issues with this game but I was playing on PS5.
What was the mistake exactly?
Mine was in chapter 4. Everytime I opened a door, the PS4 showed me an error about bad saving data. Then the game wasn‘t able to read my savingdata when starting new and I had to start at the beginning. The error happend again when reaching chapter 4 and erased everything. Sony now hands me my money back.
The game itself wasn‘t very thrilling. Old, bad, cheap graphic and very stupid graphic bugs like freezing on stairs when running via L2... I think the developers didnt finished it
Sorry, felt like I had to step in here as the reviewer only played two chapters and missed out quite a bit of info, tbh.
@Patrick_Rs - there are issues in chapter 1 and 4, but 4 is the main one. The game can't save despite trying every time you walk into a door - hence the error you get constantly (on both the PS4 and PS5 - I tried both).
If you complete the chapter in one go, without dying, you 'can' make it, but if you die then there's a chance it'll crash, turn off your console and either corrupt the save file and/or the internal SSD on the PS5 and force you to initialise the unit and lose all your saves and media you've not backed up.
The good news, there is a patch on its way, due on the 15th for PS and 18th for the Xbox (as that console is affected too).
However, I'd recommend not progressing through chapter 4 unless you have backed everything up as losing all media, saves, and installed games on the internal SSD is a pain and time consuming to restore. This 'may' not happen, but it has to someone I know. For me, it shut off my PS4 Pro and corrupted the save, but I had a backup in the cloud. (I moved from my PS5 to the Pro just in case it didn't like chapter 4)
In answer to the reviewer's question about why you would use different people for the levels, it's to get a new perspective. Yeah, being an art dealer may help you make sense of the design and decor of the owner, but an electrician can give you hints on how to fix the electricity and turn off the house alarm. Similarly, the daughter seems like the best choice to search for her father, but the policeman has a gun and is a little better at the QTE segments due to his increased strength.
So yeah, each character has their purpose, they all react differently and interact with all the items based on what they know and do as a living. They're also there to give you 'lives' should you get killed and need to re-enter the level.
Also, you don't start the fire to make a dead body appear, the dolls in the dollhouse did that - the fire is for the final part of the puzzle which is explained in the notes you pick up off the bodies. None of the puzzles are moon-logic, there are hints and clues as to what you have to do, you just have to read the notes you pick up and interact with various objects and see what info the characters give you.
This next part may sound petty, but considering Push Square has their scores pulled through to MetaCritic and OpenCritic, shouldn't the reviewer play the game through to the end - especially a game that's focused on its narrative? It may just be me, but giving a score to a game after a few hours of gameplay kinda nulls the review as the reviewer hasn't seen and experienced the whole game (in this case, they hadn't even reached the issues in chapter 4, resulting in not one mention of them in the review for potential buyers to know about).
I dunno, it's just a pet peeve of mine and it makes me wonder how many other reviews on the site are based on a very small amount of gameplay, and the validity of the scores and opinions published.
Port Royale 4 was also given a 5/10 (although MC has it as 6) after only playing for about 3 hours and just completing the tutorial and building a few towns - a massive strategic simulation and management game... Again, that score was used on Metacritic and dragged the overall score down.
Why don't your reviewers play and either finish or experience the majority of the games before they review them? Why are you formally affecting the official scores of games without giving the game a fair chance before rating it? Why should I consider any of your scores to be valid, unbiased, fair, and well-informed moving forward?
Again, just a pet peeve but my opinion of this site drastically dropped over the last few hours...
At first, thanks for the information about the patch for the problem which is obviously a big one. But I don’t wait for it. Deleted it and PS Store already confirmed to refund my money.
I really like open and friendly, so I‘d love to tell you, why I HATE this game, after playing chapter 1,2,3 and 4 for a half for 3 times.
The story makes little sense so often. (Okay, other games aren‘t better often) Fuses are locked in a box in the garage. The lock is just a screw? Why is the cable visible under voltage (on the wet floor) before we turn back the power on? We use the light on the balcony to destroy some of the entity at the door, so why is the entity so dangerous in rooms which are fully enlighted. We complete some nasty puzzles about where to go and what to do in chapter 2 (my favourite - with Erica) and all we get in the end is a crowbar to open dad‘s room? Wow.... and Luminol isn‘t made of this 4 parts. The game teaches us to check rooms via ear because of the entitiy maybe waiting there. In ch.2 the entitiy is the whole time in the middle room downstairs (where the platinum coin is) until we passed the storage. So why can it attack us in other rooms? And there are so much other things.
The Vibration everytime our Character is tensed or frightened. Sometimes it starts for no reason and is That heavy, you cant proper listen to a door. Annoying....
The horror is inflationary. Once you know How to master blocking, hiding, heartbeat, breathhold, there is no danger anymore and you Really can’t die..... it’s not frightened because jumpscares are very Cheap horror.
In the end of chapter 3, with Sebastian, the backgroundmusic you hear outside, is the music from Resident Evil 1 at the cemetary. Wow developers, don’t steal from legends like That and make your Own Soundtrack.
So my Personal opinion is, SongOfHorror is a brilliant idea, but bad implemented and worse programmed.
They had one and a half year to make a good Version and all they got is PS4 digital. No Discs, and even nothing for Xbox
I‘d like to hear your thoughts on That because I Really like to discuss stuff like That Openly.
Sorry for some Capslock words, I am german and my iPad keyboard f##ks me up
@Patrick_Rs It's a shame it launched with a game-breaking flaw. I'm glad there's a patch in the works, but it's not a great first impression - but, it really showed who hadn't actually played the game in terms of the reviews as I've not seen anyone bring up the issues you're guaranteed to get.
I personally like the game, the visuals aren't the greatest but it's a very small indie team, so I'm not too bothered about that, I think the atmosphere is very spooky in each of the locations I've played so far and the random sounds add to it when wearing headphones.
That the thing though, random. You could go a while with little scares or only a few noises, or your game could have a number of QTE spooks and jumps. My first go had a ghostly figure appear in the kitchen hallway, just as I walked upstairs - other playthroughs didn't - as I'm a very jumpy person, I honestly got spooked by these moments.
With regards to the limitations, I'm a lover of old-school adventure games, so having to do things in order wasn't an issue. But, it's really only been the first chapter that does that, as a means of a tutorial, the others have been freely explorable aside from gathering keys and unlocking doors from behind as you do in games like Resident Evil (which it took inspiration from)
You mentioned Res Evil music - I've not seen that scene, I have seen the guy from Silent Hill's jacket though. There are a few references within the game, it's just paying homage to the influences - they probably got permission if it's including music though.
I've given up on chapter 4 for now, as it's corrupted the save twice now on the PS4, but I'm keeping it as the patch should fix this issue. The QTEs do still stress me out, as I'm not good with under-pressure events, especially when it can lead to the perm death of your character, so I actually find the game pretty tense and spooky. But, those who play action-based horror games, or anything in the genre often, will probably find it milder than me.
I agree with the crowbar though, it does seem a bit silly - why didn't she just force it open the first time if that's what she was gonna do anyway? I guess she was looking for the item so had no need to break in earlier. But in terms of the entity in the room, there are different types of the evil, so it can move between areas and it can go into light areas because they're dimly lit, only shining a focused light can force them away - the lantern and the light outside (ala Alan Wake).
I'm enjoying the game so far, but the crashes have got me to stop for now - I want to see the whole game before I pass judgment as chapter 4 is actually quite good, it has some decent puzzles in it.
Ok, you‘re Argumentation ist really good and I have to admit maybe games like these can‘t spooke my any longer, as I am so much used to it. But you changed my mind regarding to the limitations and atmosphere. It’s oldschool and I love those Games too.
Yes you did have the scene with the RE Music. At the end of part3 when you play Husher at the old church. It’s the background music sounding some Kind of like wolf singing. Thats the music RE1 had at the cemetary.
I changed my mind and wait for the patch too. Meanwhile I‘ll hit TLOU2 on hardest permadeath Mode again
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