Song of Horror | PS4 Review
Updated: Jun 10
Song of Horror is a 3rd person survival-horror puzzle-adventure video game developed by Protocol Games and published by Raiser Games. It has just been released for both the PS4 and XBox One on May 28th 2021 having been previously released on Microsoft Windows on October 31st 2019. Intitally Song of Horror was released as individual episodes on PC, but this new console release is the complete edition and contains all 5 of the episodes. Song of Horror is a non combat survival game which features fixed cameras and it has a very eerie and creepy atmosphere as you make your way through all of the darkly lit areas of the game.
There are 13 playable characters in Song of Horror, all of which will become available to you gradually the further into the game you go, unlocking more of them through each episode. Throughout the game you are followed by a supernatural entity known as the Presence and will have to react in various ways to escape its grasp. Permadeath can be enabled to allow a more challenging experience of the game, and if one of the characters succumbs to the will of the Presence you can pick up where they left off with one of the other playable characters.
When the game starts you only have access to the initial player Daniel Noyer, and you get a little prologue to the story where you've just arrived back home on a Friday evening. Just as you are about to relax for the weekend, you get a call from your manager asking if you can go and check up on Sebastian P. Husher, one of the authors that you publish for, as you live closest to him and he hasn't been responding to any calls that your boss has made to him. After you reluctantly agree you then set off on the short drive to the nearby Husher mansion.
Both the prologue and the first episode allow you to get familiar with the controls and to the fixed cameras and as soon as you arrive at the first location, the Husher mansion, there is an eerie sound coming from inside, like a music box playing somewhere within. There is also no electricity working in the house so you have to rely really on the light from your torch as you make your way from room to room trying to discover the source of the music that's playing.
Along the way there are items and objects to examine and use and there is a very Resident Evil feel to the game at this point, so fans of those games will really enjoy Song of Horror, albeit minus the hoards of the walking dead that roam around in every other room you enter.
As you progress further into the game there will be some puzzles for you to solve before you can proceed. These can vary in difficulty though, and clues can be found for them close by. All I would say is to pay attention to everything really, as any items that you find, pick up or examine, could hold some clues if you look close enough. Sometimes though all you really need is some patience and some perserverance, but I did really enjoy the puzzle elements. Some of the puzzles can be quite tricky but are worth sticking with. They all vary in type though from logic puzzles to memory ones to spatial awareness puzzles. But there is added tension knowing that potentially failing a puzzle can lead to a bad outcome. Overall I think that the puzzle parts really allow you to get fully absorbed into the investigation in the game.
For fans of supernatural paranormal horror games, Song of Horror will really appeal to you. There are some great jump scares and plenty of suitably horror-esque locations within each episode of the game, ranging from an empty mansion, haunted chapel and an abandoned mental hopsital. There is also the constant threat from the Presence as it follows you during the game and adapts to the choices and decisions that you make. Also, with the option of enabling permadeath and the choice of characters, each with their own set of interactions and ways to navigate through the story, this all adds to the whole replay value of the game.
Also, I should point out here that there is no option to save your progress as such, instead when you save your game, you get the option to restart the episode. There is though, as I mentioned before, plenty of replay value here as each playthrough has the potential to be completely different each time. You could try playing with different characters for instance, using the selelction that you have access to when you start each of the five episodes at first.
So overall Song of Horror is a welcome addition to the survival horror genre. It differs from other horror franchises in that there is no combat in the game, but there are still plenty of locations to explore and lots of puzzles to be solved. If you enjoy games like Resident Evil, Silent Hill and Alone in the Dark then you will enjoy Song of Horror. And all the more so if you play it in the dark on your own with your headphones on and the volume up very loud. g1a5w3g1an's rating: A solid but spooky 4 out of 5.