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Lamentum: My Thoughts on the Game Demo

by Cat Voleur
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Our  Chief Editor, EyeRChris, was kind enough to give me a demo code for Lamentum. 

The pixelized horror-survival game is a loving homage to the classics from which it takes its inspirations:

Lamentum is inspired by classic survival horror games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill along with cosmic horror masterpieces, especially the Cthulhu mythos.

Having played the demo, I have mixed feelings about this particular quote from the store page. While it is not untrue, it could be construed as misleading. In terms of storytelling, gameplay, and especially pacing, Lamentum is too approachable to be compared to either Resident Evil or Silent Hill in my opinion. Though you can see the influences of them, it looks like this title is going to provide a very different experience upon its full release.

While Silent Hill is one of my personal favorite gaming franchises, I can’t imagine trying to hop in at this point in the story. I have tried multiple times to get into Resident Evil retroactively, a rather daunting notion that never seems to end well. Because Lamentum is a self-contained experience with more an indie vibe, it’s going to be much easier to recommend and enjoy, regardless of a person’s gaming history or proficiency.

The game did strike a nostalgic chord with me, not just for the Lovecraftian influence (which I promise I will get back around to.)  I found both the gameplay and 2D animation to be reminiscent of games like Misao and Mad Father. It appears to be a story-driven and upsetting title with intuitive controls and a strong focus on problem-solving.

If there was one point that I found to be lacking, it would be the soundtrack. I am historically tough on game soundtracks and this one didn’t wow me. I don’t feel like it contributed much to the ambiance of the experience, though the visuals and tone were often spot on in every other regard.

I am also partial to games that pay homage to the ‘cosmic horror masterpieces.’ The setting of the game was conducive to that, but what really impressed me were the creature designs.    Many of my favorite games have been less-problematic interpretations of Lovecraft’s work, and I can’t wait to see how more of  those elements are handled in the full story.

The demo leaves off at a frustrating point, but it’s a testament to both the publisher and developer, Neon Doctrine and Obscure Tales respectively, that I didn’t want to stop playing.

There are a couple non-demo related things that also have me super hyped up about the title. One is the following quote from the store page.

Choose well in whom to trust, every decision you make may alter the course of the story.

 

The other is the promise that the game will support Steam Achievements. For all my fellow achievement hunters out there, I know this one can be a deal breaker. I personally am looking forward to going after that 100%.

For a game that I didn’t know existed a few hours ago, I seriously cannot wait for the release.

You can check out the demo trailer here:

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