Visage is a first-person horror game developed and published by SadSquare Studio. You’re trapped in a house from which you can’t seem to escape, and you have to make your way through the tragic stories of each of the houses former residents. But be warned; they won’t make it easy. Let’s play the tape in our Visage PC Review. THIS REVIEW IS NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN OR PEOPLE OF NERVOUS DISPOSITION, THE GRAPHIC IS GRAPHIC AND THIS REVIEW WILL REFLECT THAT.
The game opens with a graphic scene, showing a family tied to chairs in a basement and a man, presumably the player character, loading a revolver. One by one, you shoot the wife and two children in the head, before taking out the brains yourself. Cut to black. You wake up in a strange house, with no other people or indication of what’s going on, and I guess that’s when you start to wonder.
The game is split into three chapters, each of which will see you walking around a heavily altered version of the house that features portals and space-time bending, all the while trying to avoid your family member for that chapter to hunt you down and kill you. Each chapter tells the tragic story of a family member who hunts you down. It won’t take long before you start to realize that you may be connected to these family members in a different way than you think, but you will have to find out for yourself.
The stories of each chapter are brutal and raw, showing you an unpleasant reality that you now relive in a distorted way. One chapter sees you visit a mental hospital, while another deals with a little girl’s ‘imaginary friend’, and each of the stories unravels as you pick clues. The whole picture is disjointed, something you slowly piece together as you care about the ghost stories that haunt you, not your involvement in it (until the end).
Overall, the story is as scary as the horrors you experience in the game; which when you consider some of the horrors you’ll see as you go through, isn’t easy to adjust to.
Game of the game
The appearance game is quite simple on the surface. Solve the puzzles by investigating the house and deciphering the hidden purpose of the ghosts and their stories, along with finding/retrieving the good ol’ fashioned “put the round block in the round hole” item. On top of that is a sound system that sees you losing your mind in the dark and regains it in the light. If your mind goes down, then spooky things start happening, such as lights going out, radios and televisions randomly turning on, doors slamming, etc. Each of these, when witnessed, will further diminish your mind, so the problem can quickly skyrocket if you are not quick to restore your mental health by staring at a lamp like a mother. When your sanity gets too low, the chapter ghost will kill you outright, meaning you can go from 0-100 very quickly, so you always have to be on the lookout for creepy shit.
Every time you start a chapter, the house will seemingly transform around you, new items will appear, and some areas and doors will become completely inaccessible to you until you complete the chapter. Most of the time success relies on finding a key item that you use to navigate this twisted house, leading you to a clue about the ghost that allows you to complete that chapter. The puzzles are often very open-ended, to the point where conventional ‘gaming’ logic won’t help you much. This is great for a horror game where your brain is often in constant battle of flying monkey mode, so what you would do with an object in real life that translates into the game is perfect for the mood you’re in. to be during the game. .
Outside of your objectives, ghosts will sometimes appear in certain areas, or sometimes an indicator like flashing lights or a creepy laugh will let you know they’re coming now, you need to be prepared. Sometimes you have to hide, sometimes you have to run, sometimes you have to face them. It’s all up to your own judgment, but God help you if you get it wrong.
The real joy of Visage comes from the sections where reality is bent; doors that open into unlikely areas like a children’s playground or an unexpected hospital ward instead of a basement, seemingly normal objects that turn into portals with impossible geometries, there’s even a section that was almost straight out of an MC painting Escher. It’s the perfect mix of familiar areas and unlikely terrain, something that feels like you’re completely trapped, but somewhere you’ve already been. All of these gameplay choices come together to form something truly special in Visage, with a good series of peaks and routes to keep you guessing all the way.
Visage lives and dies by how it illuminates the house’s intricate structure, and the realistic art style and lighting are what bring this game to the forefront of horror; there’s no sense of disconnect between you and the happenings on screen with the aesthetics of the houses making you feel like you’re right there in a real living room being haunted. There’s also a VR option for even greater immersion if you’re just not quite done getting wet.
The facial models can suffer at times though as the game is best seen when it’s creepy furniture and areas rather than real people, but this can be a common criticism of most games that attempt an art style realistic. Visage isn’t skimpy on the number of times you’ll get close to a face though, and in those moments it can feel a little dated in the graphics department.
The sound design for Visage is smooth and crisp, with great voice acting delivered to all the characters that bring weight and emotion, along with some truly shocking sound effects in the right place. The trick isn’t to scare the sound effects, though, and the dash does that very well. I can’t remember a single time I’ve been hit with a jump that was just a big noise and something irrelevant happening in the game, they only happened when you were in real danger to increase the fear in the game.
Unfortunately, the only noticeable piece of music in the game was the title screen with its soft opening tune before you start the game, but that’s actually useful for a horror game. An uncomfortable silence for most of Visage works wonders and allows for not only feelings of tension to build, but silence in a safe place can let that tension flow as well, so the fear feels very organic as you move through the empty house. You’re not afraid of climbing the same set of stairs five times because of some cheap horror music, you’re afraid of the door you haven’t been through yet because the game doesn’t give you any indication of what to expect.
Visage PC Review – Verdict
Visage is an absolute gem of a horror game, a game with a clearly defined progression path like many other classic horror games, in a sea of seemingly constant escapes it collects a thons that has about ten games on youtube. My entire game was streamed and it was phenomenal not only did it scare me and my viewers but it got us talking about the plot the whole way through which actually helped us solve some of the puzzles as well. The scares never felt cheap or predictable, and it leaves you with a sense of dread, not just a quick adrenaline rush. Visage is a great horror game, and if you can handle strong themes and lingering nerves, I would absolutely recommend it to anyone old enough to play it.
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