Song of Horror has officially made the transition over to consoles, after big success on PC. The cult hit from Protocol Games initially released Halloween 2019, with the complete edition containing all episodes following a few months later. Just in case you missed it before, here’s a little refresher.
What is Song of Horror?
Song of Horror is a 3rd person fixed-camera survival horror adventure. The famed writer Sebastian P. Husher has gone missing, along with his entire family. His editor sends an assistant to his house, but he never returns. These disappearances are the catalyst for a series of events revealing something truly dreadful. A dark entity has appeared. An entity that cannot be fought. This thing is known only as The Presence. All you can do is run and hide.
Through a whopping thirteen different playable characters, explore cursed places where unseen spirits and lost souls linger. However, death is permanent. If they die, you will have to pick the story up with another one.
Song of Horror takes inspiration from many great horror games, and this can be seen at every turn. Inspiration is taken from games like Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Fatal Frame, Alone in the Dark, and Dead Space. There are also many nods to horror icons as a whole throughout the five episodes. It is very much an homage to horror as a whole. The locations very much bring this to light. A mysterious antique shop, a forgotten abbey, an abandoned mental hospital, even the house you investigate at the opening. It all makes for one hell of an experience.
Port of horror
Something that Song of Horror takes from its predecessors of the genre is the fixed camera. While this style kind of worked on PC, I personally don’t feel that it translated over as well on console. I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly the issue was, but it just didn’t quite work for me. It felt clunky, and made some areas awkward to navigate. Because of this, I also had issues hitting the right interaction prompts.
But there was one big thing I encountered. For a good while, I thought this was just a me problem. Especially as I was waiting on new glasses. Side note: I game on a 32″ screen, and I also tried on bigger screens, so that wasn’t the problem. The biggest problem in this game is the font size. This isn’t something I would normally pick up on, but even on the biggest setting (with new glasses I might add), I struggled to read what was on screen. I tried with the magnifier option on, nope. Got rid of half the game screen and the difference it did make to the font was just cut off.
The overall darkness didn’t help with the font. I get that it’s a horror game, and they’re supposed to have a dark atmosphere. I’ve played more than I can count. But the colour palette was way too dark. It’s the kind of dark that adjusting the brightness doesn’t help with. Especially considering this game doesn’t actually have a way to adjust the brightness or contrast. You would have to do it on your actual screen.
A final song
Story wise, this game is really solid. It’s a decent adventure with well executed scares and a creepy atmosphere. The nods to other iconic horror games and movies heighten the experience and make it great for fans of the genre. However, I don’t feel like it ported over to console well. I think it could do with a couple of updates to smooth everything out. Overall, I did enjoy this game. The developers did a great job conveying the atmosphere and scares, and did a good job of taking inspiration without copying. Without a doubt, graphical issues aside, Song of Horror is truly well worth playing for any fan of the genre.