Crow Country review: A gloriously slimy revival of 90s survival horror

Even though modern horror games have become increasingly unnerving, there's still room for that special mood of old-school survival horror. Through a combination of messy visuals, cryptic puzzles, slow motion, and clunky controls, PlayStation-era games like resident Evil And Silent Hill Were capable of creating a specific kind of tension and terror. crow country What if that type of game never went out of style? It has the look and feel of the classics but with just the right amount of modern flair. This is a perfect example of classic horror.

crow country Comes from indie studio SFB Games – led by brothers Tom and Adam Wyman – which has managed to build quite a diverse library of releases so far. There was a playful Switch launch title sniperclipsPoint-and-Click Murder Mystery tangle towerAnd now a dark survival horror game. crow country doesn't just reveal ,The 90s – It's set during that period as well. The entire game takes place in an abandoned Atlanta amusement park in 1990, when a woman named Mara sets out in search of the park's elusive owner who has mysteriously disappeared. Of course, this place is full of monsters and secrets.

The first thing you'll notice is that it looks like a 32-bit game. From the blocky letters to the fuzzy textures to the crisp, distorted sounds, the attention to detail is impeccable. Even the menus are period-appropriate. This extends to how the game is played and how it is structured. Initially, Mara only has access to a small part of the park, but gradually, you'll open up more by collecting obscure objects, specific colored keys, and solving very strange puzzles. The park itself is both scary and comical, as if the original resident Evil The mansion was crossed with five nights at freddy's,

You move around like a tank: the pace is slow, you have to stop to shoot zombie-like enemies, and aiming is deliberately frustrating to increase tension. Likewise, you have to deal with limited resources, relatively little ammo and medicine to keep going. All this puts even small encounters at risk. You do No Want to waste pills. It helps that the monster designs are really unsettling, with running kids, monsters with spindly legs, and blobs changing with faces.

What is most notable? crow countryHowever, it builds on those old-school sensibilities with some very welcome changes to the quality of life. Perhaps the biggest: The camera is actually 3D, so you can move it around to get a better look at your surroundings. But there's also a more modern control option for better shooting, a limited hint system for when you miss one of those little clues, a very useful map, and safe rooms that actually feel safe, so you can To catch your breath and plan your next move. There's also a mode that removes enemies entirely if you just want to explore.

What's impressive is that these updates don't remove that classic tension. They simply remove some (but not all) of the underlying frustration. ,90s survival horror makes for perhaps the most accessible example of the genre while maintaining the look, feel, and personality. crow country All of this is done while telling an excellent mystery that dramatically expands the scope to a game time of five hours or more. It doesn't outweigh its inspirations, but it will remind you why you loved them so much in the first place.

crow country Now available on PS5, Steam, and Xbox Series X/S.

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