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Through the Woods Review

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  • Through the Woods Review

    The "scares" in Through the Woods were not really what I was expecting coming off of the very early demo from many moons ago. The demo made it seem like this game was going to offer more in the way of in your face scares than what the final product offered. The horror is more on the atmospheric side of things in this final release. The game plays more like a traditional adventure title that finds you collecting clues and advancing story through items and notes left behind from a world you are completely unfamiliar with. This is perfectly fine with me because it allows the player to be more fully immersed in the game rather than worrying about when the next creature is going to jump out at you for a quick and overused scare tactic. Some areas also include points where you must sneak past your enemies, another good tactic for increasing the tension without resorting to cheap thrills. Of course, this will certainly upset those that enjoy those types of games, and if they're looking to Through the Woods to provide them with a multitude of scares then they will undoubtedly come away completely disappointed.

    The gameplay never really advances much beyond exploring the fairly linear environments. I say "fairly linear" because while the ultimate goal is to get from point A to point B, the environments do often include branching paths that allow you to explore and find secrets. Each new area offers up new encounters with new foes but the core gameplay remains roughly the same. If you aren't solving small puzzles or looking for the next story beat, then you are walking around and trying to get past a foe or two either by sneaking, running, or simply outsmarting them. This formula works out quite well for this game as it never gets to the point of being boring during the short 3 hour long story. The length of the game may be one that turns away some players, especially for the $19.99 (USD) price point that it's being sold at. Completionists may find greater value in the game as they can replay any of the game's chapters to seek out collectibles or notes that they may have missed the first time through.

    Bottom Line
    Through the Woods is a terrific atmospheric adventure title held back from true greatness by some disappointing character work and voice acting. I quite enjoyed my journey through the unquestionably unique environments and I would like to think that I learned a few things about Norse mythology along the way. This game took a chance with its focus on combining an atmospheric horror game with Norse mythology and it paid off for the most part. The price point and lack of "in your face" scares may push away many consumers, but the style and gameplay scored some high marks for my personal gaming tastes. For their first offering, Antagonist shows off a ton of promise and I would love to see what they bring to the table in the future.


    Through the Woods (Developed by Antagonist, Published by 1C Company)
    Starting at $19.99 (USD) for the PC

    Through the Woods was provided to Total Gaming Network for review purposes.