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First time in Hell

It was by birthday when I got myself Agony —game. I’ve yernd this game since it was announced years ago. If I would make a video game it would be just like Agony. Even so, my first impression of this piece of art was super negative. As I started the game I played it over an hour and it was buggy as hell (no pun intended) and after dying couple times I wind up in the beginning of the game. Really, there isn’t any checkpoints (maybe few) on the way, only savepoints and after dying too many times you’ll lose the savepoint. It was ridiculous and very 90’s old–school. I lost my nerve and realized this game is visually for me but not otherwise. I rage quit it and deleted the game.

After a day I really wanted to give it another chance since I love Hell and I love how the game looks and sounds and I hope to end up in Hell when I die :) These were the only reasons why I installed the game again and gave it a go. This time I chose the easiest difficulty and changed game settings to not throw me away after certain amounts of death and I do recommend this to anyone because the game is buggy as fuck and full of design flaws that makes you crazy.

Once upon a time there was an innocent place called Hell

You end up in Hell within a withered body wanting to get out of that damned place (I’m pretty sure there is a good reason why you are there in the first place). You want to seek Red Goddess who can help you. The goddess isn’t easy to get appointment to and you have to do lots of things before meeting her. Red Goddess has her own problems and you have to help her in return. To be honest I don’t remember any details of the plot, other than I always needed to do something for the Red Goddess and she helped me in return. There were many long hours without any plot involved and I think that was the reason it felt unmemorable.

the game is buggy as fuck

Gameplay & Controls

I usually don’t like first person games since it feels very awkward to play. One of my friend told me it feels more ‘real’ but I see it more annoying than anything. The gameplay was pretty much left for my discovery since the game didn’t guide me completely. You play as a soul that has damned to Hell and can possess other bodies and after that body ‘dies’ you’ll have little time to possess another body (or enemy but that ability comes available later in the game). You can collect items and use a torch and that’s pretty much it, the gameplay is more hiding and avoiding conflicts. No healing items is needed since you pretty much die after few weak hits or if you get caught by stronger enemy it’s  instant death. Controls works but are very awkward and especially trying to possess another body is very difficult, slow and the ‘soul’ gets stuck every pixels possible. Other annoyance is stamina and how little you have it. It’s hard to get away from enemy when you run out of stamina relatively quickly and then you literally go crawling speed.

Player can update three things and they are; being able to take more minor hits, holding breath longer and making less sound when walking. Holding breath makes you go more unnoticeable by enemies. As I read online someone said player can also upgrade stamina but I only got these three (maybe it was a glitch, too?)

the gameplay is more hiding and avoiding conflicts

I liked the puzzles which Agony contains a lot. I have to admit I searched online for answers to some puzzles and as this game is full of glitches I got stuck on a puzzle because the game didn’t work. I had to restart the game many times because of this.

Player has an option to use guidance thingies; a light that shows where to go and without this it would take at least twice as long to complete the game since the gameplay isn’t linear and player gets lost rather easily.

Graphics. No, really I mean they are graphic

Visually I love this, artistically to be precise. Graphics weren’t anything to gag over with but the art style was my jam. That was THE ONLY THING that kept me going. I loved the environment and blood poured everywhere with human bones, flesh and dead babies like everyday trash. It almost seemed like the Hell was built out of human bodies (many things actually was such as tables, chairs, chandeliers). I could see crucified people slowly dying or damned people swimming in thick bloodlake trying to survive or some random pile of human legs… you name it they got it. I mean this game is absolutely beauty but the quality of the graphics was not. What bothered me the most was the super short drawing distance. Things literally changed in front of me. I have never seen anything this bad. Objects in 10 meters looked dreadful and as you walk towards them each step changes the object radically and it was so noticeable that it bothers throughout the game. Other thing was the blood. I understand this is Hell and there aren’t any holy water — only blood. But everything was same shade of red and all the lovely details and objects disappeared to the background. Usually in video games player can see the difference in things and objects and knows immediately what’s going on but in Agony everything is red, upon red upon red upon exactly–the–same–shade–red.

I saw countless of glitches and usually it was after playing too long. Sometimes I wasn’t sure should I be in some place and I have accidentally managed to enter there because I couldn’t pick any collectibles from the ground? After restarting the game I went back to the place and could pick up all the things I wanted. So it was very that. Never knew what was intentional and what was not.

seemed like the Hell was built out of human bodies

It sounded like it came from there

All the humans screaming and moaning in agony, suffering, crying babies and self talking mindless ones. It was beautiful. But the technical part of the sound was horrible. I tried to change the headphones from 7.1 to 2.0 but it still was awful. When someone was talking the sound jumped from left to right and it didn’t stay on balance or when I was hiding I could hear enemies walking and they always sound like the were very close or some certain place but I learned quickly that the sound simply just is there. It barely had any location or distance value.

Difficulty? How ’bout killing Satan himself?

As I have declared that I play games and do reviews in a point of view of ‘an average player’, but in this I couldn’t. Agony was so full of *list here everything above* that it made the game frustrating. It was like they just put together whole damn thing but didn’t use test players or tested it out themselves.

Last day in Hell

I can imagine this being decent game after few years if they keep updating it and maybe it’s finally like No Man’s Sky — playable, at least somewhat. Don’t expect this being nothing else than beautiful world of Hell and all the disgusting scenarios and places full of flesh and bones everywhere with bugs and flaws and frustration. Without these issues I would play this game head to toe. Like I said the only thing that kept me going was the art style and overall idea of Agony. Nothing else. Pretty much whole gameplay was like hell (pun intended).

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blood poured everywhere with human bones,
flesh and dead babies like everyday trash

agonyreview.png
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Release Date: Out Now
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: MadMind Studio

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