THE TOWN OF LIGHT review

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A former resident of a psychiatric hospital returns to the now abandoned building to uncover answers about her time spent there. What follows is an unsettling journey through the treatment of patients in a hospital that is based upon a real-life asylum in Italy. Interestingly enough, the hospital still stands today, so if you are looking for a destination for your next holiday, you know where to go…

The Good:

  • An original basis for a game, exploring the troubled history of an ex-patient in a mental hospital.
  • Exploring the hospital is a harrowing experience in itself, every room you enter holds a sense of dread.
  • The story pulls no punches, and the subject matter here is definitely for adults only.
  • Graphically, the hospital is genuinely a scary place to walk around.
  • No jump scares, but instead an incredibly forbidding atmosphere.
  • The puzzles that you have to complete to progress make for a nice change in pace for a game that relies so heavily on exploring.
  • The cuts scenes only add to the atmosphere, and as the story unfolds the true horrors of the hospital are revealed.
  • The soundtrack is perfectly timed, with the piano providing haunting moments in the game.

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The Bad:

  • The main character’s age doesn’t add up – you were supposedly mid-twenties in 1938 and yet the game is set in 2016.
  • Movement around the hospital is painfully slow at times.
  • The controls are clunky and it can be frustrating at times to carry out the simplest of tasks, such as opening a door.
  • Whilst it is intriguing, the story itself could have benefited from better writing. A confusing narrative that ultimately leaves you scratching your head.

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The Verdict:

The fact this is based upon a real life mental hospital just adds to the forbidding atmosphere in this game. Granted, it is not for everyone due to the intense subject matter, but this is an intriguing adventure into the darker side of the human mind…

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