May 29, 2017 Last Updated 12:11 PM, May 28, 2017
Published in Editorial
Read 1337 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Agony is a Survival Horror game, currently reaching the end of a Kickstarter campaign, in which the player takes a “trip into madness” within the bowels of Hell. It’s an intense, graphic, gory title that has generated a lot of hype and discussion – partly because of its extreme imagery – during the Kickstarter campaign, and I was excited that PlayWay decided to give us a sneak peek into this world of fire and brimstone. Agony promises to show “the most terrifying vision of Hell in gaming history” and the team has already generated more than double the funds required for the Kickstarter campaign to be a success. This review is based on an early alpha demo of Agony, so elements are subject to change, and a lot of content is still pending implementation.

Welcome to Hell

Agony is a first-person title that puts gamers in the role of a tormented soul deep within the depths of Hell, who has no memory of their past. Still, given that this character can possess demons and control other lost souls that it encounters along the way, there’s certainly a variety of tools in place to ensure its survival. Floors made of bone, hallways that look like opened mouths full of teeth, and other strange, disembodied scenes make up the landscape of the world. Although the amount of playable areas in the demo is limited, it certainly painted a vivid image of what Agony offers for an immersive, disturbing world to explore.

Agony comes with a graphic images warning, which is well merited; in one scene, I stumbled upon a large demon using twisted, deformed babies as mortar between blocks as it repaired or built a new wall. Other trapped souls rock back and forth, naked, hitting themselves in the head or otherwise groaning in distress. Unfortunately, there’s no dialog in place within the demo at this time, so Agony currently relies on exploration and deduction to figure out the plot. I’m eager to see if the conversations between the lost souls are as disturbing as they stand to be – I imagine many will be tragic, demented creatures, lost in Hell for one reason or another.

The Mechanics of a Tortured Soul

Agony will be a multiple-platform release, but the controls for PC are very intuitive based on the demo. You can crouch, sprint, and hide with simple button clicks – scooping up torches, and tossing them away, is also a simple feat. One really interesting feature is the breath dynamic; players can hold Alt to suck in a breath of air and hold it, in an attempt to hide from demons. The screen fades and your view slightly narrows, but I would have liked to have a bar that gave me a better indicator of when my character would breathe again. It’s a critical element, because even when you duck down low into a pile of bodies to hide from an enemy, your breathing can still give you away.

You can “attack” with right mouse button, but in the demo the only weapon I found was a torch against locusts’ swarms. But the Kickstarter information outlines attacking and battling enemies – in fact, with the $175,000 pledge level achieved, “Boss Fights” have been unlocked for the game. Players will now “learn how to beat invincible enemies by using their strengths as their weapon.” It’s certainly an interesting dynamic, and one that I look forward to exploring.

As a huge fan of the Survival Horror genre, I was stoked to get my hands on the Agony demo. I had heard murmurings that this title is extreme in terms of gore and troubling images, but honestly it wasn’t much worse – at current – than what I have seen in other titles visiting Hell and demonic realms. There’s some nudity, lots of gore, and disturbing-looking demons, so it’s definitely not a title for the faint of heart. Still, the graphics are impressive and the sounds are top-notch; hearing bones crack underfoot, and bodies tumble to the ground nearby, certainly increases the immersion. There’s cries of anguish, and growls from deeper in the level, not to mention the panicked breathing of the person the character currently inhabits.
I would have liked to see some dialog available for the Demo, at least for a tiny taste of what players can expect in that aspect. Still, Agony has done a great job thus far of making a version of Hell that is complex, unsettling, or even outright disturbing, so I have no doubt that the implementation of dialog with NPCs will further hone those effects, even if the overall story arc were to end up lacking. I dare to say that Agony isn’t a title most people will pick up for its intriguing plot anyway, and it definitely delivers on what it promises thus far: Demons, Hell, gore, and a desperate fight for survival. I look forward to seeing what the creative minds at Madmind Studio accomplish before Agony releases in its final version.

Image Gallery

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://www.opnoobs.com/opinions/agony#sigProIdb7f3da03eb
Lori May

Lori is an avid video game enthusiast who enjoys blending her love of gaming with her work as a writer. She first cut her teeth back on the NES and Sega Genesis systems, and continues to be a Retro-gaming advocate with a soft spot for Point-&-Click Adventures. She's also a Survival Horror and Psychological Horror game collector, when she isn't coercing friends into any number of Co-Op multiplayer titles. If she isn't gaming you can find her working as a journalist and social media consultant, or perhaps dabbling in video game design among other hobby-with-big-dreams endeavors. Born in the heart of the Midwest, she's currently living in Colorado, where she prefers to avoid skiing, snowboarding, and other Mile High City attractions.

Related items

  • Conarium Official Launch Trailer Revealed

    Developer Zoetrope Interactive and publisher Iceberg Interactive are delighted to announce that their Lovecraftian Horror game Conarium, will release June 6th on PC. The game will be available through Steam and other digital retailers, with an SRP of $19.99. A brand new 4K launch trailer, that will lead you to the brink of madness and chill you to the core, has also been revealed.

  • Out Now: Dead by Daylight Spark of Madness Chapter

    Starbreeze together with Behaviour Digital, released a new Chapter for Dead by Daylight, titled “Spark of Madness”. The chapter’s new Killer is the Doctor - a former employee of a secret government black site who excelled at extracting information using the most twisted experimental interrogation methods. He uses electroshock therapy to make Survivors go insane, causing them to doubt everything around them. The new environment is an ever changing version of the facility in which he terrifies his victims.

  • Antihero Preview

    Antihero is fairly well balanced and the mechanics are solid, but there just isn’t enough of it yet to make it stand out. It definitely has potential to entertain with its funny-yet-dark art and play styles, but so far it lacks any sort of story or variety. While I have high hopes for this title, we will just have to wait and see if it lives up to its potential.

  • Sniper Elite 4 Review

    Rebellion Development took the groundwork laid by Sniper Elite 3 and improved upon nearly every aspect. Its large-scale environments feature an intelligent layout of objectives and abundance of sniper-aiding verticality. While Sniper Elite 4's music and story aren't going to win any awards, they aren't enough to take away from the respectable amount of content and addictive, strategy-based gameplay.

  • Days of War Early Access Review

    Days of War features addicting and strategic gameplay that forces you to learn the handling of the weapons to succeed. Its sound design and graphics are also top notch, but the title slightly suffers from a lack of standout maps and some lackluster optimization. That being said, for 25 dollars and with more maps and modes already announced, not to mention the upcoming level editor, it's definitely worth a look.

  • Resident Evil 7 Biohazard Review

    Resident Evil 7 is as near to perfection within its genre, and its legacy, as any game I have ever had the pleasure of reviewing; it is a must-buy, especially for loyalists of the franchise. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy, and help all of us send a clear message to Capcom: More of this, please, and soon.

  • Overwatch Creates A New Age For Games

    Overwatch was by far one of the most significant releases for the year 2016. Like many Blizzard releases, it made waves within the gaming community. But, the formula that can be attributed to Overwatch’s success is by no means original. They simply built upon and created their own spin a genre that has been tried and true. Though, what many are speculating is if this will pull the trigger on the influx of “clones” as companies attempt to throw their hats in the ring, attempting to profit from the trend.

  • White Noise 2 Early Access Review

    I’d love to see them add a few more maps, and even some more monster types, but as it stands White Noise 2 Early Access has a great foundation. It’s ready to play, providing fantastic teamwork and plenty of scares, and I will certainly be coaxing more friends into playing with me in the near future.

Latest Shows

OPN DevLounge Mo…

Episode Five, Season One! OPN's DevLounge Monthly is a lively conversation between game developers on Twitch, on the hottest PC games to be released this upcoming month. Watch it o...

Expeditions: Vik…

Circa 790 AD. A small band of Norse warriors lands on the shores of England. History may have forgotten their names, but their actions live on. As the chieftain of your clan, let a...

Faeria Review

Faeria's gameplay shines, and what it lacks in narrative it more than makes up for in strategy. While Faeria won’t appeal to some casual players and viewers, players that enjoy del...

Farming Simulato…

The price point of the Farming Simulator: Big Bud DLC is pretty high for the content that it includes. While the models are fantastic and a cut above mods of the same machines in e...

SAMURAI WARRIORS…

Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada is superb and easily drags you into the gameplay, with the ability to train multiple characters and play as them, along with the replayability of...

Impact Winter Re…

Impact Winter may have just a few too many issues now, but the real reason it isn’t a must-buy is that it would be much more fun if you were just a lonely man wandering the wastela...