Dying: Reborn is a horror/thriller game, and a strange one at that. Waking up in a locked room, with no apparent way out, you are tasked with escaping and finding your sister. I expected something completely different from what I actually experienced. So does it make you hide behind your cushion? Read on.
First off, the game is fully voice acted which in an Indie game is a refreshing change. Not often are we treated to something as voice acting, but it really didn't feel convincing enough for me from the protagonist. Not saying it was terrible, probably average at best. Although the bizarre fish headed individual who has trapped you, is actually well voiced.
Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself. Waking up in a dirty, and sinister environment, you need to access a locked door. Several objects litter the room around you, some you can interact with that will allow you to advance should you use them in the correct order to acquire more objects. Some make sense, and others aren't immediately clear as to their use. Trial and error plays a huge part of Dying: Reborn, and while the game doesn't give you an obvious way forward, it's far from impossible.
The main focus of the game is to find your missing sister. Easier said than done, when you discover fish head has trapped you and demands that you donas he says to find her. Always via a television. Which will also be where another woman offers clues while she can. I was left feeling confused with many of the puzzles as each room has many objects inside it, although not all can be used. I had a tough time with one of the later rooms, and that bugged me as there was no obvious way forward. There is an option to combine and examine objects in your inventory that may offer clues as to your next move, but it's still not always obvious.
The environments are limited to rooms within this mysterious location that don't seem to fit together in any way, and given the dark tone to the game when I first started playing, I expected a Silent Hill type of game ahead of me, where I was hoping to explore an abandoned building and surrounding locations, with unusual and bizarre enemies. This wasn't the case, and it kind of dulled the experience for me overall. Not to say it's an awful game, as each room is well presented and does give off a creepy vibe with some strange and unusual moments. Most notably them mannequins. If there's one thing I find incredibly creepy, is mannequins. Especially when they launch themselves at you, which gave me two jump scares during my playthrough.
Aside from the visually disturbing scenes, the atmosphere from the ambience is subtle and doesn't take over the audio, leaving the imagination to play tricks on you. It left me wondering what was going to happen next, and always waiting for something to jump out and scare me. It felt as though Dying : Reborn was meant for something much more than what it was, which is a shame that it didn't end up being a game that it could have been. There is certainly room for improvements regarding the actual size of the game, and the chance that exploration of a full fleshed out building could have been implemented has been missed isna crying shame. It could have been something bigger and better, but for what you get, it's not a bad little game.
The movement of the character is slow, which can be frustrating and an inventory that's awkward to use is equally so.
The length of the game is short. Even more so if you were to use a video guide to help you reach the end. If you're after the achievements, then rejoice as the list isn't demanding, but you will need to complete each scene and find everything scattered throughout. An achievement hunters dream essentially.
Overall, Dying: Reborn is an acceptable game for what it is. Sure it could have been a bigger experience, and presented a greater challenge and story with far more reaching consequences. The antagonist is well written and voiced, and one that I would like to see again on a bigger stage. Not the best game, and not the worst.
Overall Score: 6/10
Developer: NEKCOM Entertainment
Publisher: E-Home Emtertainment
Release Date: 31st October 2017
File Size: 3.75GB
Also available on PlayStation & Steam