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24 February, 2014

In Fear I Trust Review

I love being scared. I’m a massive horror buff and relish the prospect of games that want to frighten the pants off me. When I heard about In Fear I Trust, I jumped (in excitement) to see what thrills were on offer, but after my time with the game, I was reminded that the only thing I fear more than frightening situations is mediocrity. Unfortunately, despite oozing bucketloads of scary potential, In Fear I Trust is a disappointing experience.

In Fear I Trust is a more psychological thriller than a “jump scare” fest, which wasn’t quite what I was expecting from early reports. This is exponentially more challenging. The best psychological thrillers have you on the edge of your seat as they gradually build an atmosphere of suspense and apprehension. This is the environment that developer Black Wing Foundation wants to immerse you in. It wants you to forget about your reality, and experience its world firsthand. It’s an ambitious goal as anything that inadvertently pulls the player out of this constructed world will harm the experience, and this is ultimately what lets In Fear I Trust down.

Initially, I was sucked into the game’s story, but ultimately it relies too heavily on clichéd horror themes – mental asylums, weird scientific experiments, angry ghosts, etc – to generate the desired impact. And as you’re propelled along via cutscenes, discovered notes and audiologs, the narrative becomes utter nonsense at best; barely understandable at worst. In the end, it simply felt like a chore to collect and read all the notes to understand why I should care about what was going on.

The psychological effect of the story notwithstanding, the atmosphere is appropriately spooky. Each room feels like it has been ripped from a horror film, with deep shadows and creepy silence that only comes from the knowledge that something bad is about to happen. As you explore the depths of the freak factory, you encounter various puzzles. Some of the puzzles feel suspiciously familiar, as if they had been directly inspired from Fireproof Games’ The Room. But, unlike The Room, the puzzle design often yo-yos between incredibly simplistic and downright frustrating. I often found myself turning to Google, rather than caring enough to solve the puzzle.

The final problem that completely severed my sense of immersion in the world of In Fear I Trust is the control scheme. The dual analogue sticks are incredibly cumbersome, making even basic movement a chore. An update has fixed some of these issues, but the underlying problem remains.

In Fear I Trust is an episodic tale, with the first two episodes available now. Obviously we are meant to care about what happens in future episodes. Sadly, the myriad of problems means there is nothing compelling me to re-immerse myself in this dark, frustrating world.

Grab The Game Here.

Verdict: The glimpses of potential that occasionally shine into In Fear I Trust's darkness make the end result even more disappointing. An intriguing start is let down by a nonsensical story, frustrating puzzles and fiddly controls.

    - The Room
    - The Room Two

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