A bluntly referential homage to the survival horror canon. The moment-to-moment map navigation is a joy but is undercut by a second act pivot to geometrically perverted, cosmic horror meat mazes. An over adherence to genre tropes makes for a fussy conclusion that struggles to escape Silent Hill's Event Horizon, and a litany of small frustrations (why can't I drop items?) compile into a game I was ready to be over.
The backdrop of a vaguely Soviet Union totalitarian regime and the nature of personhood in artificial intelligence go unexplored despite being the only source of narration for 2/3 of the game, before switching gears to an even more thinly articulated trauma allegory. There's a strong mechanical foundation here but without a coherent thematic or narrative direction it ends up little more than a competent imitation.
Reviewed on Feb 25, 2023