Hey gang, Valkor here. When it comes to gaming, I normally stay within the confines of my comfort zones such as with platformers and RPGs. But ever since TOV entered my life, I’ve been taken off the beaten path a few times into some unusual places. This relates to the next review up on deck – Uncanny Valley. It’s a survival horror platformer at its most disturbing. However, is this one title you’ll want to add to your collection?
In “Uncanny Valley”, you play as a newly hired night watchman named Tom. The facility he’s supposed to guard is all but abandoned. However, the current owners are willing to pay to keep things in some sort of order until the new owners are found. Working alongside Tom is fellow night watchman Buck, who also shows him the ropes. And then there’s a cleaner named Eve, who has taken interest in Tom. With Tom’s first night on the job, you can explore the four floors of the facility and if there’s enough time, you can even explore the apartments. Why do I say “if there’s enough time”? Because there’s a countdown clock until Tom’s shift is over. And whether you head back to his apartment to rest or continue to walk around, the game will instantly drop you into a dream sequence – whether you want it to happen or not. During this time, you’re taken into some seriously nightmarish shit with all sorts of creepiness that comes along with it, including dark shadowy figures that whisk you out of your sleep if they catch you or lurking zombie-like beings. The countdown clock is also temporary and eventually, you’ll be able to free roam without it. You’ll also gather items, try to sneak your way past baddies that will pounce all over you when they so much as glance at you, and if you should make it through towards the end (or in some cases what would the game considers an ending), you’ll be rewarded (???) with any number of endings, dependent on your actions prior.
“Uncanny Valley” is a game that doesn’t hold your hand and you’re left to your own vices as to how to get around, find items, and how and when to use them. Most are clearly visible with a highlight as you walk past it, while others aren’t as obvious and you’ll have to do a bit of button mashing to interact with certain objects. There was an area where I needed to crawl through a vent to get into a room that was locked, to which I had to move a shelf to access it. However, after moving the shelf, then pushing the “interact” button at the vent, Tom didn’t quite go through the motions at first press. Eventually, he did, but not straight away.
“Uncanny Valley” won’t be a simple walk in the park, and you’ll repeat from the beginning more often than not. The question is, does anyone really have the patience for such an adventure? And are the rewards worth the journey? Let’s find out in the TOV Breakdown.
I’m sort of up and down with “Uncanny Valley”; on the one hand, it’s a totally unique and frightening adventure that feels like you’re playing through some sort of twisted “David Fincher-esque” nightmare, complete with weird interactive dreams sequences that are disorienting and at times induces head-scratching. Eventually, things become clearer, but it takes time and a lot of patience for it to happen. The controls are quirky and sometimes don’t respond as well as they should, but moving around and doing what needs to be done is fairly on point. The 8bit graphics are dark and gritty, and it pairs well with the story as it immerses you into its twisted world of horror. The backdrops are decent and the animation works, so no complaints there. And then there’s the audio, which isn’t much, but I’m sold on the screams, grunts, and groans topped off with the creepy music that’s enough to make me not want to play this game in the dark. Ever. Playing Uncanny Valley was an interesting run, but it’s not quite the trek I’d have liked it to have been.
For one thing, Uncanny Valley is too short; once you start to piece things together, sure the road is more dangerous, but the ultimate end to this journey finishes rather quickly. I wouldn’t mind a few extra puzzles or maybe an additional character or two to stretch the soup. And that’s really what Uncanny Valley needs to be – a bigger game! The current game is more like a taste. Yet, I feel there’s just so much more that could have been added to paint a bigger picture. Instead, you’re left to play scenes over and over again, getting a little further each time. And you can either suck it up and keep pushing towards the game’s better ending or just give up. I chose to give up and I’m not at all upset about it. Maybe one day I’ll revisit “Uncanny Valley”… Maybe.
Buck is such an odd shape of a fatty if I’ve ever seen one.
You can pick up “Uncanny Valley” right now for the Playstation Vita and Playstation 4 as well as XBOX One and STEAM. But be forewarned, while it does offer up some scares, it’s a rather short and clunky experience. So, out of TOV 5 stars, I’m giving “Uncanny Valley” a 2.