P.A.M.E.L.A. is an interesting new indie dystopian survival horror title released by NYYVE. In the game you are transported into a world in disarray, awakening in darkness with no belongings and no sense of direction on how to escape the living nightmare you are now a part of. The world around you is in total turmoil as you take your first steps into the world and learn basic controls in one of the few safe areas in the game. After this the training wheels come off and you quickly realize that surviving the hellish environment may be much more difficult than it originally seemed.
As the game begins, you awaken from inside of a cryo pod and pound against it’s glass exterior before awaking standing in front of it. After an extremely brief tutorial you begin your adventure, traversing the dark, dimly lit passageways before you with little to no direction one what your actual purpose is. Upon entering the main facility once you’ve made your way through several rooms you quickly encounter than primary antagonist, mutated personal of the facility that have been infected by an unknown virus mentioned in database reports that you can access on terminals throughout the facility. Your only hope for survival is to successfully fight off these foes in hand to hand combat as you continue on your way with the hope of eventually finding equipment to be able to properly defend yourself.
Along the way you will encounter speaker like terminals on the wall through which PAMELA, the AI of the facility will tell the story of what happened and her creation through a long series of short audio logs. These logs are spread throughout the facility in all kinds of places. From bathrooms to hallways you must do some serious searching to find all the terminals and learn the full story of what’s happened.
The game also employs a rather impressive survival aspect. Through a checks and balances system of beneficial and detrimental effects, the player is required to find a way to keep their character not only health but well fed and nourished to avoid meeting an untimely end. This coupled with the extreme scarcity of supplies makes every decision a dire one when it comes to what is and isn’t important to keep in your finite inventory. These scarce materials are even harder to maintain due to some of their containers being locked digitally through the network the facility runs on. Too many failed attempts or a lack of nimble hacking will inevitably lead to the security bots of the facility being alerted to your actions and likely bringing a swift death down upon you.
The feature of the game however that makes it the most difficult is its roguelike aspects. Upon death, players will gain experience based on how far they could get before meeting their demise. This experience is used to improve small aspects of the character for the next attempt to progress. However, after having spent their points to improve themselves, players will reawaken at the beginning of the most recent main area they could progress to. This can cause a player to lose hours of progress and equipment just based off a single mistake, requiring each action to be extremely well thought out before moving forward.
All in all, the game is incredibly well made. With gorgeous and haunting graphics and an amazing soundtrack, P.A.M.E.L.A truly immerses you into a terrifying reality of desperation and despair. Like any game though it does have its flaws. Though the game sets an incredibly atmosphere, one of its biggest problems is a lack of decent lighting. While this is intended to create a difficult to traverse environment, the complete lack of being able to alter the brightness or gamma settings in any way makes some of the game’s darker areas an absolute abyss that will unfortunately cause you to walk into several walls before finding you way out. This however is one of the smaller problems the games currently has. At this time, the user interface is an absolute wreck. Menus clipping through the environment and sometimes not showing up at all are just a couple of the problems that players will experience in this games early stages. On top of all that the game has very poor configurations for use of a gamepad currently. While being able to move both the camera and your character and interact with the environment are fairly well-integrated, some commands that are intended for making the game easier such as picking up all items in a container at once with the push of a single button are non-existent in the gamepad configurations.
Despite it’s numerous flaws though, P.A.M.E.L.A. manages to be a one-of-a-kind, riveting experience. Players will experience a plethora of scares and anxiety as they attempt to make their way through the dark corridors of Eden and learn more of the horrible past and present events that have taken place on this former utopia. Be prepared to die many times as you try to progress to the end.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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