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White Night brings on the frights

Mar 13, 2015

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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White NightYou should never judge a book by its cover and by the same token, you should never judge a game by its sights and sounds.

White Night, the mystery-survival horror point and click adventure has a look all of its own. Inspired by the minimalistic animation of designer and filmmaker Saul Bass and his renowned collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock, the entire game is brought to life in three dimensional black and white cut-outs.

Whereas the animation itself is impressive and gives White Night its own distinct atmosphere, the chosen style hurts the gameplay somewhat making it hard to negotiate the environment, especially when it comes to fleeing those annoying apparitions who largely, cannot be destroyed.

White NightOur adventure begins on a lonely, dark road. After a bizarre car accident, we end up in bizarre haunted house that will remind you of Alan Wake as darkness is your true nemesis. Stay in it for too long and you will be spirited away, permanently. All is not lost though, there are a few ways to keep what lurks in the shadows at bay. In a mansion where the owners apparently had no interest in paying their electrical bill, you can either stay in the light to the best of your ability, find the occasional working light switch or your best option, lighting matches you find during your travels. Although they only stay lit for a short period of time, locating matches will become your overriding mission for without them, you don't have much hope and won't have much success.

White NightThe match mechanic, for lack of a better term, is what could snuff the enjoyment right of the game for some. Having to light a new one to see where you are going every 30 seconds or so can be very tiresome depending on the threshold of your persistence and patience.

Echoing Alone in the Dark, you will search the mansion high and low for clues and solve puzzles, riddles to get the bottom of the mysterious goings-on and to help you escape from the maniac mansion. The solutions to the lion's share of the puzzles are quite simple, such as playing a record to summon a phantom who leaves a key that in turn opens a music box so you can retrieve a special item.

Elementary, my dear Watson.

White NightCracking the conundrums though is not your greatest hurdles. With everything being black and white it is promblematic finding your way around when there is no map yet there are countless awkward camera angles. It is also hard to locate useful items in all that gloom and with there being so few save points, you may have to repeat the same missions over and over when an apparition or the darkness gets the better of you.

The story itself is told through some very weak dialogue due to the tongue-tied French translation but the creepy sound effects and off-kilter visuals more than make up for that.

White Night is a brainy, creative concept by developer OSome Games. If you can excuse the flaws in the gameplay and allow yourself to get drawn in by the spooky environment, White Night has more frights than you can shake a matchstick at.

White Night White Night
Format: PlayStation 4
Publisher: Activision
Developer: OSome Games
ESRB Rating: M for Mature

Official Site: http://osome-studio.com/en/whitenight/

Rating: 6 / 10

 
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About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.