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The Town of Light explores mental illness

June 8, 2017

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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The Town of Light explores mental illnessThe Town of Light is a study of abuse, depression and eventually hope. It is a true-to-life horror game where the sorrow and frights are real, maybe a bit too real for some.

Developers and producers LKA visited the ruins of a real 1940s Italian insane asylum. The asylum’s very disturbing and dreadful history is the foundation of The Town of Light and that in itself drives a sense of realism home.

The Town of Light explores mental illnessYou are a troubled young woman named Renée who was a patient in the asylum. She has returned to face the ghosts from her past. Ghosts that are still haunting her to this day.

Set in a time when electroshock treatments were an acceptable form of therapy, Renée flashbacks, told in grotesque sketches, feature mental and physical abuse, rape and torture beyond comprehension. The images are uncut, upsetting and more appalling than any horror movie monster you will ever see on the big screen.

The Town of Light explores mental illnessAs Renée you creep around the dingy, dark abandoned hospital completing short and simple (perhaps too simple) puzzles and tasks as more and more of her agonizing past is revealed. Although it was important for LKA to depict the setting as it truly is, the hospital is not a fun place to explore. It is very dark, very clinical and very ugly. It is a place that swallowed hopes and dreams.

With such a dreary setting and an unrelenting and painful tale, The Town of Light can be quite a claustrophobic and disheartening experience. For some, The Town of Light may be a bit too dark, a bit too realistic to stomach.

A study in history that should not be forgotten, what happens to Renée in The Town of Light is not some horror movie fantasy that fades when the credits roll. LKA should be praised for presenting an uncompromising, illuminating look at a shameful, painful but important part of our history, however, the subject matter and gameplay may not feel like entertainment to some.

The Town of Light The Town of Light
Format: PlayStation 4
Publisher: LKA
Developer: LKA
ESRB Rating: M for Mature (17+)

Official Site:

Rating: 7 / 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