Despite that a particular GameStop in town had only ordered one copy of it, I managed to pick up Dementium: The Ward for the DS this morning. A tag on the front of the box proudly proclaims, “This is Doom 3 meets Silent Hill. BE AFRAID.”, and so far I’d say that’s about right. Well, except for the “Be afraid” tomfoolery. While the game certainly features a creepy atmosphere that’s done very well, I’ve yet to come across anything to be nervous about.
But back to the Doom 3 / Silent Hill mentions…
Just like in Doom 3, you’ll constantly be needing to use your flashlight to light up the game’s many dark corridors. This of course helps to build the tension, but most unfortunately, the designers went all-out in their borrowing of elements from Doom 3, and made it so that you can’t hold a weapon while holding the flashlight. Needless to say, this is a pain in the ass — just as it was in Doom 3. (Is it really that illogical or unlikely that a person would think to hold a pistol in one hand while holding a torch in the other?)
The reference to Silent Hill is even more valid, as the game takes place in a disheveled and diseased-looking hospital. Throw in very similar music and sound effects, and it’s near-impossible to play this game and NOT think of Silent Hill.
I’ve only progressed to Chapter 4 as of this writing, but so far I’ve been enjoying the game. To be on the DS, the audio-visuals are quite impressive, and the (albeit, recycled) gameplay is pretty fun as well — especially with the groovy stylus-centric control scheme.
At this point, I can’t say that it’s a classic or anything, but if you’re interested in games of this ilk, then it would probably be a purchase that you’d be pleased with; especially on this Halloween release date.