My PAX East Game of the Show: Perception by The Deep End Games


The Plot

A young blind woman named Cassie has haunting dreams of a house she’s never seen. She does month’s of research to find a place in Gloucester, MA, Named Echo Bluffs,  that seems to be the place she is looking for. But Echo Bluffs, is even worse than her nightmares are. A terrible Presence has haunted the houses inhabitants for many generations, and it now has its sights on Cassie. Can she solve the mystery of Echo Bluffs, or will she become another victim?


The Developer and History

Perception is being created by The Deep End Games. Haven’t heard of them? No surprise. They are a newly formed independent studio combining talent from such franchise’s as Bioshock and Dead Space. If you know me at all, you know that Dead Space and Bioshock were two of my favorite series’ of last generation, and that the first Bioshock is my 2nd favorite game of all time. The game was first announced early last year when it’s Kickstarter was mentioned. In it’s run on Kickstarter, it was backed by 4,357 people for $168,041.


My Experience

With the high expectations for this game comes the greatest possibility for disappointment. As I sat down and clicked “Start”, the game booted up. This demo had you first entering the mansion, and getting a feel for the controls. The character is blind, so how do you see? Echolocation is the answer. Every sound you make and  every sound you hear shows up like radar. Using your cane is the easiest way to get a feeling for your surroundings, but with its bigger sound wave, comes more of an opportunity for the chills of the night to find your location. As you explore you will find collectibles such as audio recordings and papers that you can touch with your phone and have it read for you. This was one of my favorite parts of the demo, and one of my least favorite parts of many other games available today. In perception, you can play an audio recording while you continue to play the game. Many games make you stay on a certain screen in order to listen to or read collectibles, which, in my opinion slows down the game and takes me out of the experience.

This game has no combat. In order to survive you must use your wits, your feet, and your hiding skills. Eventually you can even start using the environment to your benefit, using such items such as pipes and doors as sound bombs to distract The Presence. Here is the only thing that somewhat bugged me about the game, and it’s the speed of travel when when The Presence is alerted. I can understand the slower walking speed when you are searching the house, but whenever The Presence has been alerted, you move the same speed. I caught myself whispering “Come on, faster, get to the hiding spot, it’ll be here any second.”


Closing Thoughts

With the high expectations for this game comes the greatest possibility for disappointment, and this game does not disappoint. The only thing i was picky with was the speed while noticed, and if that is the only problem I had, that’s a very good thing. After playing this demo, I can safely say that Perception is one of my most anticipated games this year, and that’s saying a lot for someone who never plays computer games.

Perception is expected to release sometime this year.

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About Elijah Steele

Elijah is an all around gamer who plays anything and everything. His favorite games are Final Fantasy 7, Bioshock, and the Hatsune Miku series among others. His specialties include Sony and import games. He will take any gaming challenge thrown at him. You can follow him on Twitter @Locolizardman.