Do the names Bioshock or Dead Space mean anything to you? Yes? Then imagine you are baking a cake. The ingredients for this cake are one part Bioshock, and one part Dead Space. You mix the ingredients together and put them in the oven for 20 minutes. What do you get as the finished product? You get Perception.
WHO ARE THE DEEP END GAMES?
Perception is the first game from indie studio, The Deep End Games. I didn’t pull the names Bioshock and Dead Space out of thin air. You see, The Deep End Games is made up of ex-Irrational Games and Visceral Games developers. Personally Dead Space is one of the scariest and most atmospheric games I’ve ever played, and Bioshock, my personal favorite game of all time, IS the most atmospheric game I’ve ever played. While the game has its own story, paying attention to the environment tells an entirely different one. I’ve never had any game give me chills and put me in a sense of awe like Bioshock has. The company was founded by Bill Gardner, the Design Director on Bioshock and the Lead Designer on Bioshock Infinite, along with his wife Amanda Gardner, an urban fantasy novelist who wrote the story of Perception. The talent working on this title have helped to shape some of the most influential stories, characters, and worlds that I’ve experienced in any form of media.
WHAT IS PERCEPTION?
You are Cassie Thornton, a blind girl who has been having haunting visions of the old estate atop Echo Bluff. After months of dealing with these visions, it’s time she finally visits and explores the Massachusetts house overlooking the sea. Beware, not everything is as it seems; as Cassie chases some answers, something else may be chasing her.
Though she is blind, Cassie has many tricks up her sleeve, not the least of which is echo location. By using sound she can get a sense of her surroundings and it builds the world as you explore it. One of the best tricks at your disposal is your cane. You can tap it on the floor and it will send out waves of sound, illuminating your view in the surrounding area. Be wary though, enemies can hear the sounds you make as well, including the ever fearful “Presence”. Its your job to navigate the grounds and figure out the secrets of the old building to put all the pieces of your visions together. All of this must be done while making sure not to get caught by any menacing spirits.
MY EXPERIENCE AND WHAT THE GAME MEANS TO ME
I’ve been excited about Perception since the day I heard about the Kickstarter. Unfortunately, I was low on funds at the time and was unable to support it, a decision that I feel will haunt me for a long time. I’ve been keeping track of the game ever since then. After playing it at PAX East 2016 I was more than sold on everything about the game, from the concept to the game play. I am mainly a console gamer but vowed that day that I would buy it on PC if that is all it would release for. I walked past the Perception booth multiple times at PAX East 2017 but it was always so packed, something that really excited me.
While I’m highly touting this game, that means it will also take a lot to live up to my hype and expectations. Coming into 2017, Perception was just as important to me as games like Resident Evil 7 and Horizon Zero Dawn. It has big shoes to fill, and time will tell if it can manage that. I don’t know if I can get a review copy (I threw my name in the hat, wish me luck) but you can know for sure that I’ll have a review up as soon as I possibly can for this game. Who knows, due to its May 30th release date, the game will be coming out right at the end of my Game Of The First Half Of The Year watch list for 2017 and might end up on that list?
Perception launches on May 30th on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.