Decay: Part 1 Review (Xbox 360)
The Xbox Live Indie section is full of titles that offer a light hearted experience however Decay Part 1 is bucking the trend. Dealing with mature themes such as suicide and murder it doesn’t come as any surprise that Decay has a dark yet atmospheric presence about it. The opening of Decay is one of the most unique yet shocking openings to grace the 360, the focusing of a blood shot eye rolling back into the eye lid is dark yet gripping and the shocking reveal of a suicide victim sets the tone of Decay perfectly.
The grotty and mundane surroundings the player finds them self in is equal to the dark tone of Decay, there is nothing of beauty or life in the locations found in the game which at times even creates a sense of depression. Decay plays like a typical first person point and click adventure; you search for clues by moving in a number of directions which changes your view point of a room while doing this you tasked into investigating the area for items or clues. Decay uses the player’s investigation and curiosity to convey its story; this is done by news clippings and notes littered around in various areas. The story is never fully reviled but instead is hinted at while remaining mysterious, this of course is an effective way to hook a player and make them invest time and interest into the game its self.
Decays story manages to make players constantly ask questions such as who am I? What am I doing here? Am I dead? This may put off some players but for the most part it can easily hook you in.
Decay manages to make break the fourth wall and make players feel uneasy while playing the game, at times it almost feels like something is watching you which really adds to the overall feel of the game. Decay is sprinkled with the paranormal with certain sections playing tricks on your eyes and mind such as rooms appearing to be upside down and shadows of people being cast upon the wall, other acts of the paranormal include a room in which a strange almost whisper sound is repeated constantly and manages to invoke a sense of dread while in the room.
A point and click title would not be complete without puzzles and Decay is no different. Using traditional puzzles such as using certain items at certain times and following hidden messages in letters or notes, at times Decay manages to pull off creepy and fresh puzzles using shadows and a selection of family portraits which have a meaning to the plot.
Decay Part 1 isn’t faultless though; the game will only last around the 20-30 minute mark and suffers from a lack of replay ability. However don’t let this put you off. Decay is a dark and brooding title that manages to shock and intrigue and also manages to handle subjects very rarely touched upon in video games. A dark, mysterious, atmospheric story full of suspense is what makes Decay a worthwhile title to purchase, add to that decent puzzles and a refreshing visual style’ Decay Part 1’ will leave you craving more.
Thanks toShining-Gate for supplying us with a reviewer copy.