NEED TO KNOW
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Genre: Horror, Exploration, Story
Platform: Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Game Size: 4GB
Average Duration: 2 Hours
Official Site: Official site.
The Park is a first-person horror story game. This genre is relatively rare, featuring an interactive story, much like watching a film, but the player is in control. This makes the story much more gripping, intricate and exciting, leaving much less gameplay, combat and action.
The game was released by Steam on October 27th, 2015, and it was developed and published by “Funcom”. The Park is a descendant of a previous game by Funcom, “The Secret World”.
This game is definitely something very different and worth investing 2 hours of your time into. It becomes apparent the more you play that its main focus is mental health, and even warns you before playing that it may affect you emotionally and psychologically. Be warned – this game is not for the faint-hearted.
The Park Trailer
Playing as a woman called Lorraine, you begin in a seemingly normal entrance to Atlantic Island Amusement Park, just as it closes. As Lorraine chats away to a member of staff, her son, Callum, runs into the park. Despite her best efforts to call him back, he still runs away, leaving Lorraine the only option of following him. As she walks into the turnstile, it becomes increasingly apparent that not all is what it seems. The atmosphere changes, and as Lorraine ascends the escalator, she discovers an abandoned, decrepit, empty amusement park, it looks as though it had been neglected for many years. This later becomes clear it is a representation of her deteriorating state of mental health.
As a widowed single mother who has suffered an abusive past from those who were supposed to protect her, there are many demons floating around Lorraine’s mind. Much like her mind, The Park harbors some dark and sinister secrets. As you take control of the protagonist, you will unravel the dark stories behind Lorraine and The Atlantic Island Park.
As you progress further, so does the twisted psychology. Many objects, such as trees and posts, are made to look like figures in the distance and make you take a second glance and question your own mind, hence why this game is not for the weak-hearted. Lorraine often experiences paranoia and begins to panic, making the whole experience even tenser.
There are no spoilers here, try not to read the story too much because the whole point of this game is to discover it. Be prepared for a very tense and chilling game, with a horrifying and spine-chilling final discovery.
Gameplay is extremely basic. As this is a story walk-through style game, there are very few things that your character can actually do.
Moving around is nice and smooth, you’re able to run in some parts of the game to get from one part of the park to another where there is nothing important to enhance the story. The only interaction you can actually have in the world of Atlantic Island Park is when you find an object that becomes outlined while looking at it, and pressing the “action” button, which will differ for different platforms. Usually, this is to read some piece of information you find or switch on a ride.
Another (completely pointless) control you have is to call out for Callum. This gives an idea of the direction he has run in, but it’s very easy to decipher without it.
The visuals are described as “state of the art graphics” on the official website, however, they compare more to PlayStation 3. This does not take anything away from the game, as I would describe it as gripping and highly engrossing.
An area needing improvement is probably the look of the main character Lorraine, as her appearance looks a little lazy and fake, this doesn’t affect gameplay much, however, as it is a first-person game and we only see her in cutscenes and an occasional mirror.
The Park does a really good job of making the surroundings dark, disturbing and extremely eerie. The visuals definitely make a massive impact on the games overall feel, and work well with the portrayal of psychosis.
Is It Worth It?
Is The Park worth it?
Costing $9.99 on steam, The Park is quite low in price. Other platforms, such as PlayStation, often have this game on an offer and it can be as cheap as $3.
It is definitely worth the money. As long as you are able to handle a game that is psychologically challenging, uses some jump scares and allows you to unravel a dark, horrific storyline, this game is really worth playing for such a low cost.