Console Corner: Agony review
Agony and ecstasy, it's one hell of an experience.
Have you ever wondered what hell would be like?
If you believe there is a heaven and hell and you’ve ever wondered what it might look like - and don’t want to chance your arm that you will find out when you pop your clogs - then Agony paints a pretty vivid picture.
The first-person, survival horror sees gamers go on a journey as a tormented soul within the depths of hell without any memories about your past.
The special ability to control people on your path, and possess demons, gives you the tools and wherewithal to survive.
Developed by MadMinds Studio for PS4, XBox and PC, Agony use the Unreal Engine 4 and is a Kickstarter game with an 18+ certificate game due to its extreme violence.
Tasked with meeting the Red Goddess, one of the creators of Hell, in an effort to escape and return to the land of the living you must possess both other Martyrs and, later in the game, lesser and higher demons, giving them access to special abilities.
Using mechanics such as crouching and holding your breath you can avoid demons and must solve puzzles in order to unlock new areas. Hidden statues and paintings can also be collected along your journey.
It is easy to see why Agony had such a big take-up on Kickstarter because the premise of the game is brilliantly unique.
The anticipation has been building for some time and the graphics, gore and sound do not disappoint delivering an atmospheric and haunting experience which I feel begs for VR.
Some of the demons will give you nightmares and Agony screams originality.
The crowning achievement in Agony is the way it leaves your nerves frayed.
If you didn’t need your hands on the control pad you’d probably find yourself chewing your fingernails with knots in your stomach because there is a very real sense of danger and impending doom throughout.
Frustratingly, though, Agony is far from perfect. The gameplay mechanics are clunky at times.
There are a host of annoyances the major one being the ridiculously restrictive timer during your time as a demon which sucks the fun out of the game in many ways.
Bugs and crashes are too frequent but patches are already on the way in a bid to fix much of that.
If this was a VR title we would be possibly be looking at a landmark game in video game history.
And perhaps that’s where its future lies because there are too many good aspects to Agony to consign it to video game hell despite its flaws.