So…Sylvio. You play as a woman who walks around at night trying to record ghost voices using that EVP shit that you only ever hear about in awful ghost hunting reality shows and bad ghost movies, which really should have told me all I needed to know about this game, but I had heard such good things about it, so I tried it anyway.
So you go out for your nightly ghost recording in some abandoned “family park” and end up falling down a hole into some kind of abandoned complex, so you have to escape and survive using only…your ghost recorder?
I wandered around this first area for a while, finding a few keys, but still ending up with nothing but dead ends. There was some kind of black smoke ghost in one room that “killed” me if I hung around near it too long, but this only actually teleported me back to the first room of the section. You can walk around and find little voice ghost hotspots where you can pull out your recorder and hear a word or two among the static, but this didn’t seem to have any actual function. The only other thing I found was this potato gun, which a vague instructional note claimed could be used to knock things over or activate things, but it didn’t seem to have any effect on anything.
Literally no other spooky things are going on except for that one stupid smoke ghost, so I was getting pretty bored at this point and was about ready to quit, but I decided I’d look up a walkthrough and see what I must be missing before giving up entirely. So apparently what I should have been doing was loading nails into the potato gun and shooting the ghost with them. Then the ghost dies and gives you a special recording, which makes a location marker for something appear in the distance. You can also play the recording back at high speed or in reverse to hear another word, which reveals a bonus location marker for a collectible item or something, I guess? I don’t really know, because the game never actually bothers to even tell you that most of these mechanics exist, much less explain any of them.
It never occurred to me to shoot a nail at a ghost, because why would it? That makes no sense. And the location marker I got actually sent me someplace I’d already been, where an item that wasn’t there before had suddenly appeared. Ugh. This is one of THOSE games. So I ran around finding more black smoke ghosts and nailing them to death, to find more location markers to places I’d already been, to get all the pieces I needed to open the exit door. Along the way you get extremely vague snippets of information about what went on in this place, but they’re so broken up and out of context that they don’t really seem to matter much. Ok, there was a guy who people made fun of because he had a big head? And now he’s a ghost? Ok. Great. That’s literally all I learned in this area.
I did finish that first area, and tried to start the next one, but it’s all just so slow and empty, and I was just wandering around this big, open area where everything was just so barren and brown, with no music, no spookums, no real activity of any kind, and I wondered why I was bothering with any of this? I didn’t care about anything that was happening, wasn’t having fun, and I don’t even know who the fuck Sylvio is. This isn’t a horror game, it’s an adventure game with a light supernatural theme, marketing itself as a horror game, and it’s just not that good at being either. RIP Sylvio, whoever you are. I’m done with ya.