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09 August 2009

Dementium: The Ward [DS]

Plot Synopsis: 2/10
In Dementium: The Ward, you play a character who has awoken inside a bloody, seemingly-abandoned mental institution. Outside the building, it is night time, and there is a thunderstorm going on. Oh, and of course, the power has gone out. So, instead of getting the hell out of there, like a normal person would, you decide to try to restore the power and find out what the hell is going on. Which, of course, is a good thing, since otherwise, we'd have no game. As you explore the building, you begin to encounter horrifying monsters that just shouldn't exist. Unfortunately, the basics of this concept have not just been done before, but were done better (Resident Evil, anyone?). The end (don't worry, I won't give it away) left much to be desired. I'm still not really sure what was supposed to have happened.
As a result, i have no choice but to give the plot a 2 out of 10. Just not impressed.

Game Play: 7/10
Dementium is a First-Person Shooter. A lot of the basic movement and weapon selection were handled via the DS's touch screen. The rest is the same basic mechanics as many other FPS titles out there. In other words, shoot the creatures that jump out at you as you walk around.
I'll give the game play a 7 out of 10. In my opinion, there are still some bugs to work out, but I really appreciate that the game developers took the time to work the DS's touch screen in to something tried and true like a First-Person Shooter format.

Graphics: 8/10
I have no complaints about the graphics. Generally speaking, the times I couldn't tell what something was, it was either because it was a monster, or it was an item that, for the sake of progressing the story, I was supposed to get closer to and examine anyway. Otherwise, it was pretty easy to figure out what I was looking at, at any given moment.
I'll give the graphics and 8 out of 10. They did their job, and did it well. As I said, no complaints.

Audio: 8/10
The voice-acting was good. The only characters that sounded over-the-top were the ones that were SUPPOSED to sound that way. Everyone else just sounded normal and natural. The music was unfortunately a bit cliched and overdone. You had your typical minor-key piano melodies over distorted guitars. The occasional creepy sound effects. Basically, your average horror game music. There was some good placement of sound effects throughout the game, though, that added well to the creepiness factor of the game.
I'll therefore give the audio an 8 out of 10. I probably would have scored it higher if the music, itself, wasn't cliched and overdone for this genre.

Overall Score: 6.25/10
Honestly, the numbers average out to a higher score than I was expecting. The plot is where this game really falls apart. I can't say it would have been a great game with a better plot, but it would have been a step up from this game. By the time I got around to playing this game, the developer had already announced a sequel. After playing this one, I highly doubt I will bother picking up the sequel.

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