Narcosis - Analysis

Author: Jose A. Rodríguez
Date: 2020-07-30 16:17:30
The study Honor Code brings us Narcosis, a very special adventure for PC that takes place in the depths of the ocean and that explores the most claustrophobic horror genre in such a way that it makes us really feel inside the diving suit. Of course, an experience designed for your enjoyment in VR, something that undoubtedly makes it even more immersive (twice the term).

When we see the Narcosis trailer we think that we are going to live a horror story. An "Alien Isolation under the sea". And in a way, there are feelings that can evoke it from us ... but clearly, the experience differs greatly from any Dead Space or horror game in which we feel isolated from humanity. Narcosis plays with the environment and the environment to make us feel a great helplessness; we are in constant danger. No one can help us. And the worst: oxygen is scarce . The penetrating darkness is also a dangerous enemy, and we really feel that we are in such a deep environment that not even sunlight comes through.

At the plot level, we are facing an adventure that tells us the experience of a specialist diver, member of a team whose base is in the deepest part of the ocean, totally isolated from the outside world. Some facilities protect them from the unsustainable oceanic tonnage, but nothing lasts forever ... As soon as we begin, and accompanied by a story that puts us in action, we witness how the entire exploration mission that is taking place goes to waste. They have the bad luck of being close to the epicenter of a beastly earthquake that devastates everything in its path, leaving us almost alone (there are some survivors out there, but you will have to discover that) and with very few resources to survive. It happens that an introspective style has been chosen that is somewhat reminiscent of The Turing Test .

The gameplay of the title is quite complex, although its learning is quite affordable. For starters, the game controls (first person) are more or less the same as in any shooter. In this case, the movements are muffled by the aquatic environment, as expected, which is accompanied by our suit being very heavy and orthopedic. We do have a driver that makes our lives more bearable at times when we overcome obstacles or when we need some speed. With the mouse we look in all directions, even inside the diving suit, where there are indicators of our oxygen level and some elements to guide us. We are armed with a knife , which can be of help to us on occasion, but in general our main combat resource is our mission, since it is time to dodge monsters, find routes ... and not get lost. Because if that happens, we may run out of oxygen .

Fortunately or unfortunately, this resource is not in short supply either. Drowning is often synonymous with that we have neglected and gone astray . Of course, the feeling of overwhelm and suffocation is constant even if we have more than half a bottle. Combat, as we have said before, is almost the last resort, and in fact sometimes it is absolutely useless if the submarine "bug" that we face is very large. In addition to this, we will see the experience dotted with moments when we can do nothing except watch how some scene tries to put on the bad body. We would lie to you if we said that the scenes of "terror" scare us, but they do contribute to making the atmosphere oppressive. Of course, it is an " aquatic nightmare " that will not last more than 4 hours . And it's a pity, because at all times we notice that the game is going to lead us to something great ... that doesn't come. And it is a pity that it does not reach the "peak" of interest that it needs.

Technically, Narcosis is a title full of light and shadow . Yes, light effects and that, but we don't mean that aspect; rather, that we are going to be amazed and disenchanted with what aspect. The characters, be they friend or foe, enjoy a graphic finish typical of a few years ago, while the environment, which plays powerfully with carefully drawn in the dark, is spectacular if we play with the necessary requirements to set it to high resolution . It is a privilege that a modest development game looks like this, making it almost a sort of underwater Doom.

In the sound section , we can say that the voices (in English) are well interpreted, and since we have texts in Spanish, there is no problem. The music goes a little more unnoticed, remaining in a discreet background, but supports the general atmosphere, which after all is characterized by recollection. Good work, although it is not the brightest of its sections.