Phasmophobia (Early Access Review)
Source: Supporter Gift
Where To Get It: Steam
Phasmophobia is a multiplayer experience that’s like those ghost shows that were all the rage back when (and indeed, follow some of the standard ghost investigation methodology), except the ghosts are nearly always angry, and can and will kill you.
Although, if you have a decent team, or a decent investigation method, or don’t, like me, overextend yourself by strolling through the Prison with just two people, you won’t die.
Honestly, though, the most fun I’ve had was tackling the prison with a single friend. First we both went in, then one of us alone… We were getting nowhere. EMF wasn’t picking anything up, temperature was normal, no orbs to be found, no fingerprints we could find under UV… But we did manage to get some spirit writing which narrowed it down to, uhhh… About two thirds of the beasties.
Then we pissed it off. The game gives you a five minute grace period during which it won’t get angry, but when it does… The front door locks, the walkie talkie stops working for you, and if you can’t hide, hide from something you can only see in glimpses at best? Well… You find yourself in a small room of corpses, before you become just a ghost.
It was tense as hell, right up to the end, with it almost getting my partner, and it definitely got me, and my heart was pumping. And yet, I died with only one regret:
I’d seen the thing on camera, and didn’t hit the screenshot button.
And the best thing of all? Sometimes, you can tell what a ghost is by its behaviour, as well as the signs. My partner in crime made the educated guess of Oni (because it was territorial as hell, and as time went on, its sphere of aggro got bigger), and whaddya know, he was right!
But I was actually tense (I rarely get frightened), not jumpscared. Even in the truck, watching that activity meter go all the way up to 10 and stay there, while my friend slowly tries to make their way out (running? Haha, you have a light jog at best), and the walkie talkie’s static as I try to warn them. Watching doors swing on their own, hearing footsteps, jinglings… And even though the ghosts can see you much more clearly in the dark, you have to keep things dark, because otherwise it becomes difficult to get evidence about them.
Aesthetically, it has no music. It’s all atmospheric sound, it’s normal buildings (even, sad to say, the prison), and that works.
If you want a multiplayer co-op game of investigation with the possibility of dying, and high tension, this one’s a good one.