Project Zero 3
The Tormented

Format: PS2
Take 2 Interactive

5 026555 305266
Age Restrictions: 18+
24 February 2006

Taking the popular Japanese horror theme to a whole new terrifying level,
Project Zero 3: The Tormented is a complete interactive Japanese horror experience as the player takes on the role of Rei, a cursed young woman whose overwhelming guilt and tormented dreams lead her into a formidable world where the lines between reality and nightmares are blurred and the only way out is to solve the mystery of the tattoo. What the player will see in Rei's dreams is only the beginning of the nightmare, making this one of the most terrifying virtual experience to date...

The third instalment in the Project Zero (or Fatal Frame as it's known in the USA) series, The Tormented, offers another spooky slice of gameplay creepiness.

One of the most noteworthy things about this game is the fact that it doesn't rely on the same old tired clichés of most horror games. There's no unnecessary jumpy moments. Silent Hill will go down as one of the spookiest games I've ever played. While I know that there have been other games released onto the market that were equally as weird, Silent Hill will always hold a special place in my heart as it was the first game to really freak me out. So it was something of a joy to discover that The Tormented brought back those same creepy feelings.

You start the game as the sole survivor of a car accident that took the life of your boyfriend. Your dreams are haunted by demons and ghosts, but when you awaken you are never truly sure whether the dreams are real or not - especially as one of the first ghosts you encounter ends up being a girl in a coma in the real world. And why does a mysterious tattoo seem to be taking over your body?

You are equipped with a camera that has the power to kill ghosts (long story). So now all you have to do is fall asleep and take some photos of the ghosts you encounter. The camera is equipped with a ghost radar that lets you know when the dead, or any supernatural activity, is nearby. It's important to keep your eye on this, because it's not just ghosts you have to photograph. Taking pictures of supernatural areas will show you a glimpse of another part of the house, so you know where to go.

As you kill ghosts, you earn more points - points that can be used to upgrade your camera. You can also use different type of films (these range in strength from pretty useless to serious ghost killers).

The graphics are amazing and the background noises are pleasantly eerie - they certainly sent a chill down my spine.

In the early stages of the game you'll find yourself running backwards and forwards through the house between rooms. In fact it's this odd mix of not being able to enter certain areas until you've performed a task, that can be a little annoying - especially if you keep going back to the real world and back again without realising what the hell you are supposed to do (bear in mind that us reviewers don't get any instructions when we receive our review discs).

It's creepy and pure fun... just don't play this with the lights off... or alone. You have been warned.

Nick Smithson

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