White Night (PS4)
Find out the secrets to the haunted mansion and don't run out of matches!
March 3, 2015
PS4, PC, XBOX One
I was not sure what to expect of this game as I have never heard of it before. White Night is a survival horror game set in the 1930s. I am not down on survival horror games, but the setting and art style drew me in.
You take control of a classic detective. After suffering a near fatal car crash, you head to the nearest house to ask for help. Once inside, it becomes clear that you were brought there to solve a mystery. To get out alive, you must solve the frightening history of this haunted house. Newspaper clippings and journals left scattered about reveal what happened as you progress.
The story goes as most survival horror games play out. But it is compelling enough to search out every nook and cranny for more clues to what has happened in this creepy place.
This game has been rated M for Mature.
Violence/Blood: There is evidence of ritualistic murders. Also, occult themes are prevalent throughout the entire game.
Sexual Themes/Partial Nudity: Given that these are murders of young women, there is some sexuality and partial nudity.
Language: Some bad language is used but not a lot. Words like “w—e” and “b—h” are used.
Smoking: The main character smokes a cigarette.
This game plays like any adventure puzzle game. You control the main character, move around your environment, and interact with objects. The main goal is to figure out the puzzle in each area to move on to the next locked room.
There is one major difference. Light and darkness have a lot to do with how this game plays. Most of the puzzles are solved with the use of light. A light shone into the darkness will usually reveal a clue to how to solve the puzzle to move on. Also, it is used as a defense against the ghosts since they don’t like it. Your character starts to panic in the dark, so you can use matches to light up the area to calm him. The matches also help you navigate around the house when no other light source can be found.
The only means of defense is light. When spotted by a apparition, all you can do is run. If you don’t, you will die. You quickly become used to the cues that are presented and quickly run in the other direction when they spot you. This leaves you to find another way around or find a light to shine on them.
The game primarily uses the jump scare tactic to put you on edge. The attacking apparitions are waiting just out of the light’s reach and a loud chord is struck when they spot you. I am more into the creepy atmosphere, but the jump scare was able to catch me a few times during my playthrough. So, in the way of providing a scare, this tactic has done its job.
This is where White Night shines. The game is presented in blacks and whites and only blacks and whites. I know that this is not a new thing in video games, but the way it is used in this game is awesome. It adds to an already ominous feel of the plot.
The immediate story is brought to you by narration from the main character. The tale of the haunted house is presented by newspapers, pictures, and journals that can be found in the rooms. I loved the way this was presented. It looks like someone learned from Bioshock Infinite. This way you can find out as much or as little of what happened in the house as you want.
The attention of detail given to even the little things is impressive. The matches, you use to light up the area, are a clear example of this. They are the only thing not in color in this game since they glow orange. Also, the matches will sometimes not light just like in real life. This will lead to your character fumbling around to get another match out.
While playing through this game, I kept on thinking about the light and darkness in the Bible.
“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:5
“For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light.” Luke 8:17
Throughout the game, you are given this image that the light will show you what was hidden in the dark. Also, it shows that light will always win over darkness. Some pretty cool imagery there.
White Night is a beautiful game. I love the way it plays with light and darkness. The attention to even the smallest details is impressive. It is a shame that the story is not as good as the presentation. If it was, this would be a truly amazing game.
+ Awesome use of white and black
+ Light and darkness puzzles
- Story not up to par with the presentation