Penumbra: Black Plague (2008)
Action - Adventure
Publisher Paradox
Developer Frictional Games
Series Penumbra

Return for more first-person horror adventure in Penumbra: Black Plague. Picking up where Penumbra: Overture left off, this stand-alone sequel continues Philip's struggle to find the truth about his family's mystery. Join him and journey to the darkest, most terrifying locales he's ever faced. Somehow, Philip must find the courage to press on as enemies lurk in the shadows. Sift through a scattered collection of discarded letters, cryptic journals and forgotten diaries. Can you survive long enough to piece together the clues? Move carefully through a fully interactive world containing amazingly realistic physics. Manipulate the light as you wish, illuminating your surroundings to confront your adversaries and darkening the room to remain hidden. Black Plague blends mental and physical gameplay elements in a captivating way. Sometimes you must think your way through baffling puzzles. Other times you'll confront freakish adversaries head-on. A stunning system of adaptive motion blur and multichannel 3D positional audio adds to the in-game chills ? when panic sets in, you'll hear Philip's breathing quicken. Should he persevere to the end, he'll see the secrets of his past and present come to light.

Adaptive motion blur and multichannel 3D positional audio mirror Philip's fading abilities and increasing fright Piece together clues from a scattered collection of discarded letters, cryptic journals and forgotten diaries Windows Vista / XP

Black Plague is the second major part of what was originally planned as the Penumbra trilogy. The story is picked up right after the events of the first game, where Philip travelled to Greenland to pursue a location the notes of his father describe. The game takes off deep inside the mines, in a complex known as The Shelter, built in the seventies by the Archaic Elevated Castle, an organization in pursuit of ancient knowledge. Philip gets to know more about the Tuurngait virus and the storyline is explained further through the events and notes left behind.

Gameplay is fairly identical to the original game. Philip has to gain access to different locations mostly by relying on his wit, in a survival horror setting. The environment is very dark and puzzles are more complex than similar games, requiring extensive object manipulation, combined with a realistic physics engine where the mouse is used to open drawers, turn valves on tools and throw or stack objects. As the original game was often criticized for the cumbersome close-combat, the sequel removes almost all offensive means, having the player use the environment to outwit enemies and run from them, and putting the focus almost entirely on the puzzle-solving aspect. Gameplay is also largely based on stealth and hiding in dark corners. The game is shown through a first-person perspective with a regular mode, and an interact mode to explore specific areas.

Important items are stored in an inventory, with quick slots. The player can take multiple hits and restore health through painkillers. The game uses fixed save points, represented as ancient objects. Where the first game introduced the character Red as a dubious radio sidekick, the second game makes interaction more complex, as Philip is contact with a certain Dr. Amabel Swanson as well as with Clarence, a conflicting voice inside his head as a second personality due to the effects of an infection. Clarence is able to cause effects such as déjà vus (playable sequences), distorted reality and a lack of control over vision and movement.

Playing the first game is not required to follow the story, but many important plot elements are further explained or referenced. New to this game are a gas mask, the use of computer terminals to access information and gain access to new areas, and an additional button to rotate items more easily when holding them.
Product Details
UPC 897021001136
Format CD-Rom
No. of Disks 1
Language English
Audience Rating Mature
Review Rating 80
Completed No