Penumbra: Overture: Episode One (2007)
Action - Adventure
Publisher Got Game Ent.
Developer Frictional Games
Series Penumbra

Penumbra: Overture offers intuitive and challenging gameplay using immersive mouse movement interaction. This allows the player to open, pull, push and in other ways manipulate the game objects in a motion similar to doing it in real life. This type of interaction has never before been used in a game and makes the puzzles a lot more fun and the game more immersive.

You are on your own, except for some dangerous creatures and will survive and succeed on your guile. There will not be any direct character conversations and you learn about what is going on through radio transmissions, notes, and books and by examining the environment.

Penumbra: Overture is not about mindless violence, although there will be occasions when you will have to face a number of truly horrifying and unpleasant creatures and combat is implemented in such a way that an enemy is very hard to kill. Trying to use a weapon is really a last resort. At best the player will manage to knock the enemy out for a short time period allowing her/him to escape and hide. Various objects in the environment will also be useful for stopping enemies. Rocks can be thrown and heavy boxes can be pushed over enemies. There are also inventive actions like being able to break a beam and thereby letting large rocks fall onto an enemy. These are just a few measures you may have to undertake to get out of a dangerous encounter.




Penumbra: Overture is a first-person survival horror game. Originally created as a tech demo to showcase the in-house developed HPL engine, the small team soon turned it into a full game, split up into two episodes (originally advertised as three), of which this is the first one.

Players take on the role of Philip. After his mother's death, he receives a letter of his father, a man he has never seen in his life and presumed dead. Philip is asked to destroy a set of notes, but instead he decides to travel to the wastelands of Greenland following the clues left in the writings. He ends up in an underground complex where he discovers disturbing facts about the past and events hidden from the rest of the world.

Unlike other survival horror games, Penumbra heavily focuses on adventure elements with physics-based and inventory-based puzzles, exploration, and a few action elements and scripted sequences, with a first-person perspective and mechanics similar to a first-person shooter. Players need to use the environment to operate items and machines, and build structures with items scattered around. Almost any item can be picked up and used as an active game element. Actions need to be performed through an appropriate motion with the mouse: hold and move left or right to swing a weapon, turn valves in a circular motion, pull back to open drawers and doors, etc.

Key items are stored in an inventory and need to be combined or used with objects to progress in the game. Clues and background information about the events are gathered through notes left behind and one-way conversations with a mysterious man called Red. Puzzles often require a lot of thinking, with both visual and auditive elements, and need thorough investigation of the environment. All notes are stored in a notebook and clues for puzzles and tasks are added a to do list.

Philip can collect weapons such as a hammer, a broom and a pick axe, but melee fighting is generally discouraged and rarely rewarded. Instead, players need to use the environment to set up inventive traps or avoid fighting altogether by using distractions or stealth to sneak past enemies. By hiding in the shadows, the edge of the screen turns blue and Philip stays hidden for all creatures. The environment is almost completely dark at all times, enhancing the horror experience. Light sources are very important, and Philip only has a flashlight with a limited amount of batteries, a glowstick and flares.

Next to a constant feeling of desolation, there are many disturbing events and horrifying elements, so the faint of heart need not apply. The game supports OpenAL sound.
Product Details
UPC 851612000533
Format CD-Rom
No. of Disks 1
Region USA
Language English
Audience Rating Mature
Review Rating 72
Completed No