“Amnesia: The Dark Descent” scared the crap out of me. “Eleusis” reminds me a little of “Amnesia”, but without the scary monsters chasing you throughout the environment. “Eleusis” is a first person adventure that puts the player in the role of an unfortunately gentleman who suffers a car accident. Shaken but not injured, you’ll guide this man to a nearby village where all isn’t what it seems. Before I get started, I’d like to thank the folks from Nocturnal Works for providing me with a free review copy.
The main menu allows the player to start a new game, load an existing save, view controls, and adjust game options. The controls are not rebindable, but are fairly simple for the game’s purposes. The WASD keys move the player around, left shift runs, left control crouches, the “F” and “L” keys activate your flashlight and lantern, respectively, “I” opens your inventory, “J” opens your journal, and “Space Bar” jumps. The options menu allows the player to change the screen resolution, adjust brightness, volume, and mouse sensitivity sliders, and toggle various graphical settings including fullscreen mode. There’s also a launcher that pops up before you start the game, allowing you to pick between DirectX 9 and 11.
The game’s greatest feature is its ambience. It does an excellent job making the player feel like they are in some creepy, unsafe place that they shouldn’t be in. It’s obvious that the developers really paid attention to things like the lighting and weather. The sounds were equally as eerie and I often didn’t know what to expect before turning around a corner. Some objects in the environment can be interacted with like in “Amnesia.” You can pick some items up and put them somewhere else, but you can’t add them to your inventory or use them in a key way. The items you do need to progress are simply picked up after clicking on them. Using an item from your inventory is as simple as clicking on it (to pick it up) and clicking outside of the inventory grid, which exists the inventory screen.
There are a few things that I think could be improved upon. The puzzles don’t really give the player direction as far as where to go or what to do to complete them. For example, in chapter one, I discovered an empty barrel in the wine cellar that I knew had something in it to unlock a particular door. The journal hinted that the answer had to do with wine, so I knew I was on the right track. What I didn’t know is that I needed another object which was hidden along a path somewhere else to get access to the contents of the barrel. You’ll often be running around the village with a key or item not knowing what to do until you stumble upon the answer. A hint system would have been nice to help out players who get stuck. The game’s save feature could also use a little work. At present, the game automatically saves your progress when you complete an important objective or unlock the next area. I would have liked the ability to save when and where I wanted, so that I could return exactly to where I was when I quit the game.
Overall, “Eleusis” is a captivating experience that will keep you busy for quite a while. It’s a good game to lose yourself in, assuming your timetable is flexible…that is, make sure the kids aren’t going to interrupt you every five minutes and that you won’t have to leave in a hurry, as there is no manual save feature. From what I’ve seen so far, the story is excellent and drew me in pretty well. It has the ambience and puzzle style of “Amnesia”, but lacks the fear mechanic and monsters that will drive you to drink. It goes without saying that one should always check their system specs before purchasing a game, but this particular one challenged my gaming laptop, even on a lower resolution setting. I highly recommend giving the demo a download (link below) to ensure that it’ll run on your machine. It’s currently going for $17.99 on Desura, (two dollars less than “Amnesia’s” going rate), which isn’t a bad price. If you’re really into the adventure / horror / puzzle genre then I’d say give it a spin…again, try the demo first to see if it’s something you’d like.
Final Verdict: 6/10
You can view the walkthrough here:
You can learn more about and purchase “Eleusis” by visiting the following website:
You can help bring the game to Steam by voting for it on its Greenlight page, here:
You can view video play sessions here: