Jun 23, 2017 Last Updated 10:14 AM, Jun 22, 2017

Through the Woods Review

Published in Adventure
Read 1044 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)

If you like walking simulators, can I get a “HELL YEAH!?”

Oh, no one? Okay. That sounds about right. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, today I will be reviewing a horror-themed walking simulator. Emphasis on walking. Through The Woods is the first project by the development team Antagonist, and there is a bit to like. However, there's also a lot to improve.

It's a third-person story on the western shores of Norway, with a mother and her son in a house in the woods. They have a dysfunctional relationship, yet both seem to like each other enough that it's never awkward. Within 24 hours into their stay, the son, Espen, is kidnapped by some strange bearded man (hint: NOT Santa). The mother swims and chases after them… THROUGH THE WOODS in hopes of reclaiming her child. He is nowhere to be found, sadly, though he left you clues along the way.

The woods aren't the only problem. Weird villagers, witches, and trolls will also impede your journey.

While the plot is a bit cliché, it would be enough to keep one's interest if the finer details were there. The controls are your standard WASD, and the mouse is used to look around… Yet, they feel a little wonky. With the amount of walking required, they got annoying. Graphics are okay, but I had to tone them down to get a more fluid experience, and my computer more than meets the ideal requirements.

Antagonist, at this writing, is working on a patch to fix this issue.

I fear that may not be enough. Five minutes into playing, I was already a bit concerned with my review. The more time I put in, the more my concerns were validated. I'll start with the voice acting. It isn't good, and with such emphasis on a story, it's important that we players care about characters. Good voiceovers will help in that aspect, yet the cast here does not accomplish that. Then are more technical issues, such as the simple act of walking. Are you not able to go somewhere, your character reacts with a buggy twitch. Lots of places where I thought I could go, I ended up twitching instead and again.

I also found myself confused as to why Antagonist would pick third-person for this game. First-person is, in my opinion, much better suited for horror games. It would have also saved them the trouble of character animations and 3D modeling, which are sub-par.

So technical stuff aside, how does Through The Woods play? WITH. MUCH. WALKING. You can sprint, but most of the time you'll be walking slowly, picking up notes or opening doors. Actions besides walking are too few and far between. I got bored, quickly, and I kept bored as I progressed. The atmosphere, though, is well done, yet, here again, a choppy execution impedes its potential. Consequently, trolls and witches aren't very scary. Even how they move feels buggy as well.

5

The Verdict

I did say there were things I liked, right? Well the scenario and the game's atmosphere are a great start. The Norwegian woods setting is awesome, and they nailed it to an extent, it almost makes the disappointments forgivable. Almost. It is a shame, because with minor tinkering, Through The Woods could have been a great game.

Take my review with a grain of salt. Through the Woods has mostly positive reviews on Steam, but for a twenty dollar price tag, I cannot recommend it. It gets a below average score from me, yet I'll close with this: for a first project, Antagonist shows much promise, and I'm anxious to see what it does next.

Alex Mallardi

AJ Mallardi has been playing console and PC games since he was 4 years old, and he has a degree in Mass Communications. Originally from the Philadelphia area, and presently in Nashville, with stops in Seattle and York, Pennsylvania, his life has taken him quite a few places. Currently he works 4 jobs: warehouse work, bartender, journalist for House Of Hearts, and OP Noobs (duh!); with the aspirations of being on television one day.

Related items

  • Subject A-119 Review

    Subject A-119 makes a strong showing with a variety of abilities, but the puzzles, through mechanical and logical limitations, quickly fatigue the player. Puzzle addicts might be tempted to explore this title but, overall, Subject A-119 mechanics are more confusing than the actual puzzles, ultimately leaving players underwhelmed.

  • Metro Exodus Revealed. First Details Now Available.

    A quarter-century after nuclear war devastated the earth, a few thousand survivors still cling to existence beneath the ruins of Moscow, in the tunnels of the Metro. They have struggled against the poisoned elements, fought mutated beasts and paranormal horrors, and suffered the flames of civil war. But now, as Artyom, you must flee the Metro and lead a band of Spartan Rangers on an incredible, continent-spanning journey across post-apocalyptic Russia in search of a new life in the East.

  • Black the Fall Interview

    After decades of toil, an old machinist plots his escape from Communism, through manipulation and scheming. Along the road, he befriends the most unlikely creature, an abandoned robot. Could they solve the puzzles and flee this bleak world together?

More in this category: Meadow Review »

Latest Shows

Bulletstorm: Ful…

With AAA Anonymous, we discuss our latest AAA game addiction, until the next one replaces it. This episode covers Gearbox's remake of Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition... Featuring Du...

OPN DevLounge Mo…

Episode Six, Season One! OPN's DevLounge Monthly is a lively conversation between game developers on Twitch, on the hottest PC games to be released this upcoming month. Watch it on...

Out Soon

PC Gaming Incoming

Pyre

A New World From the Creators of Bastion and Transistor, Pyre is a party-based RPG in which you lead...

Danganronpa Anot…

Komaru Naegi has been imprisoned inside a mysterious apartment for over a year. Her rescue is derail...

The Golf Club 2

Rise to fame and fortune in the largest, most dynamic golf game ever created. Assemble and join onli...

Vanquish Review

Vanquish delivers on action and unique gameplay. Although its missions can feel repetitive, it remains exciting due to its easy-to-master movement system and it’s addictively fun s...

Subject A-119 Re…

Subject A-119 makes a strong showing with a variety of abilities, but the puzzles, through mechanical and logical limitations, quickly fatigue the player. Puzzle addicts might be t...

Regalia: Of Men …

Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs wins time and again with unexpected surprises, character development, and fresh plot. With a sharp, sarcastic tone like Shrek, and a generally disinter...

Wonder Boy: The …

After nearly three decades since the original release comes Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap, a worthy remake. Developer Lizardcube created an engaging universe, partly thanks to beau...