In this preview we discover the qualities of the horror title In Sound Mind created by the developers of We Create Stuff
Horror titles are a genre that has been popular for some years, in particular many independent studios have contributed a lot to broadening the genre with an injection of new interesting and original ideas. Among these are also independent developers We Create Stuff, former creators of Nightmare House 2, who together with the publisher Modus Games last year unveiled an interesting new first-person horror called In Sound Mind. The title should have already been released during the first months of 2021, but for various problems it was postponed to September 28 of this year. Two months after the official release, we were able to preview In Sound Mind for about 3 hours of play, so you can see the progress made by the title compared to the demo released last year.
Journey into a nightmare
The story of this psychological horror title has as its protagonist Desmond, a psychologist who lives in the small town of Milton Haven. Suddenly he finds himself dealing with some strange supernatural events taking place in his small town. Desmond realizes that what is happening is linked to the sad fate of some of his patients oppressed by their own dead mental illnesses. So Desmond finds himself digging through the tapes of the different sessions he did with these individuals to get some clues.
The problem is that every time Desmond accesses a new cassette, he mysteriously finds himself catapulted into a kind of nightmare dream world, in which the fears and phobias of his patients are represented, which often turn into terrible monsters that will hunt him down. Desmond will therefore have to survive by going on from case to case, to find out the truth about what is happening. As said by the developers themselves, the aim of the game is to explore the meanders of the human mind, so much so that for the creation of the different levels inspired by the mental illnesses of patients, it was asked for help from experienced therapists to be sure to best represent each phobia.
A Varied Horror – Preview In Sound Mind
From what has been told it might seem that In Sound Mind is one of those horror films whose gameplay is mainly based on the escape from monstrous creatures, with many jump scares attached, and a mainly linear structure. Actually the title of We Create Stuff is much more varied than you might think. Within In Sound Mind you can shoot and fight, there are platform phases and phases in which you have to solve puzzles. Each cassette we are going to explore (in the full game there will be four in total) will take us to always different worlds also characterized by some different mechanics.
For example, when we explore the world of Virginia, a woman who has always been afraid of being judged for her appearance, we will have to bring with us a piece of broken mirror, which is the only way to locate a dangerous ghost that is at our ribs. While in another level, the fear of the dark is represented as a huge port area that is created as the patient talks about his fear, also introducing us to curious enemies. The combat it is in the style of a first person shooter, in fact we will have some mouths of fire to defend ourselves, but the shootings turn out to be rather plastered in the animations and not very effective overall.
The fight, however, will be a marginal phase of the title, in fact it will have much more importance is the exploration and solving of puzzles, which will often allow us to reveal clues on how to defeat some enemies. Each level also has a final boss, and several easter eggs to find. The puzzles are well thought out and represent the most successful element seen in this preview of In Sound Mind. They are very reminiscent of i classic puzzles in Resident Evil style, in which you have to find the right key to enter a certain area, or simple puzzles in which we will have to crush or operate the levers in the right sequence.
They will not fail scariest moments in which we will be completely in the dark armed only with a simple torch. Fortunately, the jump scares in this case are not abused, even if they are not lacking. There are also several elementi da survival horror, especially related to the resources to be found, such as healing objects and bullets, and the boss fights from what we saw in the test, are more related to solving certain puzzles, rather than to real battles. These, like the one against the ghost of the mirror, did not particularly impress us from the point of view of the structure. A structure that, unfortunately, has elements already seen and reviewed in other similar titles.
A world in every mind – Preview In Sound Mind
On a graphic level, In Sound Mind certainly does not show a technical sector in step with the times. The title in fact it will not make you scream in amazement regarding the visual aspect. The title runs well at 60 FPS in Full HD on a not-so-recent machine. In fact, our test took place on PC. Despite some graphic flaws, the title is still equipped with good art design and excellent level design, thanks to very varied and well-detailed settings. The atmospheres manage to convey well that sense of anxiety and terror of not knowing what awaits us once we turn the corner, managing to renew itself after each level without making everything seem too equal to itself.
Each world present in the game has indeed its atmosphere and its set of colors that symbolize the uniqueness of each environment inspired by a mental illness that we are going to face. In Sound Mind also has great soundtrack, which avails itself of the collaboration of the band The Living Tombstone who took care of the entire OST trying to best represent each different mental illness that we will have to face within the different levels. The experiment seemed successful to us from what we heard, given that both the soundtrack and the ambient noises seemed well done.
At the end of this preview we can say that the time spent with In Sound Mind it amused us. The title does not want to be yet another horror in which our only purpose is to escape from the creature of the moment, but it wants to focus on its narrative, which analyzes some important issues, and on a gameplay that always aims to insert something new into it, even if, as we have seen so far, not everyone has succeeded perfectly.
The fights, although not central to the game economy, are rather basic and with not exactly excellent animations, while the exploration has its ups and downs, with puzzles that are sometimes very successful and stimulating and you find that they know a lot already seen. Technically, the game doesn’t scream a miracle, but the artistic variety seen within the levels gives each area a unique character and vibe. In Sound Mind promises well, but we will have to wait for the release of the definitive version to fully understand its value.
The title will come next September 28 on PS5, Xbox Series S / X and PC, with a Switch version planned later. If you are interested in staying up to date with all the news on the world of video games and much more, then continue to follow us here on TechGameWorld.com. Furthermore, in case you want to buy some games at an advantageous price, we suggest you take a look at the many offers on Instant Gaming.