June 04, 2024

Review: Crow Country

Topics: General
Crow Country

Crow Country, developed by SFB Games, is a survival horror game that hit the shelves on May 9th. With a visual style and design reminiscent of PlayStation 1 horror classics like Resident Evil and Silent Hill, players step into the shoes of Mara, a mysterious young investigator exploring an abandoned theme park.

While the default controls mimic the classic titles of that era, I recommend switching to modern controls which are far more intuitive. You can choose between the traditional tank controls using the D-pad or the modern controls with the analog stick.

The game’s structure is heavily inspired by Resident Evil 1, featuring a central hub area with most of the map initially locked. Players must solve adventure game-style puzzles, often requiring specific inventory items. Fortunately, the puzzles are logical, and I never found myself stuck for too long.

Starting with a pistol, you gradually gain access to genre staples like the shotgun, flamethrower, and magnum. Most enemies are slow and pose little threat, save for a few exceptions. I initially conserved ammo, fearing I might run out during boss fights. However, later in the game, ammo became plentiful. There are traps that appear in rooms you already explored as you progress which are easy to miss and cause more headaches than the actual monsters.

The combat feels clunky which fits well with the PS1-era survival horror games. However, this clunkiness can make aiming challenging. I would recommend turning down the sensitivity of the controller for aiming to make it a bit easier and more precise. This adjustment can significantly improve the overall combat experience without losing the retro charm.

The story unfolds through scattered documents and brief NPC interactions. Each document you find adds a layer of depth to the backstory, revealing the sinister events that transpired before the park’s abandonment. Mara’s commentary as she explores the park adds a touch of levity to the eerie atmosphere, also fitting for the genre.

The game isn’t exactly scary, but the music and sound effects set an unsettling tone. The ambient noises, like the crow calls that echo through the empty park, keep you on edge even when there are no immediate threats.

The overall experience is short and sweet. My first playthrough took around 5 hours, followed by an additional hour to uncover a few missed secrets. Completing the game unlocks Crowquest, which is like an easter egg hunt for glass crows hidden throughout the map. There is a harder difficulty that just released for those looking for more of a challenge.

May has been a fantastic month for indie games, and Crow Country stands out as another highlight. It’s an easy recommendation, especially for fans of survival horror.

Final Verdict: 8/10

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