Chasing Static game review (PS5, PS4, Xbox Series, Xbox One, Switch, PC)
Sometimes, going back to our childhood memories can cause some psychological frustration…
Thank you Xbox Canada, ID@Xbox and Ratalaika Games who offered us a copy of the game to do the media coverage and the games testing of this one. Therefore, the publisher/developer allows us to distribute and/or use excerpts from the game for our production needs and does not interfere in any way with the awarding of the final grade.
Am I on PS1?
Needless to say, titles are on the rise from our friends at Ratalaika Games and this time it’s the turn of Chasing Staticfrom the studio Headware Games, to offer us a mysterious psychological thriller title. Since this style is one of my favorites, I let myself be tempted by this one to see what it was all about. Here’s what I saw there…
First of all, remember that I started the game on Xbox Series X thanks for the code they gave me, but like this version (unique) has major bugs that prevent development, Ratalaika Games sent me the PS5/4 code so I can test and review it. As you read this, the Series X version is now working thanks to the latest updates. That’s what it says!
With the launch of the game, you can see the boldness of the Headware Games studio to opt for an artistic direction modeled on the visuals of the games. 3D from the era of the first PlayStation/Xbox. With its large geometric shapes dressed in textures with large low-resolution pixels, the graphical aspect of Chasing Static may put some people off, unless they’re into retro-looking games from back in the day. 1990s-2000s.
On the other hand, I invite you to go beyond that and invest yourself in the adventure it offers. Because without a title to finish you off, the magical atmosphere of this one is sure to please you, especially if you like that elusive feeling that caused the weight of the visual and sound atmospheres of the first one. quiet hill.
The story begins when our character, Chris Selwood, receives the only personal effect left by his father upon his death: a notebook of the latter. Chris and his father have not spoken to each other for several years and following this tragic event, Chris decides to return to his childhood hometown. Stopping for a while at a cafe by the highway, Chris metAneirathe local waitress.
While the two were talking, there was a power cut and Aneira asked Chris for help to restore the power. As soon as the power returns, Chris discovers Aneira staring at the ceiling of the café, as if possessed by a demonic entity. In being too much for him, we lose our humanity. When we wake up, the place now seems abandoned and plunged into an incomprehensible parallel dimension. This is where we officially take over from Chris and end up searching for answers to understand why we are suddenly locked in place, unable to leave the small town of Hearth and around it…
Chasing Static is, for the most part, another title I like to call “walking simulator“. In this one, the mystery and the search for answers are at the fore and you shouldn’t expect to have to fight various creatures from another dimension. In fact, the studio describes it as a “psychological horror adventure“, which fits the story you will experience through Chris’s eyes. In first person view, we will go around the Hearth to find clues and objects that will help us to finally escape from the city.
On our journey, we will find different texts, different objects and witness inexplicable phenomena, which will also help us see things more clearly later on. But I advise you right away: it is when you reach the very end of the story that the whole thing will make more sense to you. Because before getting to the bottom of it, let’s just say that you might be having a little trouble understanding where it’s all going. The scenario will also be presented to you in a cinematic form, but static, without wanting to play on words with the title of the game.
At the beginning of the game, you will see a frequency fluctuation sensor, a tool that will allow you to capture certain traces of past events and direct you to them. Once you find the source, a short cutscene will play, telling you another part of the story. I liked this principle, but I also found that it was not fully exploited in the game. In addition, we have to find the exact location to trigger the scripts that launch these cutscenes, which causes looping at times. . While I understand that these scenes represent vestiges of the past, I find the visual representation of them a bit ugly. Everything becomes black and white in addition to drawing almost invisible silhouettes in a thundering field of static frequencies. The idea is good, but because of the rendering, I kind of stopped the story…
On the other hand, even if the action does not multiply in any way, the gameplay is fun and the puzzle that surrounds the Hearth and the loss of its inhabitants keeps us captive. You will find items here and there, which will be used for certain tasks. These items will be added to an inventory that is all done and when a place asks you to use one of them, it will be done almost automatically. For example: if you go to a locked door, simply inspecting it will open an inventory menu and you will need to use the appropriate item to progress. It’s simple and it does the job!
The only thing I noticed was that a flange of text didn’t seem to be translated. I don’t know if it’s intentional or not, but I find it a bit odd… Another thing that I’m a bit displeased with is the lack of puzzles to solve. You will certainly find some imitation puzzles here and there, but nothing that will require you a few minutes of reflection or even, to use different senses to overcome them.
Even if the environments are not very large, you will discover old phones, which will allow you to transport from one place to another in seconds. I also liked how everything was presented to us. That and also the way to save our game, using a Polaroid type camera. It is enough to select it in the inventory, to take a picture of the place where we will add this save point to our game options menu.
Overall, Chasing Static might not be the best title in this category, but its ambiance alone makes the game fun. As with other games of this type, expect the adventure to take you between 2 and 5 hours at most. The beauty of short games is how easy it is to get achievements and Trophies. With a little research, will easily get you Platinum on PlayStation. Obviously, the price might be a bit too high for my taste, this one is close to CAN$20. Personally, for what the game offers in terms of overall enjoyment, I find the price acceptable. If you see it on sale, jump on it, you’ll have another reason to enjoy this one at a lower price. Since I had two Trophies left to earn, I went right back to the mystery of the Hearth…
To find out the criteria of our rating system, visit this page.
Note that the version tested is the one on PS5. The game is also available on Xbox Series, PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC.
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