I cannot say enough good things about this game. It’s just…kind of perfect. The artwork is phenomenal, the atmosphere is grim and depressing, the characters multi-faceted and intriguing, the plot easy to follow and engaging, and the music…is absolutely divine!
While Tormentum: Dark Sorrow isn’t strictly in the horror genre, it does have some dark fantasy elements to it and definitely features some horrifying plot-points and imagery. It tells the story of a nameless protagonist who finds himself caged by an empire set on making people suffer for the sins they’ve committed, often through gruesome torture. The protagonist doesn’t remember what he’s done, nor does he remember his life before being captured. In addition to seeking an escape from his captors, he seeks to understand what led him down this dark road, often encountering tests of his morality along the way.
I was introduced to this game by none other than youtube Let’s Player, HarshlyCritical. I’d started watching his playthrough about a week or so ago and immediately became enamored with the in game art, a concoction of H.R. Geiger and Zdzisław Beksiński horror. Graphic, disturbing, mysterious, and fantastic in all of its subjects, I wanted to experience the game for myself before the ending was revealed to me. So, I coughed up the required $10 to Steam and dove in Monday morning. Oh boy, it did not disappoint.
The game ended up being 3.5 hours of gameplay which was actually the perfect length. The puzzles in the game were fairly easy to execute. There was only one moment where I actually had to look online to figure out what to do and it was because I couldn’t make out the arrow on the screen. It blended into the beautiful environments and that nearly was my undoing.
I loved the entire game, as I’ve stated before. My favorite piece of it was probably the segment in the castle, as it was the most disturbing setting and the puzzles were the most varied and interesting. I especially like the room that deals with the ghost king and the secret “metamorphosis” room. That was very dark and creepy (but totally awesome). As far as the artwork goes, my hat is off to the man who painted all of those individual settings, characters, and game elements. I especially loved the cathedral, where I could view all of the art not being used in the games storyline. There were some impressive pieces there. My favorite in game piece…hard to pick. It’s definitely between the dinner table in the castle with the ghastly knight in the background (makes me think of Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth), and the fiery remnants of Frozen Tears (where we do the instrument puzzle).
And of course, let’s not forget about the music. This resembles Martin Stig Andersen’s Limbo Soundtrack in so many ways for me. The biggest difference is that there are more instrumentals used but it still gives off the same gloomy repressed atmosphere. At present, OhNoo Studios (Tormentum’s developing studio) hasn’t released an official OST nor put any music out for digital download. While I’ve written to them asking if they would, I’m going to mention here again…you would DEFINITELY have some interested parties willing to spend some money on that. Just a suggestion…
Now, you’re probably itching to try the game out for yourself, aren’t you? Head on over to OhNoo Studio’s official website and take a gander at everything. They’re also selling an artbook with all of the game’s art for $50. Pretty good deal if you ask me.