Name: Past Cure
Developer: Phantom 8
Publisher: Phantom 8
Released: 23.02.2018
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
Acquired: A copy of this game was provided from publisher for review purpose

Past Cure is an ambitious game developed by a indie team named Phantom 8. What can a low budget indie game without a Kickstarter campaign or other type of funding become?

Story

Past Cure tries to tell us the story of an ex-soldier named Ian, that has been suffering from amnesia the past three years. Ian also discovered some extraordinary abilities as well, naturally he wants to know what happened to him and with the help of his brother Marcus they set on an quest to find out the truth.

Why do I say that they try to tell this story? Well because I couldn’t keep track of what was happening nor what the story truly was. The first section I wrote here was a bit copied from the games “summary information”. Truth be told, I consider myself to be a hardcore gamer who likes to discover new games and genres. But Past Cure truly messed up my head with this story and how they performed it. (I’ll get back to the voice acting in the graphics section)

I’m up for games that’s exploring new ways to tell a story, but I do like the story to have a beginning, middle part and ending. I felt like the whole beginning was lost and started right into the middle part. Who am I?, Where am I? (This is something that we pursue in the game though). The narrative isn’t well written, but if you can see past this you might see that the story has some potential after you have played a few hours into the game.
3/10

Graphics

Even though one of the biggest topics in a video game disappointed me (Story), did the graphics impress on certain areas. Keeping in mind that a small indie team developed this with a small amount of money, a few things impressed, such as environmental visuals and textures. Cars, shelves, beds, windows and grass is beautiful modelled and textured.

PastCure_SS8_Puzzles

But then comes the negative parts, character design and animations needs a lot more attention to detail. The main character looks unfinished and the textures are sometimes way off. And I’m pretty sure that I killed the same bad guy over and over again on each level.
Animations and sound design feels rushed and misplaced, sounds appear a few seconds after I use an action. (Opening a door etc) Animations are way off during voice scenes, and I think this is most of the monologic voice acting you can get in a video game these days. No different voice levels, no emotions, no different reactions at all.
Fighting animations on another hand is well created, well coordinated and fun to watch. (Hand to hand combat / stealth)
4/10

Gameplay

Okay, so the story mode didn’t impress me, nor did the graphics, maybe gameplay then?
Sadly no, most of my gameplay experience was ruined by the controls in this game. (I’ll get back to that later). The third person shooting mechanics are below average, not that they didn’t get the mechanics setup right, it simply didn’t work as it should have. Aiming felt about right that’s for sure, but I’m not sure that my bullets went in the direction I aimed at.

PastCure_SS10_Nightmares

Another mechanic in Past Cure is the ability to slow time, do not get eager about this. It’s not in the same way as in Max Payne. You can slow down time to sneak or go past enemies for a limited time (didn’t always work) or to slow down moving objects, thats it. Another mechanic is your “sixth sense”. To simplify it you’re flying your “soul” outside your body. Sounds cool right?Well, you’re only flying around outside your body to push “X” on certain boxes to open doors.
There is a hint of stealth mechanics as well in there, but it isn’t enough to impress me. Past Cure struggles to find its own identity and what type of genre this game is, instead small bits of everything is inserted.
2/10

Controls

Okay so I mention something about bad controls. Well let’s just say the one positive thing first; It’s easy to learn. So the controls are easy to learn, why does it ruin the experience?
Two pointers here, low response time and slow handling. The issue is present throughout the game, but the response time vary. It took up to one second to respond at the worst, what I mean is the reaction time from when I push a button to my character in the game respond.
Second pointer is the slow handling, when the controls “worked” at its finest, the whole character felt like it was too old to move or I was moving bricks, not a person.
2/10

Replay Value

The only reason to play through the game again is to play it again on a harder setting. Not that I recommend it though. I’m actually going as far as to say that I do not recommend playing through this game once.
2/10

Verdict

Past Cure struggles to find its own identity and genre, and that influences the gameplay experience a lot. Character design is mediocre and it doesn’t help with voice acting that sounds like they want to die inside. I think Past Cure would have more success in a Real Estate Agency than in a video game format. Because the buildings, rooms, furnitures etc is well created. 

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Overall
2.6/10
2.6/10
  • Story - 3/10
    3/10
  • Graphics - 4/10
    4/10
  • Gameplay - 2/10
    2/10
  • Controls - 2/10
    2/10
  • Replay Value - 2/10
    2/10
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User Review
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Verdict

Past Cure struggles to find its own identity and genre, and that influences the gameplay experience a lot. Character design is mediocre and it doesn’t help with voice acting that sounds like they want to die inside. I think Past Cure would have more success in a Real Estate Agency than in a video game format. Because the buildings, rooms, furnitures etc is well created. 

Pros

  • Environmental graphics
  • Well created objects

Cons

  • Voice acting
  • Gameplay
  • Story
  • Controls
  • Character design

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