Developer: KoukouStudios, Faber Interactive
Publisher: Faber Interactive
Lethe – Episode One is a first person, atmospheric, exploration adventure with some aspects of a survival horror game.
The story starts off with your step-father having recently passed away, leaving all his debts to you, but he also leaves a clue about where you came from. With this bit of information, and knowing absolutely nothing else about your origin, you embark on a journey to a small mining settlement seeking more information about the where you came from. Throughout the game, the story is told by reading all the notes that you find, and because of the way the story is presented, exploration is strongly encouraged.
Like most games games with horror aspects, you expect jump scares, and there were some that made me jump, but they aren’t so overdone that you are anticipating them at every turn. You have no weapons or anyway to fight back, and your vulnerability creates a tense situation as creatures chase you, and you flee frantically. You get telekinetic powers later on, but unfortunately, they don’t work on biological materials, so they don’t protect you.
- story isn’t mind-blowing, but it’s certainly intriguing, and even though you don’t get complete closure in the first episode, it’s satisfying enough, and it doesn’t end abruptly, while at the same time it still makes you want to know more
- graphics are good throughout the game, and all the environments look nice
- music and ambience are good also, and work well with the visuals to create an immersive, atmospheric environment
- having telekinetic powers gives an additional tool needed for solving some of environmental puzzles; the puzzles are straightforward, and don’t pose much of a challenge, which are fitting for this style of game
- some texture popping, but most of it happened early in the game before moving indoors
- some areas are very dark, and a bit hard to see in, but most of the areas are fine (gamma is adjustable, but turning it up might take away from the spooky feel of the areas that aren’t too dark)
- creatures animations look a bit wonky when they are walking around (hearing the creatures is a lot more frightening than actually seeing them)
The game took me just over 5 hours to complete. There’s not really any reason to replay the game once you finish, but thorough exploration on the first playthrough is recommended. Although, Lethe didn’t terrify me like Amnesia or Outlast did, the game is still decent, and I think it starts off the series nicely. I’m looking forward to learning more, and seeing where the story leads in future episodes.
Review copy was provided by the developer.