When you start playing Bring to Light by Canadian developer Red Meat Games, you think that someone might have published this game decades too late. Roaming around dark hallways and expecting to be attacked by some vicious monster is basically what marked the FPS games of the ‘90s.
Not to mention that occasional noise you hear in the background is so much annoying that you just want to shout out “Oh, give it a rest, monster! Let’s rock!” And don’t get me started with the noise you make whenever you open a door. I honestly cringed every time I heard those hinges creaking. It gets you hoping you will find something in a mess around you to grease the doors (I honestly thought that would be a groundbreaking feature in this game). But if you can turn a blind eye to these unfortunate elements and don’t expect some revolutionary experience from Bring to Light, you will have fun and enjoy playing this adventure.
In the game, you suddenly find yourself in the subway tunnels after an unknown disaster had happened. While trying to find the way out, you will find various clues pointing out that you might not be alone down there. After a while though, you will also figure out that the disaster that caused all that destruction may not be of this world. You will have to solve puzzles along the way and avoid Shadow Beasts that haunt you in the dark, but in the end, it’s the ultimate choice that will decide the fate of the world.
The CEO of Red Meat Games Keith Makse said that by using the heart rate monitor, the developer would be able “to find out what triggers will scare individual players” so that the game’s AI can adjust to making the game more or less scary. “A biometrically enhanced horror game should allow us to create one of the scariest games out there!” said Makse in a statement. The game is also available for VR-enabled platforms which makes it a little bit more attractive since nothing it looks pretty scary that way.
However, if you have a gaming experience with FPS horror games, you will come to realize that Bring to Light is nothing special. It might give you something to d for 3 hours or so but other than that I was bored with running around hallways with no direction and choosing the right combination of floor buttons to press so I could open some gates. The ending was also anticlimactic, and I rolled my eyes continually at the lack of ingenuity and excitement that was utterly lacking there. Instead of making you feel exhilarated, the final minutes made me annoyed.
Bring to Light also lacks narrative, something that is highly expected from a game with this type of concept at least in the form of more backstory and mythology surrounding the Avatar of Light and Avatar of Darkness. It could have been handled through more narrative clues in the tunnels, and less backing out and retracing your steps since you get lost in a seemingly simple environment. Nonetheless, the game is averagely satisfying to play, and I don’t consider it a total waste. It has potential and probably with more funds it could have been better and more in the range of Half-Life or Metro 2033.
You won’t make a mistake if you do play this game, but you’ll be wrong to expect something grand and fantastic. This is a modest game from a developer that showed potential to make something more prominent in the future that will blow our socks off. Until then, beware of the shadows – they bite.