FATAL FRAME / PROJECT ZERO: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse – Review
Follow Genre: Horror
Developer: Koei Tecmo Games
Publisher: Koei Tecmo Games
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: PC

FATAL FRAME / PROJECT ZERO: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse – Review

Site Score
Good: Atmosphere, Concept
Bad: Awful controls, Does feel a bit dated at times
User Score
(2 votes)
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Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Back in 2021, we took a closer look at Maiden of Black Water when it was rereleased for all current relevant platforms. We quite enjoyed this scary ordeal, and we did hope for more of the FATAL FRAME / PROJECT ZERO games to be modernized for our entertainment. Now, roughly a year and a half later, we get the rerelease of Mask of the Lunar Eclipse, another spooky entry in the series. While we did enjoy this atmospheric J-Horror title, we also felt that it could have received a bit more love, especially when it comes to the game’s controls.


Truth be told when you first dive into the game, you’ll barely have any idea of what is going on. You’ll start the game by exploring an old mental facility on a deserted island. You’ll be looking for clues about your past, as you went through an extremely traumatic event together with four other girls. The original group of five girls has dwindled down to two, and it seems that soon maybe all of them may perish. As you progress through the game, the puzzle pieces will start to connect, but it does take a while before things truly get started.


Graphically the game left us with mixed feelings. For the most part, you can see the game has updated textures, and these are clearly visible when looking at the game’s different characters. These all look nicely sculpted and the girls almost look like cute porcelain dolls. The rest of the game also received a new lick of paint, but we couldn’t help but feel that most of the game’s environments and even the ghosts looked a bit muddy. We are not talking about the increasing film grain that occurs when ghosts are nearby, but the actual overall muddy image quality. Of course, as you’re moseying around in the dark, this does make a bit of sense.


The sound design is top-notch. The game doesn’t use a lot of music during the gameplay segments and instead, you’ll have more atmospheric sound effects that at times just raise the hair at the back of your neck. You’ll have to deal with a lot of creepy sounds, and it’s sometimes quite stressful to figure out which ones belong to hostile ghouls and which don’t. There are also quite a few voiced lines in Japanese, and the cries of the ghosts once again add to the overall spooky atmosphere.


Just like the other games in the series, Mask of the Lunar Eclipse is a fairly slow horror game in which you explore different environments that are plagued by many ghoulish entities. While you technically cannot fight in the game, you do have a special spirit camera, the Camera Obscura, which can help you vanquish hostile spirits. For the most part the gameplay loop is quite simple, as you’ll just be exploring your surroundings, finding clues to aid your progress, all while having to combat ghosts with your camera. Conquering ghosts with your camera will also earn you points, which you can spend on unlockable items. Taking pictures of non-hostile spirits will also net you some extra points.

Outside of buying new outfits for the different girls, you can also upgrade your camera to make certain aspects of the game easier. You can opt to deal more damage to spirits, or you can improve loading times for your shots. You’ll have different types of film that you can use, but a lot of these are rather scarce, so you’re best saving some stronger rolls of film for stronger opponents. You’ll also receive other upgrades, such as the ability to dodge.

While the overall concept is still very entertaining, it’s truly the horrendous controls that drag everything down. You’ll quickly notice that the game has traditional ‘tank’ controls that the original Resident Evil games had, albeit even worse. You’ll walk around with the left stick while supposedly the right stick helps you aim your flashlight as well as position your camera. In reality, the right stick does barely anything and it sometimes jerks your character(s) in directions you didn’t want to go or face. It’s a struggle to highlight items you can interact with and it’s even worse to position yourself to actually interact with them. Everything feels needlessly sluggish and the fact that the controls are so godawful is what makes the game a lot more difficult than it truly is. Even though there’s a run button, you’ll only do an absurdly weird jog that looks so unnatural. When holding down the run button we were basically under the impression our character just needed to go to the toilet really badly.


FATAL FRAME / PROJECT ZERO: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse is a fun entry in the series that can now also be enjoyed on the current generation of platforms. The game has a lot going for it, such as its very creepy atmosphere and overall enjoyable gameplay loop. Sadly, it gets bogged down by horrendous controls and an extremely slow pace. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a good horror game with just the right spooky vibes, then this one is still worth checking out.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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FATAL FRAME / PROJECT ZERO: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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