In Sound Mind – Preview
Follow Genre: Horror adventure
Developer: We Create Stuff
Publisher: Modus Games
Platforms: PC, PS5, Xbox Series S/X, Switch
Tested on: PC

In Sound Mind – Preview

Good: Great atmosphere, Changing gameplay
Bad: Voice acting has fluctuating quality
User Score
8.0
(1 votes)
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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

In Sound Mind is one of those games that has been building up a stir long before its release date was even set in stone. The game is being made by first-time developer We Create Stuff, though these folks are well known in the horror genre for creating a cult classic mod named Nightmare House 2. Modus Games is doing the publishing, with this company being famous for supporting promising indie projects, and well-known internet sensation The Living Tombstone is supplying the music. Combine all this with an exciting trailer and demo to whet the appetite and it’s no wonder we were more than excited to jump into this game for a preview.

In Sound Mind takes psychological horror to the next level and in a literal sense, telling the story of psychiatrist Desmond Watts. After waking up in the basement of a derelict apartment building, the plot is revealed gradually as it often is in horror games; through notes and recordings. With Silent Hill-type strangeness, the reality Desmond finds himself in is not quite our own. It doesn’t help that he seems to be stalked by a maniac who loves taunting Desmond through phone calls, pointing out that many of his patients have died on short notice. Nonetheless, Desmond himself is intent on finding answers to that mystery too, by traveling through the warping landscape of his own disturbed mind and into the memories of his patients, facing the dark entities that lie within, while he searches for answers.

What stands out right away are the visuals. As mentioned earlier, there is a clear inspiration taken from Silent Hill, leaving you to wander strange dreamscapes that have a tendency to change if you dare turn your back. The designs for both enemies, as well as the places you explore, are top-notch. In Sound Mind really manages to give you a feeling of unease by something as simple as messing with the environment. All in all, for an indie game it really looks great.

The same can be said for the soundtrack, which, as mentioned above, was worked on by The Living Tombstone. Starting their career on YouTube and steadily growing a dedicated following, anyone familiar with them will know this was an excellent choice, as they’ve got experience with creepy and haunting tracks. As good as the music is, however, we might need to mention the spotty quality of the voice acting. Some of it is impeccable and adds a lot to the horror experience, but a few actors do put on a more lackluster performance. Sometimes it can lean into becoming almost funny again, especially when the stalker is screaming and laughing at you down the telephone.

In terms of gameplay, In Sound Mind plays like a classic first-person horror adventure. The game is rather linear, guiding you on where to go by locking you out of certain areas through the use of locked doors or other obstacles that will need a tool to be surpassed. Despite that, there is still a certain exploration element to the game and you’ll often need to backtrack while solving puzzles. Finding items, bringing them places, and being creative with where to use them will be a huge part of the gameplay. Some goals are even optional, leaving it up to you to complete them. At your side are your flashlight and trusty gun.

The flashlight works with batteries that you can find scattered around the map. Food can be used as healing items, but also drugs that will temporarily boost your speed or stamina can be easily found if you bother to look for them. Be sure to do so, as you’ll need them because the shadow creatures do not mess around when it comes to chasing you down. Sneaking around them might work at first, but sooner or later you’ll need to face them. The gun has limited ammo but can be used to dispose of them as well, so long as you aim for the head.

This only works for the basic enemies, however. When you travel into your patients’ memories, you’ll find yourself facing something worse, namely a manifestation of their trauma in the form of some terrible creature that will need to be defeated. These pseudo boss fights often introduce new mechanics to the gameplay, which are a lot of fun and a really unique way to diversify the game’s experience. For example, the first boss you face can not be looked at directly. Instead, you’ll need to use a mirror shard to move around carefully while observing your surroundings in a different way. Using the mirror shard will also reveal secret messages. Each boss has their own mechanic(s) like this.

Conclusion

Only the first few hours of In Sound Mind have been revealed and already this game looks like it’ll become the talk of the town in the horror genre. The sublime gameplay and stunning graphics are beautifully done and the story manages to reel you in from the start, spinning a mystery you’ll be curious to unravel. Also, there’s a cat you can pet; and that simply makes every game ten times better.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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In Sound Mind - Preview, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Jessica


Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

1 Comment

  1. […] a trip within your psyche to battle monsters of the mind in Modus Games’ In Sound Mind, a first-person psychological horror experience that pits players against the unpredictable dangers […]

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