When a game opens up with you in an old Victorian style building, there are some assumptions made. This is what happens when you first load up The Crow’s Eye. Wandering the corridors of the Medical University of Crowswood though, it isn’t long before things start to change.
In 1947 four students disappeared within the walls of the university and it was shut down. Entering the now closed down building in 1966 it is your job to discover the truth behind the mystery. Waking up in a confused state though and seemingly a part of a bizarre experiment, one of the hardest tasks in the game may be to escape.
The main story for the game is revealed in the form of documents and recordings that you find in rooms around the building. At various points of the game you also find yourself mocked or even given encouragement over the universities speaker system, pushing you on to the next levels of the game.
Where The Crow’s Eye gets interesting is the changes in style of the game, which are both attention grabbing, but also quite jarring at points. To move from the classic look of the building to a sudden more industrial area seems out-of-place at first, but once you are used to it you get used to the fact that this industrial style is a hint that a puzzle needs solving.
This is where The Crow’s Eye becomes more interesting. While the first levels of the game may feel a little like Amnesia: The Dark Descent, it isn’t long before you have new tools to make the puzzles more interesting. This includes the use of adrenaline to time jumps and reach greater distances when jumping.
This is where The Crow’s Eye starts to get its claws in you. Moving blocks around in intricate puzzles unlocks the next parts of the game, and new tools are provided to the play to allow for even greater manoeuvrability around the levels and of the puzzle blocks too. You become invested in the story, and The Crow’s Eye becomes much more than just another Amnesia style game.
With the audio files and the communication over the school’s speaker system, fans of Bioshock will also feel at home here. While this isn’t a game about shooting, it bears much more in common with the world of Andrew Ryan than it does with Amnesia’s play style.
While there are some creepy moments to The Crow’s Eye, this is one area where the game doesn’t really deliver for me. There are moments where something makes a noise in a darkened room, and there is a fairly successful jump scare early on. For the most part though, the puzzles are much more interesting than the attempt to create a creepy game.
For those looking for a new game that is a little different, The Crow’s Eye is worth checking out. More of a puzzle game than horror, it is the play-ability that keeps the player invested. While there are moments of frustration, for the most part The Crow’s Eye delivers where it matters.
The Crow’s Eye is available on PC from March 20th.