MADiSON (review)

Jul 7, 2022

Down every hallway, behind every Virgin Mary statue, after every camera flash. There will be something that will haunt you. MADiSON is a first person phycological horror game full of puzzles and jump scares. Both can be fun and scary, but both can also be frustratingly repetitive.

Developer: BLOODIOUS GAMES LLC
Release Date: July 8,2022
Platforms: PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch.

GWW was provided a digital code for the PS4 for the purpose of this review. The review will thus be reviewing every aspect of the game via the system it was played on.

Story

The first 15 minutes of MADiSON are deliberately and confusing bleak with story and exposition. You play as Luca who over the course of the games 8 plus hours (depending how good you are at puzzles) learns more and more about the family and the house you traverse. Pill bottles, pictures and little notes and hints are hidden throughout that help piece together the why and who. Characters only exist in journals, pictures or recordings. Luca is the sole character and much like the player is confused and scared.

Hearing the story unfold over audio cassettes, tv reports, and newspaper clippings is eerie. The horror and death has already happened. Its like MADiSON is a sequel to the real horror that has engulfed the family already. If you blink you may miss the story. Slowing down to read, and to listen is important in MADiSON. Its important for the full enjoyment of the game but also for staying engaged for the entirety of the games story.

The Shadows

Gameplay

From one hallway to the next, first person slow walking from point A to point B then back to A, can be repetitive. But the walking through the halls with the expectations and the fear that something will be around the corner is a high selling feature of the game. You are often on the edge of your seat waiting for the next jump scare. Its both fun and exciting but by the end you have the knowledge that something is coming and it can be a bit frustrating.

Where the game changes it up is how the puzzles change and the tools needed to solve the puzzles. Old audio cassettes fill in the blanks of who Luca is or at least who his family thinks he is. Puzzles are simple but if you move to fast you may miss a hint that could leave you on the puzzle for longer than expected. What rusty hammer, a broken shovel, and a notebook can be used in various ways to solve puzzles.

Your main tool, what Luca will use at every turn, is his instant camera. The camera is used to light a dark hallway, reveal a puzzle or to progress further into the depths of horror that await for Luca. Having the pictures to reference for puzzles is handy. Achievements like taking a limited amount or a multitude of pictures add to some fun gameplay and multiple playthroughs. Often times the camera flash will reveal what’s hiding in the dark and there is nothing scarier than the horrors that linger in the dark.

The Light

Overall Enjoyment

Be prepared to be scared. Understand that you may do some repetitive puzzles and back tracking. Its supernatural, its bloody, it has jump scares. It covers all the horror bases. All-in-all MADiSON is an engaging first person horror game, that will leave you eager to get to the end. Both for the knowledge of what the heck is going on but also because your scared to death of what could be next.

Score: 8.2

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