We had a chance to preview independent game developer Phantom Studio 8’s first project Past Cure and that preview left us wanting more. We wanted to know the back story which came before and after the stages we got a chance to play. We had questions about Ian and all the tortures he endured which got him to where he is. Even more, we had questions about his brother, the kids, the lady, and now, the end boss. While we enjoyed the journey, we fear at the end of it all, we had more questions than answers, which who knows might actually work its way into a sequel of DLC.
This is our review of Phantom Studio 8’s psychological thriller Past Cure.
In Past Cure, you play as Ian a former elite soldier. Ian, in the past, has been forced to endure human experimentation and tortures in prison; these experiments have left with special abilities in the form of telekinesis and time manipulation. As a result of these, you are now plagued with nightmares and hallucinations. To help you cope, you have confined yourself to your brother, Markus, safe house. Now you are on a discovery to find answers to your predicament with the help of your brother as well as the mysterious woman you’ve seen both in your dreams and in the real world.
Like we said earlier, Past Cure’s preview peeked our interest as well as filled our minds with questions we couldn’t wait to get answered in the full game. Sadly, after playing through the complete game, which should run you about 5-6 hours, many of the questions were unanswered.
Past Cure is a very linear game. It also offers different styles of gameplay. In some levels, it was all about stealth, where detection would cause a fail or instant death. While in other levels, it was guns free! We actually enjoyed both and even more once we mastered our special abilities by manipulating time to pull off one head-shot after another or using our telekinesis to disable cameras and distract enemies. There was an ability which we used twice which we wished we could have used more of.
Past Cure does a great job of giving a tutorial on how to use your abilities. One might say a too good of a tutorial. It really felt drawn out and really slowed down the pacing of the game. We understand that it maybe was necessary; again, it was just drug out.
Another issue which really pulled us away from the story was the story itself. After we were done, we sat there thinking to ourselves, okay, that was it? It wasn’t the length of the game at all. It was just the unsatisfactory delivery of the game. It felt like Past Cure was a bunch of stages just thrown together to play. Yes, the stages had somethings in common, but they just didn’t flow together and because of this the characters just didn’t get a chance to really develop and we didn’t get a chance to care about them. We just played each stage presented to us as if we were just going through the motions. We really wanted to connect with Ian, but after it was all done, there was no interest in him what so ever.
We enjoyed the brief sections where some puzzles were added, but they were brief.
Past Cure control set up is basic, the standard stuff. We mentioned in our preview that Ian handled like a tank at times and would have loved there to be a quick turn feature, but really that was little a nothing. In the sections where it was a gun fight, we had to tweak the settings a bit to get a hand of the aim mechanics. Thank goodness for time manipulation ability. That came in very handy.
Past Cure’s cut scenes looked great. At times, the cut scenes very dramatic which really worked in its favor as it added well with the overtone of the game. The actual gameplay looked pretty decent also. We weren’t expecting the top AAA presentation. We loved the crazy looking “mannequin-like” enemies, but we really wish we know more about them.
This is yet another place where Past Cure dropped the ball in the helping us to connect to the characters. We wanted to know more about Ian, but unfortunately the voice acting wasn’t very interesting. It came across as emotionless. It sounded as if the person was reading the script on a dry run and that was used as a final presentation.
On a technical side, no matter how much we played around and adjusted the sound settings, there were times we just couldn’t hear the dialogue. It was getting drowned out by the music or the other sounds.
Past Cure could have been an amazing game. The preview did exactly what it was supposed to do, drive us to want to play and find out more. It had the ingredients there, a story, mysterious characters, and an intriguing set up. Unfortunately, Past Cure suffered from stages that were disjointed and just didn’t flow together and characters we just didn’t get a chance to really connect which so we could care about them. There also were just too many questions that went unanswered, but they again in the state that Past Cure is, would we even care about the answers?
PAST CURE is available for purchase on: