Project Zero - PS2

Also known as: Fatal Frame

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Also for: Xbox
Viewed: 3D Combination Genre:
Adventure
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Tecmo Soft. Co.: Tecmo
Publishers: Tecmo (US)
Wanadoo (GB)
Released: 30 Aug 2002 (GB)
Unknown (US)
Ratings: 15+
Features: Analogue Control Compatible: analogue sticks only, Vibration Function Compatible
Accessories: Memory Card

Summary

One of the scariest survival horror games yet, Project Zero throws central character Miku into a supernatural world of horror after her brother mysteriously vanishes when he visits a spooky mansion on the outskirts of a small town. Sound familiar? No, it's not Resident Evil, and here's why.

Project Zero's originality lies in the fact that the Miku's only line of defence is a camera with supernatural powers which was left to her by her mother. Coupled with the main character's obvious vulnerability, this so-called weapon reinforces the players' feeling of powerlessness. Believe us when we say, wandering through a virtual world of ghosts and creaky floorboards is seriously scary without the reassurance of rocket launchers and shotguns.

It is only by taking photos of the mansion's resident ghosts that Miku can capture their souls and destroy them. The more centred a ghost is within the photograph, the greater the damage inflicted upon it. Each photo taken earns points that improve the camera's capabilities, giving greater zoom power and faster wind-on between photos. Think of them as experience points. As she progresses through the game, Miku will also be able to pick up extra film, clues, objects and even herbal medicine.

Thanks to Project Zero's lush visuals which constantly play with the effects of shadow and light, the game literally plunges players into an oppressive and frightening world. Whenever Miku makes the smallest movement, the beam of her torch reacts instantly and shines on the ground and walls in a very realistic manner.

The developers have succeeded in creating a deeply terrifying atmosphere by using all of the ingredients of classic horror films such as old abandoned houses, spiderwebs, rickety stairs and isolated, creepy characters. Attention to texture and detail in the 3D real time environments serves to reinforce the feeling of oncoming terror.

Be afraid. Be very afraid - you get the idea?