There I am, locked away for a murder I don’t even remember. I loved my wife and kids… It can’t be… No I can’t and won’t believe it! I have to esca… What?!? What was that noise?
That’s how The Suffering, Midway’s newest horror shooter, starts. Your name is Torque and you’re at the wrong place at the wrong time. Just when all hell breaks loose and countless monsters start killing the other prisoners, you find the means to escape from your cell. A long and dangerous journey has started.
After just a few minutes of gametime, you’ll already notice that the game’s levels are very well-designed. If you believe you’ll only see long, dark corridors full of enemies and corpses, you’re way wrong. The environments offer a lot of variation and are engulfed in detail. You’ll visit the death cells, execution rooms and even a mental institute. All of them have a cool, dark atmosphere as is to be expected from these games.
But not only the levels look great, the different monsters you’ll see are all works of art. When you see them for the first time, you’ll wonder just how sick the designer, Stan Winston, really is. You’ll see stilt-walking freaks with blades for limbs, subterranean mummies, armed with chains and even dog-like creatures with a nasty love for syringes. Unfortunately, there are only about ten different monsters which means you’re constantly shooting the same cannon-fodder. A pitty, because I would have loved to see some more of Winston’s creations.
Since this is still a shooter, you’ll need a deadly arsenal to stop all of these infernal beasts. Luckily this is the case with The Suffering. From dual revolvers, tommyguns, shotguns, TNT-rods, to even a scorching flamethrower. Nice hardware if you ask me. Also, if you’ve killed enough creeps, you are given the possibility to change into an extremely violent “animal” that cuts dozens of opponents to pieces with ease. Mwuhahaha!
Needless to say a lot of blood is spilled during the game. To give you an idea: just take the blood and gore from Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance times two. Even the most gruesome acts, like decapitations and explicit torturing are shown. Another example, if you’ve just “cleared” a room, your clothes will be drenched in blood. If you use the (otherwise useless) first-person mode, you’ll even see blood all over your gun.
Another great thing about the game is its audio. The ambient music really changes depending on what’s happening and it makes sure you’ll be at the edge of your seat the entire time. Effects are also very nicely done. The disgusting sounds of an arm being ripped off or a head being blown to smithereens really sound convincing, just like the guns. The voice actors of this game also deserve credit. They give life to the prison guards, the inmates and other English-speaking characters (e.g. your wife and kids), without sounding ridiculous. Their fear seems real, a rare thing in action games.
With The Suffering, Midway delivers a fine game. The game is well finished and has little or no big flaws. Especially the level design and the terrifying monsters are things to be remembered. To top it all off, it also offers good sound and music. Defintely a game to be added to your collection!