There are some experiences in life that are just hard to describe; instead, we say, “You had to be there.” This is how I describe Estranged, a game that is unique in the most interesting way.
The plot is fairly cliche; your ship is wrecked on an island that’s been infested by a zombie virus released by a mysterious corporation; not similar to Resident Evil at all. There are some interesting plot threads, but the overall narrative is predictable and mediocre. It’s not bad, but it’s not Arkham City by any means.
Story gets a 6.5/10
Surprisingly, this is where most of the highlights of the game spawn from. Not in the shooting, buy in the fairly creative puzzles, graphics, design, and horror. As soon as I stepped out of my boat onto the dock, I was immediately spellbound. The soundtrack, the stars, reflecting on the water, and seeing the island in the distance just looks resonantly beautiful. And then the horror sets in. Though there are guns in the game, they’re few and far between up until the end; the horror in the game relies on what could happen; the dreary music, the noises in front and behind you, or even trying to have to brace yourself for landing next to a zombie and preparing to run as fast as possible; Yet the greatest issue I faced was progressing. The magic of the game is lost the farther I moved into the island. Not that things got bad, but just lackluster.
Gameplay gets an 8.5/10
With a spellbinding introduction, an intriguing conclusion, and plenty of puzzles and mildly terrifying horror in between, for a free game (mod) based off a near-ten year old game, this game is certainly worth the download and a great primer for anyone interested in the horror genre.
In total, I’m giving the game an 8.0/10.