Phasmophobia - Time to Be Afraid of the Dark
A ghoulish ghost hunting adventure with friends.
An Adrenaline Junkies Dream
If you are looking for a heart-pounding scare, look no further than Phasmophobia. When Kinetic Games first launched the co-op survival-horror game in September 2020, it was an instant hit on Twitch. Even in Early Access, the indie game won the Best Debut Game at The Game Awards. With the unexpected and overwhelming success of Dknighter’s first VR-optional title, the solo developer has had to rethink the game's roadmap and development priorities. Hard at work since the Prison Update, Kinetic Games will be adding new ghosts, maps, player functions, and more.
Ghost Hunting Adventures
If you've ever watched one of the innumerable ghost hunting shows on TV, you have a basic idea of Phasmophobia's concept. The game puts you on an online co-op team of up to 4 players. As ghost hunters, your job is to investigate the paranormal activity that happens at various locations such as an asylum, a roadside house, or even a prison.
As ghost hunters, your job is to investigate the paranormal activity that happens at various locations such as an asylum, a roadside house, or even a prison.
Phasmophobia's premise posits that not only are ghosts real, but that they're more than willing to mess with the people who disturb them. As such, the game revolves around the push and pull of the ghost hunter's desire to gather information and their need to not get killed by a paranormal entity. It's a simple premise, but it's one that ultimately works.
See Beyond the Veil
When it comes to graphics, Phasmophobia is definitely a low-budget Early Access game. Really, it's not a bad good looking game in the least. Even with the VR crossplay, it's not going to win any awards for visual presentation, but all of the haunts are well-rendered and all of the various levels are well-designed.
The fact that the in-game audio is responsive, allowing you to call out ghosts and to get real responses adds originality to the game.
The audio, on the other hand, is amazing. The fact that the in-game audio is responsive, allowing you to call out ghosts and to get real responses adds originality to the game. What's less praised, though, is the overall soundscape. If you play this game with headphones on, you're going to forget that you aren't in a haunted house. From the creaking of the old houses to the spectral sounds of ghosts, the sound does the heavy lifting of transporting you into this game.
Graphics and Audio: 4.5
Terror of the Unknown
Phasmophobia is a pretty straightforward game. Gather your team, bring up to 3 tools (4 for VR players), and investigate the paranormal activity occurring in a variety of locations. Since you are limited to only 3 tools at a time, you might have to retreat to your automotive HQs to switch your UV flashlight for your EMF reader so that you can gather more information. All the while you'll have to use subtle clues to figure out where the ghost is, what type of ghost it is, and what the threat level is.
Phasmophobia is a survival game at its core.
With that said, Phasmophobia is a survival game at its core. Where the game gets terrifying is that your team's first assignments are pretty straightforward. The ghosts are easy to find and research with a few scares thrown in. However, as the levels progress, your cases get more complex and the ghosts get more aggressive. This is what makes the game so addictive and unique.
Without giving too much away, ghosts can and will mess with you. They might even try to kill you so it's up to you and your team to work together to not only investigate these terrifying entities but also survive.
Like many games of the genre, Phasmophobia lives and dies by the group experience. Playing this game with friends is incredibly fun while teaming up with strangers can be hit or miss. If you're willing to put in the work to find a good ghost-hunting team and have the option to play in VR mode, Phasmophobia can be an experience like no other.
A Frightening Delight
Phasmophobia is by far one of the scariest games on the market. It's better when you have a good team of paranormal investigators, of course, but there's something spectacular about the ways you can fail in this game. Though it's still in Early Access and a little light on content, you'll enjoy coming back to the game again and again if only to show your friends how terrifying it can be.