Lost, but cer­tainly not for­got­ten…

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - REVIEW - Chris Schilling

Cre­ator of Deadly Pre­mo­ni­tion Hide­taka ‘Sw­ery’ Sue­hiro is back with an off­beat side-scroller un­like any­thing we’ve played in ages, de­spite bor­row­ing from a range of sources: The Miss­ing has the un­set­tling atmosphere, death traps, and body hor­ror of Limbo, the dis­mem­ber­ment me­chan­ics of Neverdead, and a dash of cult plat­form-puz­zler Umi­hara Kawase in the pre­cise stiff­ness of its con­trols.

The less you know about the story, the bet­ter. Suf­fice to say that the setup – stu­dent JJ searches for her BFF on a storm-lashed is­land – is merely a spring­board for a tale that goes to some se­ri­ously dark places. JJ is man­gled and burned by the traps lit­ter­ing the lev­els, yet you’re en­cour­aged to put her in harm’s way. Set her alight, and she can burn away ob­struc­tions; zap her with 10,000 volts and the charge she re­tains can power ma­chines. And when she’s re­duced to just a head, she’s able to ne­go­ti­ate nar­row tun­nels (don’t worry, she can re­gen­er­ate her limbs). Mean­while, col­lectable dough­nuts un­lock text mes­sages1 on JJ’s phone – well, ob­vi­ously – of­fer­ing in­sight into her re­la­tion­ships with her mother and fel­low students.

Puz­zles are clever, if oc­ca­sion­ally finicky2 and for a long time you’ll won­der where it’s go­ing. But when it fi­nally shows its hand, The Miss­ing be­comes a heart­felt tale about iden­tity, and the con­tor­tions we go through as we work out who we re­ally are. Grab the Krispy Kremes and set­tle in with one of 2018’s most dis­tinc­tive, mem­o­rable ad­ven­tures.

FOOTNOTES1 The pro­fane emoti­cons – Sw­ery by name, sweary by na­ture – are ma­jes­tic and we need them. 2 The lack of hand­hold­ing is A Good Thing, but one or two tasks are a tad ob­tuse.

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