Survive retro horror in Concluse.
The world of Concluse will seem familiar if you’ve suffered through the foggy hellscapes of Silent Hill. There are plenty of similarities, from the fact that you’ve entered an abandoned town in search of your missing wife, to the satisfying puzzles. Technologically, Concluse feels convincingly like a horror game from the mid-’90s, its boxy objects and grainy camera filter helping create the illusion that you’re playing from a spinning CD-ROM.
Concluse even goes beyond most of these retro survival horrors, and most indie games generally, by offering a suite of 3D-animated cutscenes. While the character models are a little rough, and the camerawork is slightly overdramatic, they do a lot to enliven a rather one-note game.
There’s no combat, which is a shame given how much else the game successfully cribs from Silent Hill. But the environments are well detailed, full of items to collect and scattered notes to decipher (even if the low-res imagery makes them hard to read). There’s a steady stream of disturbing sights suggesting a world packed with malevolence, even if it doesn’t seem terribly bothered about upsetting you personally.
Moreover, Concluse is a long game: Long by the standards of most freeware adventures. I mention this not to knock other games, but to compliment the rare freeware developer who has explored an idea to its fullest, rather than leaving a tantalizing taster for a meal that will never come. Like a lot of olderlooking games, it’s never entirely its own animal, but when it comes to aping one of the classics, Concluse is one of the most convincing ’90s survival horrors that never was.
There’s a good bit featuring haunted video tapes.
Nearly every iconic Silent Hill location is here.