The Park is a spin off of the Secret World. Set in Atlantic Island Park, an amusement park that has been closed down. It’s a short horror game, that requires players to reach certain checkpoints to continue and advance the story. (see micro horror as talked about in My Bones).
A WARNING: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS
Lorraine is looking for her son in an abandoned, overgrown amusement park. As she looks for him she reveals more of her troubled past, her lost lover (the father of her son), and her own issues dealing with being a mother. There are also notes scattered about explaining that the park is tied to some supernatural occurrences.
The first thing I feel I have to say about this game is that it’s short. The game can easily be beaten in an hour and a half, maybe even faster for some people. With a ten dollar price tag (on sale) I would be pretty hard pressed to be satisfied with that little gameplay. I know that there is something important to “quality over quantity”, but for ten dollars and 2 hours, I would expect something mind blowing. The Park is not mind blowing.
The setting itself is creepy, but is very small and lacks in details. Each area gives you a few things to discover to help you complete the story of both The Park and Lorraine. The back story to the park is not fully fleshed out. The Park is supposedly connected to some power, and somehow drove one of the workers to be a killer. Both of these plot lines are rushed and not fleshed out. Moments where the evils in the park seem to be interacting with Lorraine are more confusing than anything else because of the lack of information given.
Lorraine’s story is the main focus of the game. The pacing for her story is completely off though. She goes from extremely concerned about her child to clearly angry to ever have been a mother. You get clues that something terrible happened with her father, but it’s just thrown in and does not stand on it’s own. You aren’t given full details on Lorraine’s own fall, just that she was suffering from various experiences, got EXTREME therapy for it, was fine, then not.
By the time the story ended I felt pretty disappointed. The story doesn’t feel like it has these holes to make it more mysterious, it feels like it has these holes because it’s not a complete story. Details of Lorraine’s life are left vague, and then casually thrown in then forgotten.
I know it sounds like I am being negative about the game. It’s not a horrible experience. The story, for all it’s lacking, is interesting enough. The setting is very terrifying with great graphics and lightening to support it. The game offers a few well placed scares. There is fun to be had here.
The problem is what’s missing stands out all the more because there is so little. If you have a game that is only 2 hours long everything that’s lacking becomes more apparent. What’s lacking in this game is a fully fleshed out experience.
I wanted to be happier with this game, but in the end I felt I was overcharged for something incomplete. With just a little more detail added here and there, and better pacing the game could have really been something great. Instead I am stuck feeling that it was just ok.