Contained within the mysteriously dark collector’s edition box is a DVD with trailers, featurettes and interviews, a 100-page artbook, 6 real location photo cards and of course, The Town of Light game, in that order, let’s see what you get.
The Town of Light ‘The Making Of’ and Other Shorts is as stated on its sleeve, exactly that. Featuring trailers that combine live action as well as actual gameplay, featurettes and interviews that give you an insight into the making of the game, from the 2 years visiting, researching and photographing the Volterra Psychiatric Asylum in Tuscany, Italy, to developing the game to such a point the team grew attached to the characters, feeling sorrow for their plight.
The history of the treatment of mental illness has never been portrayed so accurately and disturbingly.
The Town of Light Artbook has an amazing range of artwork from concept to in-game scenes, giving you a glimpse into the minds of true artists, the photographs from Volterra, the museum and from behind the scenes of filming paint such a graphic picture that you start to feel the history speak to you and reveal a tragic and almost forgotten past. The same can be said for the stunning photo cards contained within the game case, giving you the urge to learn more about this past by playing the game.
Inspired by true events and real places, The Town of Light gameplay is visually stunning with several different art styles featured throughout, with equal credit going to its hauntingly atmospheric soundtrack and voice actors.
Never before have I played a game so harrowing, so dark and frightening, and all because it starts to feel so very real. This is far from a bad thing, in fact, it makes the game so much more enjoyable as you start to see how mental institutions of the 1930’s/40’s treated their patients.
This game, of course, has a Certificate 18 rating and it is fully justified, whilst a thrilling rollercoaster of emotion and learning about mental health issues, it tackles it in a very dark way, from the patients perspective. With its combination of flashbacks, memories and wandering around an abandoned building, you start to question everything.
This review may sound mixed, but that shows the mark of an excellent game, I’ve grown attached to the characters just as the developers did, I’ve felt their joy and their pain, I feel like I’ve walked in their footsteps and even now, I’m still thinking about different elements of the storyline.
If you are easily upset, then perhaps this game is not for you. If you love urban exploration combined with the darkest and greatest history lesson you will ever have, buy this game as soon as you’ve finished reading this review and clicked the like button. If you are like me and enjoy collecting trophies, this is a great game with different choices throughout and even a timed area towards the end, so repeating certain areas is a must.
Value For Money – 10/10 Game Play – 9/10
The Town of Light is out now on PC, Xbox One and PS4.