The Park is a first-person psychological thriller focusing on exploration and storytelling, set in a amusement park where a dark and sinister secret is just waiting to be uncovered.Read full description
Set in a creepy amusement park hiding a dark and sinister secret, The Park is a one to two hour long first-person psychological horror experience focusing on exploration and storytelling.
A day at the park... a lost teddy bear... a missing child. As the sun sets over Atlantic Island Park, you must explore its dilapidated rides in search of your son, Callum. As darkness falls, you will experience panic and paranoia through a narrative written by a team of award winning storytellers.
Amusement parks are happy places, filled with the joys of childhood and the exhilarating rush of fantastic rides to be dared. That was the vision of eccentric business man Nathaniel Winter when he opened the doors to Atlantic Island Park in 1977.
Unfortunately, the park's history turned out to be one plagued by tragedy and drama. Its freak accidents, grotesque killings and ghostly hauntings have inspired many a sensational headline, and locals worry the park is far from done claiming innocent lives. For Lorraine, it's where her worst nightmare began.
WARNING: The Park is a one to two hour long experience that contains adult subject matter that might prove emotionally distressing to some. Player discretion is advised.
Explore Atlantic Island Park and step onto rides such as the Ferris Wheel, the Bumper Cars and the Rollercoaster; just beware, some of them have a life of their own
Enter the mind of Lorraine, a woman facing every parent's worst nightmare, and unravel her story as well as the dark and tragic history of the park
Call out for Callum to respond, and interact with the environment around you while examining clues and listening to Lorraine's own inner voice as the game progresses
State of the art graphics and audio deliver a uniquely atmospheric setting rich in mood and mystery, developed by a team of award-winning AAA developers
BONUS: The Park is inspired by a setting within the modern-day myths and mysteries MMO The Secret World. This copy of The Park includes unique in-game items that can be applied to one The Secret World account; the Killer Chipmunk outfit and powerful, legendary talismans.
Starts off with you thinking its a horror/paranormal thriller. The backdrop of the spooky carnival has been done before, but I feel that they executed it better than most in this game. Perfect atmosphere with all the carnival essentials. I found it to be very immersive at times. The story gets darker and darker as you progress. I'm not sure I'd pay full price for it due to the linear story and the time it took to beat being shorter than I expected, but definitely worth picking up if you find it on sale. Leaves you feeling sorry for the characters and questioning a lot of things.
One of those walking simulators. Actually, not even that, since the only thing you will do most of the time is riding attractions like the big wheel or the rollercoaster. You just sit there and see the scripted events the park has for you for an hour or so. 5 attractions if my memory serves me well. The walk between them is filled with monologues that give you hints on what had happened with your main character and his soon. Once you've ridden all the attractions you will get to the next "ending level" where everything goes better, giving you the feeling that you are playing one episode from the excellent game Layers of Fear. That last level is what saves this game, and the only reason you should play this. You will end up with lots of thoughts and ideas about the story but also a lot of doubts. Story is good and kind of different, and is the only scary thing you will probably encounter in the game.
Summary Atmospheric but short, The Park tells an exciting story in the small amount of time you’ll spend with it, while leaving you sufficiently creeped out. This is a spoiler-free review. You begin the game as Lorraine, a mother who has some obvious issues. Your son, Callum, tells you he can’t find Mr. Bear, so you head back into the park, and thus begins your adventure. The Park is a first-person exploration game. You can add walking simulator on top of that, if you like. As Lorraine, you travel to several different areas of the park, all within a few minutes of each other. You’ll go on a (creepy) tunnel of love ride, a (creepy) rollercoaster and, of course, (creepy) bumper cars. Along the way, you’ll find notes, which help tell the backstory of the park, several items to examine, see things that aren’t there. Funcom wasn’t lying when they said that The Park would be a short experience. If you choose not to explore every nook and cranny, and not read all the notes, you can easily complete it in half an hour. I completed it in 45 minutes, and that was with reading every document I came across and examined everything I was able to. (Don’t let my time played fool you; the rest of the time played is letting the game idle to unlock the cards, and a quick replay to get screenshots and video for my achievement guide.) While a quick experience, it’s a good experience. They’ve done an excellent job with the creepiness factor. If you’ve been around horror games (or any horror medium, for that) long enough, you likely won’t be disturbed or otherwise “scared” of what the game has to offer. The story is entertaining, and really paints a portrait of Lorraine as, well, you’ll find out soon enough. Pros Atmosphere: The Park is very atmospheric. The amusement park itself is dark and foreboding, rides and equipment are run down and rusty. Some of the ending sequences are very well done, and evoke a feeling of P.T. On that note, there’s also a Silent Hills-esque feeling that I had when wandering around. TSW tie-in: If you’ve played The Secret World long enough, you’ll get a few references. Considering The Park is a spin-off of TSW, that’s to be expected. There’s nothing major, but they’re fun little “oh, that’s interesting” moments. Acting: For the most part, Lorraine is voiced quite well. Most of her dialog seems natural, and doesn’t feel forced. The further into the story you progress, she sounds more and more desperate and afraid when you use the shout mechanic. Environmental graphics: The world looks nice. The rusty ferris wheel enshrouded in fog, the rollercoaster that feels like it’s going to fall apart, the statues of Chad the mascot spread throughout the park, everything looks well detailed. Few jump scares: There are a few jump scares, only a few. They are well placed, don’t seem forced, and they don’t ruin the immersion too much. Cons Character graphics: Lorraine, Callum and the very limited number of other people you meet do not look good. At all. They are passable, but they look like they belong in a game that hasn’t come out this decade. Shout mechanic: Right-clicking has Lorraine call out for Callum, in a variety of ways. Callum, Callum where you are? Callum, it’s time to go home now! Callum, stay where you are! As the story progresses, it’s interesting to see how her dialog and voice change, but overall, the mechanic is pretty useless. When you use it, it puts a sort of retracting blur effect on items of interest, such as notes. But, considering that the game lacks any puzzles, and everything is presented to you in plain view, it seems out of place. Very short game: I debated putting this as a con or not. Funcom specifically stated it would be a very short experience, so there should be no excuse for buying the game and being surprised at how quickly you’ll get through it. It’s a good experience in the short amount of time, but if you’re looking for something to last longer than what your coffee stays hot for, you may want to look elsewhere. Conclusion The Park is a fantastic experience. It’s short, but contains a great deal of story telling and immersion. It’s interesting to see what happens, and to find out what’s actually going on. It’s atmospherically horror, with only a few jump scares, and will certainly entertain you for its duration. At its low price, I consider it good value for money, but as always, your mileage may vary. Buy, Wait for Sale, Don’t Buy? Buy. Definitely a buy. If you're into non-gory and psychological horror, you won't be disappointed. (This review is also found on my Steam profile)
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