Distributed by: Midway
Reviewed by Ismael Manzano
The Suffering, by Midway, is one of those great shoot-em-up games in the vein of Silent Hill and Resident Evil. The story follows Torque, a man sentenced to die for the murder of his wife and children. It starts off with Torque imprisoned on death row, when suddenly the lights go off and strange, mutated creatures start tearing the inmates and guards apart.
Taking the opportunity provided, Torque escapes his cellblock and tries to make his way out of the prison. You have the choice of either helping the inmates and guards along the way or killing them just for the fun of it. Note, that although there is no good guy/bad guy meter visible, killing the guards or inmates for no reason will affect the ending of the story.
Following Torque in his attempts to escape his fate, you are given hints and glimpses of his past and of the crime that he may or may not have committed to earn him a death sentence. Along the way, you meet two very strange characters that torment you at every turn. One is Hermes, a gas-made wraith of sorts who constantly pops up when you least expect it and Dr. Killjoy, a mad scientist who appears in the form of a film projection, but seems to be talking to you directly.
As Torque’s past unravels, you get a frightening insight into the mind of a man in an insane world of carnage and impulse. The action is almost nonstop and story line is such that you just can not help but be interested, despite the nagging feeling—that would be your conscience—that this man is not the hero he might appear to be.
Fighting in the game is great. You get a complete array of weapons, from blades to flamethrowers to grenades, to—my personal favorite—the ability to transform into an ungodly beast capable of ripping monsters to shreds with its bare hands. Graphics are also topnotch, and the dark scenery and chilling musical score plays perfectly off of the gore and sudden shocks of the game.
While The Suffering doesn’t play the suspense angle quite as well as the Resident Evil series, it has all the scream and shock value of a grand-A horror flick with a wickedly high budget for special effects. When your friend—a gaming nut—plays a game for twenty minutes and then shuts off the system like it was plagued, vowing never to play that game again because it was too scary, well, that’s when you know you have a winner.
I defy anyone to play this game and not shout at least once. Daytime, nighttime, alone or in a group, you will jump in your seat from this game. The Suffering is a must play for anyone who needs a little release and is sick of morally righteous characters. Also keep an eye out for the much anticipated sequel, The Suffering: Ties That Bind, coming to the PS2 September 26.