this is one of the greatest survival horror games on the ps2 i found myself literally jumping out of my seat as Fiona was chased a brilliant game any fan of the genre has to try this now
Haunting Ground delivers creepy moments aplenty, but some gameplay oddness and AI quirks mar the adventure.
- Plenty of creepy places and mysterious machines to explore
- Genuine thrills, having to run and hide ratchets up the tension
- Hewie makes an interesting and unique partner.
- Dog doesn't always feel like helping you out (they made him too realistic!)
- Almost complete lack of any real defense
- Enemies like to cheat to find you.
The survival horror experience is largely built on one of two elements: grisly action, or heaping helpings of tension and suspense. Haunting Ground, Capcom's latest thriller, is one of the latter, pitting a frail young woman against a myriad of mysterious dangers with only her wits and a canine companion to keep her alive. The game delivers creepy moments aplenty, and your German Shepherd makes a unique and neat teammate to play with, but some gameplay oddness and dog artificial intelligence quirks mar the adventure.
You'll play as Fiona Belli, an almost criminally pale young lady who wakes up one day locked in a cage in the dark basement of a mostly deserted castle, with nothing to cover her but a simple sheet and no memory of how she had come to be there. We soon discover that our heroine was in a tragic car accident that left both of her parents dead, and now she has been brought to the castle to assume her inheritance of it. However, the few residents of the manor seem keen on murdering Fiona for a variety of reasons, so the young woman is only too eager to leave her new prize behind, providing she can manage to escape. In her travels, she comes across Hewie, a white German Shepherd with a sharp wit for a dog and a surfeit of loyalty that he lavishes upon Fiona. Together they'll need to deal with enemies and a landscape riddled with traps to win their freedom.
The castle and its grounds feature lots of grimy details and old-world opulence, which is mixed with strange alchemical machinery, a multitude of unsettling artwork, and plenty of puzzles and traps. There are no load times between the various areas of the house, and you can move from room to room, floor to floor, and area to area seamlessly. The place is pretty fun to explore and it looks great. The characters look very good as well, from the loathsome, Quasi Modo-like Debilitas, to the lavender-haired Daniella, the Goth maid, with her unceasing, corrupted smile. The best animations in the game belong to the nonhuman cast member, though. Hewie moves and acts much like a real dog would, and it's an oddly comforting feature in an otherwise dark world to have a canine calmly recline by your character's feet as you search for clues. Fiona herself is also rendered well, though with a bit more emphasis on certain frontal areas than is perhaps necessary. She has an English accent and a strange, breathless delivery that can make her lines uneven. The voice acting in the game is generally decent, aside from a few overdramatic moments.
Fiona makes a particularly helpless creature, so far as gameplay goes. If she comes in close contact with a hostile resident, her innate moves consist of an underwhelming shove, a quick back step, and a weak kick. Her two "stats" in the game are her stamina level (stamina is what lets her run, fight, and back step) and her panic level, neither of which have any sort of onscreen meter for you to keep track of. If she runs out of stamina, she'll just slow down and be unable to back step, and if she starts to panic, a grainy gray filter will start to overlap the action. If she panics too much, she'll run off, bounce off walls and land on the ground, or end up prone and unable to move for a period of time. Since all of this obviously makes Fiona practically worthless against an enemy, you'll want to keep her far away from them, and the game provides you with several places that you can use to hide yourself from foes.
looks like a great game but it does bother me how lame the main character comes across. Like this very negative stereotype of a young blonde woman. : / thats a shame. They could have at least made her 'smart' with out sacrificing the vulnerabilities they want you to feel while playing. But ill play it any way :) this looks really spooky and intense.