The Suffering: Ties that Bind Hands-On Update

Midway and Surreal show off the most polished version yet of their action horror sequel.


CHICAGO- Midway and reps from Seattle based Surreal Software were on hand at the publisher's press event today to show off the latest version of The Suffering: Ties that Bind on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. The upcoming action horror game is the sophomore entry in the ongoing series that casts you in the role of Torque, a convict who's a little on the crazy side. The updated version on display didn't offer much in the way of surprises, as we've seen a healthy chunk of the game already, but were able to get a look at some of the disturbing bosses you'll be facing off against.

Of the bosses that we saw, two played off of the morality system in the game which would send you against one or the other depending on how good or evil you play. The good path will send you up against Copperfield, a foul tempered brute accompanied by his posse of dogs. The villain is a killer of slaves on the underground railroad and is a pain thanks to his murderous pooches. If you're on the path of evil through the game you'll face off against The Creeper, a hideous creature who is based, as all your foes in the game are, on an act of violence or death. In this case El Creep takes a cue from violence against women, who can be seen writhing underneath the folds of his trenchcoat. When they manage to escape its folds you'll see their suffering as you'll notice that they're hideously malformed and fused onto him.

The other bosses were just standard hideous affronts to creation that you'll have to hit along your way to discover what the heck is going on in Baltimore. Gorge is a massive bloated creature who's big on overeating. Horde is a towering worm creature that stands stories high. You'll encounter it a few times before you'll have to take it on in one of the most epic battles we've seen in the game yet. In between battles you'll face off against a variation of your standard foes as you go through levels which can only be harmed by Torque's insanity fueled rage form which has now been beefed up to be 50% more bullet proof.

The polished version of the game was looking good across both platforms, with the expected differences in performance between the PS2 and Xbox. There has been a marked improvement in performance across both versions despite the increase in detail. However what stands out more than the game's technical achievements is its art style which is best described as "frigging disturbing". The new creature designs are unsettling, especially when combined with the eerie animation and audio.

If you're a fan of the original Suffering, you should be very into the Ties That Bind. The game's story offers a good mystery to unravel. The gameplay has been beefed up and improved in pacing. All in all everything you'd want from a sequel. The Suffering: Ties that Bind is currently slated to ship this fall on the PC, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. Look for more on the game in the weeks to come.

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