Play as a blind woman in survival horror ‘Perception’ (review)

Imagine having the same dream over and over about a place you’ve never been to. Would you visit it? Now, what if you were blind? Perception, by The Deep End Games, puts you in control of Cassie as she travels to a home that appears in her dreams. Not knowing what the house may hold, she hopes to uncover its secrets and why she’s having that dream. Despite her courage, Cassie is also blind but is able to see using echolocation. By using the sound around her and from her cane, you’ll find yourself thrown into a world of mystery. And the mystery turns to danger as you run from an unknown creature that you cannot see. A different kind of survival horror game where the sound around you may either save or endanger you.

Although there have been several sound-based horror games, Perception puts in a new twist with its visibility. As Cassie, you’re basically helpless as you wander around the house. Your only option is to run and hide, but when not in danger, you follow the sound hoping it’ll lead the way. The sound that generates the echolocation visibility is mesmerizing as you try to envision what’s in front of you. It’s possible to be left in complete darkness without any direction until you make a sound. This helps create the feeling of being blind and completely vulnerable to your surroundings. Cassie’s witty banter helps ease the tension until something gives you chills. Not being fully able to see what lurks in the night is a daunting experience.

Fear Is in the Eye of the Beholder

The house you enter appears to be a living creature of its own. You’ll find yourself living through each previous owner and their experience with the house as they are driven mad. The house itself evolves with the story the further you progress. As you slowly unlock what drives people mad in the house you often find yourself running from an unknown creature where your senses are your only means of survival. Make too much noise and you’ll be hunted until you are able to find somewhere to hide.

The scenery is already unsettling as it is. But from the perspective of being blind, it adds a whole new element of fear. You find yourself trusting the sound and slight vision only long enough to move forward. But the sound can be deceiving, and what you think you see can be as well. The echolocation can be tricky at times, but also pleasing to the eye. Most horror games rely on scare tactics or visibly disturbing images. Perception keeps it simple by only showing enough to make it creepy. The echolocation itself can be beautiful and scary at the same time, making Perception a unique experience in its own right.

Final Reaction

Take what you know about fear and throw it out the window. You don’t know fear until you experience complete darkness with subtle hints and clues guiding you. Perception is more than survival horror. It’s an engaging story that has you pushing yourself to complete it. With a captivating story and a surprise ending, Perception is a game that shouldn’t be missed.

Rating: 5/5 Atoms

Perception is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam

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