Let’s get started on this Song Of Horror Review.
What is Song Of Horror?
Song of horror is a 3rd person survival horror game. There is a cursed piece of music, a music box to be precise. Anyone who listens to it goes insane.
You will explore the locations and solve puzzles. There are 5 different stand-alone episodes but now the Song of Horror Complete edition has all the episodes combined. Each one has a slightly different cast of characters to play. Try not to die, because if you do that character is removed from the story!
Who Makes Song Of Horror?
What Systems is Song of Horror available on?
Song of Horror is available on Steam, Playstation 4, and Xbox One.
Song Of Horror Tutorial
There isn’t really a tutorial per se, or perhaps more correctly, the entire first chapter is a tutorial.
As you begin to move around the mansion you will occasionally be presented with a pop-up screen that explains a new game mechanic, like the ability to always have a light source and that it doesn’t “run out”. Other experiences like how to deal with the darkness mini-games will appear when you reach that point in the game.
Song Of Horror Gameplay Review
Song of Horror starts with Daniel. This guy isn’t really the most loveable character. He has become recently divorced and is a former alcoholic. He is overall pretty negative and sarcastic as you walk around.
You start by exploring his house on a Friday when a dreaded phone call from the boss comes in. You will need to then visit a spooky mansion on the outskirts of town and figure out what happened to one of the companies star writers. (How many times exactly has this been a horror movie plot?)
Soon bad things happen to Daniel. You then have access to play a trusty cast of Daniels’s friends and other characters involved in the plot.
If you are playing on Edgar Allen Poe difficulty (which you should) then as mentioned, these characters can actually die. This impacts the story because each character sees things from a unique perspective. It also is required to play through each character on each episode if you are achievement hunting. I found this to actually be a pretty cool mechanic. It increases the tension because you really don’t want that character to be forever dead. They all give a unique playstyle to the game.
For example, while looking at some simple classical music records, one character might comment on “the beauty of classical music” but say they prefer a different classical artist. Another character would say” it’s some records of music they don’t know”.
A different example is looking at a photograph. One character says “It is a lovely woman in Russian clothes”. Another character, ” It is my wife who I love more than anything”.This basically means the dialog for each interaction is written differently for each character. This gives Song Of Horror some replay value.
Puzzles in Song Of Horror
Most of the puzzles in Song of Horror are familiar to anyone who has ever played survival horror or adventure games. You are required to move around the location and find objects. Eventually, these objects will come together with the environment or other objects and you will be able to advance the game.
The one pretty cool thing in Song of Horror, is they don’t leave you to guess for yourself. Almost every puzzle can be solved with the help of some hints located in the various written collectibles around the game. This means less need to look for a Song of Horror walkthrough guide and more focus on staying in the spooky.
Horror in Song of Horror
So is Song of Horror scary?
There is a spooky story, horror-filled cliche environments, jump scares, and some evil presence mini-games in Song of Horror for your elements of horror.
The game boasts about its AI horror presence. Each playthrough is different because of this. It learns how you play and does its best to provide to you timed attacks and spooky jump scares. This means that even if you ARE following a Song of Horror walkthrough and it preps you for a jump scare, it probably won’t happen to you at that same time. Each playthrough is different with the jumps. This keeps you on your toes.
The jump scares are pretty good actually with sometimes simple things like a radio turning on. The music really swells up at certain points and the controller has some HARDCORE vibration going on.
The mini-games I found to be pretty annoying. Although I like the mechanic that you need to keep your character calm by pressing the controller triggers at the right time, the controller vibration was like nothing I’ve ever seen before in a game. It was SO SO Strong it was more distracting than anything else. I am also not sure who did the graphics in the closets, but these character faces are some of the worst.
I also died more than once even though I was doing everything on the screen correctly but it sometimes seemed to just not register my controller presses. You don’t see a miss so you can’t see for sure, but suddenly the game may just say you’ve missed and that is it. Death to the character.
When I’m redoing a level with a new character and I’m almost at the end with that completion and then that character dies because one of these mini-games is not registering a trigger press correctly….. It is pretty darn frustrating, not spooky. These mini-games became a thing of dread for that reason and not because they were scary.
As you progress through the episodes they switch things up and improve upon these mechanics. The game has ebbs and flows over each episode of Song of Horror complete edition, some episodes were stronger than others but overall maintains a strong tense and horror feel.
Song of Horror Graphics, Sound, and Controls
The game looks pretty good. They purposely picked cliche horror locations like an old mansion, “Nowhere land”, and a mental hospital. Everything looks dark and spooky. With the exception of the previously mention “in the closet” hiding scenes, the game looks exactly as I expect a 3rd person survival horror to look.
The evil music box song sets the mood for the entire game. The background music also gets pretty intense when doing any type of presence mini-game. Maybe even too loud.
Some of the controls were pretty frustrating. Like in episode 1 as you walk up the stairs, without fail my character would stop on the stairs, or more frequently turn around and walk back down. This is a thing that happens in 3rd person games, but this should definitely be tweaked a bit more.
There is also a known glitch that is happening at the end of episode 4 where the game is not saving properly and can corrupt the save files. They are supposed to be patching this. It seems to affect people randomly but it did not affect me. Game-breaking glitches are pretty not great though.
Song Of Horror Easter Eggs
Although the horror film cliche is strong, that is also part of the charm of Song of Horror. The game has many easter eggs for survival horror fans throughout. It starts right at the beginning with the names of the different levels being E.T.A Hoffmann, M.R. James, Edgar Allan Poe, and H.P. Lovecraft to choose how hard you want the game to be.
Here are a few more I spotted although I am sure there are many. Let me know in the comments if you found more.
- The matches used in the game are called “Type-90” which is the special film used in Fatal Frame. The box also looks pretty much identical.
- A Magnet shows Toluca Lake which comes from Silent Hill.
- If Daniel examines the shotgun he will say -“If I take it…Will the ceiling start to fall over my head?” – which is a reference to the ceiling trap springing in Resident Evil and the famous “Jill Sandwich” line.
- Walking through a projector door just like in Layers of Fear 2.
- The Piano in the Husher mansion has the name Himuro on it, which is also the name of the mansion (and character) in Fatal Frame.
So you can see, if you are a fan of these types of games then Song of Horror should be your jam. On with the Song of Horror Review.
How long is Song of Horror Complete Edition?
Each episode takes roughly 1- 3 hrs to play through. If you are just doing the main story you can expect about 15 hours of gameplay for the entire thing. If you are trying for achievement completion, it will require multiple playthroughs with multiple characters and can be significantly longer.