The Park

A thin and curiously paced stroll through horror cliché that manages a few good frights but not much else.

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The Park review

The Park review

Tragic kingdom.

The rise of the narrative adventure presents fresh challenges for both developers and reviewers alike. The reliable old mechanical barometers of quality become less important when your only interaction with the game world is to walk through and occasionally pick things up - features that are now pre-baked into every middleware game engine, and thus nearly impossible to get wrong.

In the post Dear Esther adventure genre, the emphasis is therefore skewed heavily towards the writing of the characters, the ability to tell a coherent story through fragmented scraps and the overall visual design of the world. The Park, a stroll through a sinister theme park from The Secret World developer Funcom, is only ever partially successful.

You play as Lorraine, a young widowed mother who has brought her son, Callum, to Atlantic Island Park, the New England attraction that she used to visit as a child. The park is closed when the game begins, but Callum has lost his teddy bear and while you have a conversation with the guy in the ticket office, Callum runs back into the park to find his toy. You, of course, must now follow him and that's when the weird s*** starts to go down.

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Funcom's single-player horror game The Park gets a release date

The Secret World and The Longest Journey developer Funcom's upcoming "single-player psychological horror experience" The Park is set for a 27th October release on PC.

Funcom likened The Park to something like Gone Home or The Vanishing of Ethan Carter wherein you explore an environment in first-person - a genre mockingly dubbed "walking simulator".

Set in an abandoned amusement park, The Park follows the story of a mother named Lorraine, whose son has run off. It quickly becomes clear that sinister forces are afoot in this macabre midway. The developer cited Stephen King as an influence, though it seems like there's a fair bit of Ray Bradbury mixed in there too.

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