What happens when you’re lucky enough to cheat death after a severe accident only to find your very existence is suddenly plagued by horrific nightmares? Empty Soul explores this dark notion. Made by developers ClorithStudio Empty Soul is a story about the remnants of sanity that makes for one hell of a psychological horror game. Empty Soul will leave you constantly guessing as you ask yourself, are you just dreaming or is something truly sinister afoot ?
You follow the story of Solan Walls, a young scientist who has recently met with an almost fatal accident. Incidentally, Solan finds herself traumatised with horrific nightmares ever since her unfortunate mishap. Empty Soul throws you straight into its chilling narrative as Solan awakes in an empty room with no idea where she is or how she got there. Over the course of the next six chapters the game has to offer, you’ll constantly ask yourself if Solan is still dreaming, going insane or in fact under the torment of something supernatural.
Empty Soul tackles the horror genre rather well with the addition of an ominous music score and unexpected jump scares. The use of jump scares within Empty Soul are surprisingly effective and definitely not for the faint of heart. You’ll often find yourself cursing at the game as it manages to startle you each and every time.
There is no way to fend off attacks in Empty Soul as there is no combat. Your only hope is to use items you find in the game to quickly alleviate Solan’s fear and stress or replenish her health altogether. This can often generate feelings of impending doom as you’ll need to either sprint away quickly or fumble through your inventory to consume items. This specific gameplay mechanic is interesting within Empty Soul as it adds a survival aspect to the entire game.
Empty Soul employs plenty of tricky puzzles you’ll have to solve in order to navigate through the various levels. Some of the puzzles in the game are quite innovative in their design, while others can feel tedious to solve as you’ll find yourself exploring aimlessly for clues. Empty Soul will find you wandering back and forth through different levels with the added hopes that you’ll pick up a new item to help you progress.
Empty Soul was made with the renown RPG Maker and it holds up substantially well to other successful titles like Always Sometimes Monsters or Lisa, that has been made with the same software. The fact that Empty Soul is a horror game utilising this engine makes this game considerably distinct from other horror titles on the market today.
On paper, you may think that the top-down aesthetic of Empty Soul wouldn’t elicit a particularly frightful experience, but you would be very wrong. This game is guaranteed to make you jolt out of your seat and get your blood pumping. Empty Soul is worth every embarrassing risk of needing to quickly grab a fresh change of pants.
Empty Soul can be found on Steam.
Sunita Osborne is a freelance writer and contributor to PN2. Go say hi @SunitaOsborne