Penumbra: Black Plague Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 132 Ratings

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  • Summary: Penumbra: Black Plague is a creepy and dark psychological horror experience featuring the adventures of Philip as he sets of in search of his dead father. Trapped in a shadowy, underground complex, intrepid explorer Philip is determined to discover the truth behind his father's disappearance. Surrounded by enemies and assaulted by terror from all sides, Philip must collect clues and solve vexing puzzles while combating the gnawing psychological terrors that assail his mind and threaten to strip him of his sanity. Can Philip master his fear and finally uncover the truth behind a mystery that has haunted him for a lifetime? Only you can decide. [Paradox Interactive] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. This is an incredible game. It's got fun, innovative gameplay, great writing, entertaining VO, a frightening atmosphere, and even manages to provoke deep thought. P:BP is a perfect example of exactly why I play videogames.
  2. Black Plague's success is the result of its individual components. It's a good game that is unique, refreshing, and fun to play. As far as the adventure game genre goes, it's definitely in a class by itself.
  3. Black Plague actually made me scream aloud in fright at one point. Even horror movies don't have that effect on my anymore. [July 2008, p.68]
  4. Still, Penumbra: Black Plague stands out as one of the better adventure games to be released in quite some time.
  5. It alternately shocks and entertains without resorting to the boring, repetitive combat we usually associate with survival horror. Black Plague is nowhere near perfect, but it still deserves to be played.
  6. Whilst the integration of the physics system within the environment in Penumbra is certainly more deeply-ingrained, the puzzles themselves never quite reach the same level of ingenuity as the classic Valve title.
  7. There are definitely some truly scary moments in Penumbra: Black Plague, and the story is good enough to make you want to find out how everything all turns out at the end. Don't clear your calendar to play it, but if your gaming slate is clear, and you're in the mood for a bit of horror, consider giving it a try.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 38
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 38
  3. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. May 22, 2012
    I just got this game yesterday, and I've been playing it constantly. Really fun, really scary, and a creative use of a physics engine. You can manually pull open containers, pick up and manipulate items, etc. It runs well, so most pcs should have no trouble handling it. There's a hint of madness in this game. (Okay, maybe more than a hint.) If a psychotic voice inside your head begging the monsters chasing you to "embrace me" sounds like fun, this is a great game for you. Expand
  2. Sep 2, 2012
    Three years after I buy this game and I still play it. Wouldn't mind seeing a Penumbra Episode 4 in the slightest. Fantastic game Frictional! Keep up the good work with Amnesia! Expand
  3. Aug 27, 2010
    Nothing is as exciting as looking forward playing through a horror game on a rainy night with a buddy. That's what i did, someday i will replay them alone but playing it with company is a great way since you can figure out puzzles twice as fast. With the same game atmosphere as Overture, Black Plague goes even scarier and a bigger experience. Totally worth playing. The atmosphere will get sort of ruined in the end of the game, more than that i cant say. Expand
  4. Nov 1, 2011
    Bought this game in the Steam sale for a pittance and loved it. Found the pace to be just right, and enjoyed the level of puzzles. It scared the beejezus out of me a few times as well. The control interface was non-intrusive and easy to use. Highly recommended. Expand
  5. Jan 6, 2014
    The game is still lacking in the graphics department when compared to Overture and once again, while the sound effects are used well, they don't sound very realistic. I guess this is somewhat understandable due to Frictional's relatively low budget, but the game''s initial presentation still could've been improved with some more polish. Otherwise, this game can be regarded as a straight upgrade from Overture, because combat is gone and the tension and suspense is heightened to a whole new level. This is probably one of the scariest games I've played and in terms of gameplay, it's quite a thrilling experience. Expand
  6. Jun 13, 2012
    This, as a sequel, did an amazing job to improve on the down sides of the previous game and brilliantly follow the story on! I definitely recommend this game to anyone wanting a dark, atmospheric game to pay that isn't typical like Doom 3 or Dead Space is! An only major downside is that puzzles can be extremely difficult to complete and there are a lot of them but otherwise, a great game! What makes it better is the DLC it comes with, Penumbra: Requiem which I have barely started and hope to enjoy as much as the full game counterpart. Expand
  7. Apr 17, 2013
    Overall a really good experience I'd play this over a bland, brown triple A FPS any day. The puzzles were clever and tricky, but not so illogical that I had to spend my whole time reading a walkthrough. There were also a lot of things fixed from the first game, but also a bunch of new issues. Not sure if it was my linux copy, or the game itself, but there were more than one graphical bug, such as missing textures etc.

    But my major complaint is the voice of Clarence. In fact I'm surprised it's not mentioned more often. Typically voice acting is something I would leave as a "splitting hairs" complaint, but the voice of this very fundamental character is so utterly wrong it almost ruined the experience for me. He sounds more like a character from a Warner Brothers cartoon from the 1950s than what his character is really supposed to be. Any time I began to really feel immersed in the otherwise intoxicating atmosphere, his voice would chime in, sounding like an anthropomorphic dog with a cigar hanging out of his mouth, and the entire illusion would be shattered.

    Additionally I would like to add that that the AI could have been better. Now, I don't deliberately go into a horror game looking for all the strings and ruining the illusion, but when I'm supposed to be terrified of a monster that's supposedly looking for me but is instead stood stationary in a corner pointing it's flashlight at the wall, the fear very quickly subsides.

    Even so, there were enough genuinely terrifying moments, and sumpteous creepy atmosphere to make up for this.

See all 38 User Reviews