Penumbra: Black Plague Image

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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 135 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: 39 out of 39
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 39
  3. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. 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
  2. AnonymousMC
    Apr 23, 2009
    No game I've ever played before scared and compelled me like Black Plague did. I had the opportunity of playing it with a Novint Falcon peripheral, where the realistic motions become physical movements. Black Plague is the best game in the Penumbra trilogy by far. The atmosphere is all-around creepy, and game ambiance will make you jump with every scrape or distant thud, and the integration of global lighting for shadows is superb. Hiding in a dark corner in an underground facility while an ominous grotesque figure down a hall walks toward you... terrifying. No way to fight, only to hide. Some moments near the end are truly unrivaled in suspense and terror. The graphics may be somewhat sub-par by today's standards, but any game developer that can inspire this kind of fear despite the graphics is a master of the art form. I really can't do it justice with words, so just play it. Any fan of horror games, or even someone looking for a scare will thoroughly enjoy this game. Just be ready for it. Expand
  3. 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
  4. Hackney
    Feb 25, 2008
    This is a very good idea for a game. Keeps you playing with lots on innovation. More like this please.
  5. TomR
    Nov 18, 2009
    When I bought my Novint Falcon I got Overture with it. I first tried out some games and then I started up the game. Well, I have to confess, I was way to frightened to continue playing after the first dog so I invited two of my friends over. We screamed in fear many times and laughed after it, we fell in love with the game, it's scary moments, it's atmosphere, the physics and the fantastic story. When we finally finished it we had to continue playing, so we bought Black Plauge. Black Plauge was so much more scary than Overture (that had been extremely scary itself) that sometimes we just took a pause to play CoD: WaW and get some breathing. We screamed, we laughed and we somewhat cried. We had experienced the best horror game created so far. We had experienced the fullest of the Novint Falcon. We had experienced real fear... Buy this game if you like puzzles or horror but to get the most out of it get the Novint Falcon too. Expand
  6. 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
  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 39 User Reviews