Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic 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. If you’re one of those who don’t get moved by the atmosphere and lyrical construction of the game, know this – it’s without a doubt a very good sequel, and the standard it set will make it very hard for Requiem, the last episode, to live up to the Penumbra name.
  3. Black Plague ends the story that began in Overture, and it does the job pretty nicely. Black Plague is more than just a polished version of Overture. Leaving out all the combat was a smart move and makes the game much more scarier. The puzzles are decent and even though there are clichees in the story, it has enough twists to make the story feel not worn-out. In my opinion, Penumbra duology is one of the best horror-adventures available for PC at the moment. [Mar 2008]
  4. 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.
  5. 85
    Penumbra: Black Plague combines puzzles and horror to create a game that is probably unlike anything you've played. It's a little bit like a brain-training game, only between lessons you fray your nerves (in a good way) as you jump and pause at every little noise.
  6. Plague is wonderfully engrossing, especially as Philip begins to lose his mind, exploring a surreal dream world where hands grow from walls and acquiring an inner voice that sounds like a Runyonesque gangster and wryly encourages Philip to take lethal risks.
  7. 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]
  8. Little touches like the ambient music and subtle film grain only add to the unsettling atmosphere, which is utilised via various plot devices almost as a weapon against your senses. Definitely worth a look if you like those kind of bleak horror movies that make you sleep with the light on.
  9. Adventure with a physics engine? Wait until you check out the puzzles. Or, if thrillers aren't your thing, better not. The arctic setting, the mysterious sounds and frightening sights combine into a terrifying experience - it's The Thing meets Lost! [Apr 2008]
  10. Tying elements of survival/horror and adventure games to an enjoyable effect, Black Plague provides a surprisingly satisfying affair packed full of suspense for anybody willing to contemplate such a low profile release - although we wouldn't advise forking out 30 quid for it.
  11. Fun while it lasts and definitely recommended for anyone who enjoyed the first game.
  12. The gameplay saw some nice improvements from the previous title and they only added to the fear factor.
  13. A creepy, well-written and refreshingly different first-person romp. [Apr 2008, p.110]
  14. It properly addresses criticisms from Overture and ties up the story arc rather well.
  15. Still, Penumbra: Black Plague stands out as one of the better adventure games to be released in quite some time.
  16. So while Overture was a promising first endeavour, Black Plague is a Penumbra brought sharply into focus.
  17. Still, there are those that may like the mix of genres and what can be done with the result, and so Black Plague finishes the tale began in Overture, and finishes it well.
  18. 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.
  19. 77
    Without the awkward combat of Overture, Black Plague is a smoother experience where the clumsiness of the physics and control systems are exposed far less frequently.
  20. Short but entertaining, Penumbra: Black Plague is enjoyable, a bit challenging at times, but worth the journey.
  21. 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.
  22. Eerie and intelligent, but definitely not to everyone's taste. [Apr 2008, p.85]
  23. As an indie release, it's exactly the kind of thing we like to see - something writing its own rules, and leaving us excited to see just where its ideas go next. [Mar 2008, p.84]
  24. That this is the last game in the Penumbra series is a genuine tragegy, because the series has finally found its footing. [Apr 2006, p.84]
  25. The good outweighs the bad here for sure, and Penumbra's pacing, story and genuine sense of uneasiness makes for an intriguingly dark adventure tale.
  26. Not only does it possess a great story but also a few technical achievements that need to be experienced, namely the first person view and physics-based interaction and puzzles.
  27. Though the setting is clichéd and you’ll have experienced all the tricks Frictional has pulled to construct Black Plague’s menacing atmosphere before (echoed voices, bestial groans, oppressive shadows, flickering lights), they’re highly effective. [Apr 2008, p.96]
  28. 60
    It's not going to spark an adventure-game revival but it's clearly worth checking out if you like being spooked and don't mind a story that's a bit tough to follow.
  29. 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.
User Score
8.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 136 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 39
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 39
  3. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. Aug 27, 2010
    10
    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. Full Review »
  2. LeeW
    Aug 21, 2009
    10
    Penumbra: Black Plague picks up where Overture left off, which I will not spoil, so play it first you fucks. I must say Penumbra: Black Plague's story is not as exciting, but is still amazingly written, with more characters than its episodic predecessor (an amazing one that you actually meet in Overture), none of them feel as darling as Red, but no one can ever again. The story actually seems more coherent in this sequel, and the characters are certainly amazing, even so that you have trouble deciding whether or not to actually trust them, whether or not they're insane. Unlike in Overture, the gameplay is even better. Since the developers got a bunch of complaints about Overture's combat from misunderstanding critics, they completely left it out. That and the fact that enemies are one million, nine hundred eighty-four thousand, one hundred forty-seven times uglier than Overture's dogs make this game both far more brave and HOLY SHIT at the same time. I believe it seems to be a bit shorter than Overture, but both together allocate to about twelve hours of gameplay. With the lesser amount of combat (nada), the only thing Phillip can do is hide, and in some cases, run like Indiana Jones as he does from one of those cascading boulders. Some of the puzzles are also a tad more challenging than Overture's, but that actually makes them even better. Buy the whole package on Steam or something. It's amazingly cheap and while a bit short, it is an experience you will not soon forget. And remember: Overture first. Full Review »
  3. TomS
    Jan 6, 2010
    10
    The greatest horror game I've ever played. Compelling from beginning to end with some great twists in both narrative and gameplay. It's no Crysis but the graphics are fine... it's almost depressing how lowly this game has been rated by the games press. Full Review »