Penumbra: Overture Image
Metascore
73

Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 159 Ratings

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  • Summary: Played from a first person viewpoint, Penumbra is very different from other adventure games. Not only is it powered by a 3D engine utilising cutting edge technology, it also has an advanced physics system which allow for a never before seen environment interaction. The player can openPlayed from a first person viewpoint, Penumbra is very different from other adventure games. Not only is it powered by a 3D engine utilising cutting edge technology, it also has an advanced physics system which allow for a never before seen environment interaction. The player can open drawers, pull levers, pick up objects and more using natural mouse movements creating a highly interactive and immersive game world. The weapon system differs from your average game; swinging a melee weapon is done using the mouse which increases the realistic feel of combat. Fighting enemies is not something best done with brute force though, in most situations fighting is a last resort and the player is often better of using his/her wits. The AI of the enemies will also do its best to hunt and scare the player. The creatures encountered can break down doors, use group co-ordination, interact with the physics and more. Penumbra: Overture keeps players on the edge as they have to explore scary and immersive environments never knowing what is behind the next corner. The world is detailed, graphical as well as a story wise making the player feel part of the world as secrets are uncovered. [Strategy First] Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. The highs definitely outweigh the lows and this game breathes new life into an old genre.
  2. 81
    Where Penumbra really wins through however is in its storytelling and puzzle solving.
  3. The only charge that can really be brought against the game lies within the the aesthetics of the environment.
  4. It’s like a movie that you can recognize as being a well-made effort, but doesn’t actually engage you all that much.
  5. If you're interested in a serious relationship with gaming rather than purely out for a good time, please do take a look at Penumbra. It does some truly clever stuff, has an effectively creepy atmosphere and there's a few signposts in it that action and adventure games alike would do well to follow.
  6. 70
    Let's just hope they fix the combat and add a bit more character development in the next episode.
  7. 50
    Penumbra: Overture hits all the old notes like the Stones on their tenth farewell tour.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 41
  2. Negative: 4 out of 41
  1. Jul 30, 2011
    10
    This game was awesome. Truly one of the best horrors out there. Great story, great gameplay, and the ending leaves you wanting to play BlackThis game was awesome. Truly one of the best horrors out there. Great story, great gameplay, and the ending leaves you wanting to play Black Plague right away. Expand
  2. MarkM
    Nov 2, 2009
    10
    This game is best Horror game i have ever played. A great Storyline, some really tough puzzles and overall wonderful atmosphere. A must buy!
  3. Aug 26, 2014
    9
    My favorite horror game ever made.My favorite horror game ever made.
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  4. Apr 8, 2015
    8
    Penumbra Overture was one of the best things to come out of Pewdiepie. Anyhow, after saying **** like that let me go on with the review.

    So
    Penumbra Overture was one of the best things to come out of Pewdiepie. Anyhow, after saying **** like that let me go on with the review.

    So of course a lot like anyone else who knows about Frictional Games, the first one I came to now about was Amnesia: The Dark Decent. Not from pewdiepie, the obvious place to have heard about it from. I found out a bit later that they had an already other established series titled Penumbra. I bought Penumbra: Overtue a long while before I ever had the bravery to go near Amnesia, and so with it came my first ever REAL adventure into survival horror.

    The game spooked the ever loving **** out of me, but the good thing about it was, that I was actually eased into the settings of Fritcionals games by it. It was really scary yes, however, I was able to push forward almost always and never got to the point where I simply couldn't move forward from my fear. The game looks really good for what is technically a indie title, and the sound design is PERFECT for the setting, mechanical, yet some how creepy and off putting. The story is also a strong part of Overture, intentionally confusing and not completely filled in, yet enough information if given for there to be a real deep understanding of what you want to know over what is going on, and why the place you are in is in the state that it is. The game does a great job of making you feel isolated. And because of this, you really end up liking the character of Red, the only survivor down in the tunnels with you. Overall, Overture is an under appreciated game that deserves all the under rated credit that it gets. I absolutely loved it, and it only goes up from here.
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  5. Jun 13, 2012
    7
    I originally only bought this game as a DLC of sorts after playing Amnesia: The Dark Descent and, while this is a great game, barely holds aI originally only bought this game as a DLC of sorts after playing Amnesia: The Dark Descent and, while this is a great game, barely holds a candle to Amnesia: The Dark Descent's spooky, dark gameplay. One thing this game does excel in is puzzles! A lot of puzzles! I bought this game for atmospheric mood and drama (Which I easily got) but puzzles sometimes ruined immersion as there were almost too many so, in conclusion, if you want a dark, atmospheric mood alongside many puzzles get this game though you may not enjoy it if you've played Amnesia: The dark Descent before this! Expand
  6. Dec 13, 2012
    7
    Builds a great sense of horror through simple design choices; no weapons, complete isolation, and immersive atmosphere. A survival horror gameBuilds a great sense of horror through simple design choices; no weapons, complete isolation, and immersive atmosphere. A survival horror game that requires a lot of forethought and skill to actually survive. Very unique experience with great puzzles and a story that continues straight into the sequel, Black Plague. If you're looking for something to scare your pants off for a few evenings then this and it's sequels are worth getting. Expand
  7. Mar 11, 2016
    1
    I have played this game on release on a much less capable computer, and I've played it with my current gaming and productivity computer whichI have played this game on release on a much less capable computer, and I've played it with my current gaming and productivity computer which is capable of playing games at 4K resolution, video editing etc;

    I still feel the same way I about it now as I did then. I don't understand why making the player struggle with terrible controls for interaction, whether it be weapons, trying to barricade a door or just general movement, is supposed to be a fun experience. It's not even as "immersive" as some would claim because you have to fight with the controls.

    This is not a retro game on an old console with hardware limitations. It shouldn't behave like it is.
    I don't much care for this idea in their games where you are this completely helpless and basically stupid character who doesn't think to pick up a weapon to defend themselves. In this game you can kind of fight back, but the controls make what should be easy to learn combat, frustrating and unrewarding. But just check out some of their other games and you'll see what I mean.

    This game had some good ideas and had a great framework for a very atmospheric series.
    Instead their games are mainly puzzles or running away from enemies who could be easily handled if you actually had weapons to fight back.

    Sure, people may argue that its not scary when there are weapons to fight back, but I disagree.
    A game can still be scary while allowing you to fight the enemies, and I mean legitimately scary, not jump scares. There can be scary dark environments, environments full of strong enemies who take strategy to defeat because their A.I. is very challenging to contend with, dangerous environments with all kinds of damaging hazards to be mindful of. All while allowing for the player to explore the game world.

    The player should have the ability to improve themselves, weapons, armor, helpful items, rewarding the player for exploring areas and breaking open containers, unlocking items locked away, is a good thing.

    Anyway, I give the game 1 point for making the framework and ideas, but the experience overall is brought down by the developers not being open to the ideas I have described to you here.
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See all 41 User Reviews