Penumbra: Overture Image
Metascore
73

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

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 121 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 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
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. At a cost of only £15 for an online download, it's an absolute must for any PC adventure gamers out there.
  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. The emphasis on physics adds a unique dimension to Penumbra: Overture. If you're willing to sacrifice story for atmosphere, it's a decent catch for horror fans, but those looking for point-and-click fare may be turned off by unavoidable action elements.
  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: 28 out of 35
  2. Negative: 3 out of 35
  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 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.
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  4. Nov 22, 2012
    8
    A great introduction into the Penumbra series, the game has very original puzzles to solve, especially the design of the various areas to explore was very diverse and well executed. To horror is mainly due to physical threats but the story unfolds mysteries as well and thus adds a new layer to the experience. Short but good game. Expand
  5. Nov 8, 2013
    7
    Gameplay wise puzzle orientated, decent stealth mechanics, very poor combat mechanics. Short game only lengthened by dying a lot and stuck on some puzzles for a bit. Oozes atmosphere a good sense of mystery that leaves you wanting for more. Expand
  6. Jun 21, 2012
    7
    Having played Amnesia and being terrified witless, I decided to buy Frictional's first foray into Survival horror, and first game ever. First, the positives. It's very atmospheric; the environments are creepy & unnerving and the first encounter with an enemy is unforgettable. Certain plot elements are well done and the character of Red is memorable. The physics system is just as clever as ever, perhaps even more so than Amnesia thanks to the more grounded setting and difficulty in using doors. Negatives: combat. The problem with the combat isn't that it's sticky or useless, it's because it's there! Something that's scary loses its sting when you can kill it, and fighting in this game you will inevitably find the exploit to easily deal with any enemy you encounter. The plot also relies too much on written notes and your character pointing out the obvious. I wish FG would decide if they want Phillip to be a silent protagonist or not: he goes through a long monologue at the beginning and then seems to lose his voice once the game begins, even when a particular character tries to contact him he still says nothing. Overall though, I liked Overture, and if you're looking for a good spook then I definitely recommend it. Expand
  7. NoahS.
    Jun 7, 2009
    3
    Luckily, I bought this on Steam for 5.00 last night. Looks promising, but I have played it for about 5 minutes and it's rife with clipping issues and un-intuitive play. I'm going to give it another chance, as I see other reviewers have thought better of it than my first impression. There's nothing I like better than a good horror/survival game, even though this one has the ever-present Lovecraft references and familiar, hackneyed plot. 1-sided textures in a game and my flashlight not illuminating the crawlspace I am in almost lowered my SAN score immediately... I'll cross my fingers, do a little Voorish sign, and hope I can find the good things other posters have mentioned. Expand

See all 35 User Reviews