Haunting Ground PlayStation 2

  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Release Date: May 10, 2005

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 33
  2. Negative: 3 out of 33
Buy On
  1. Pelit (Finland)
    A good-looking puzzle-oriented horror game. It has an innovative panic system and a dramatic storyline. The adventure and the puzzles are well balanced, which makes Haunting Ground a very enjoyable experience. [May 05]
  2. Play Magazine
    Experiencing Haunting Ground, I felt something new and bold as much as traditional and expected from the horror genre. [May 2005, p.46]
  3. 85
    Scare me. Shock me. Shake me. Take me to a place where horror is able to splurge into any gamer's mind and rattle it around playfully, frightfully, terribly. That's what horror gaming should be like. Haunting Ground really is a fun game to play and is another one of Capcom’s gems.
  4. Where the Clock Tower series always employed its notion for being the victim in a stalker's nightmarish world in a very mundane and ordinary fashion, Haunting Ground does so with a zing.
  5. 80
    An ambitious and subsequently innovative title that brings a number of refreshing changes to the survival horror genre.
  6. 80
    A welcome change of pace for horror games. It's tightly focused, suspenseful, and fosters a strong sense of personality.
  7. But the points at which Haunting Ground really begins to open up and offer something you can't get from other horror titles are the moments when you get to use Hewie to help you.
  8. It does what it sets out to do very well, without truly breaking any new or significant ground.
  9. The game delivers creepy moments aplenty, and your German Shepherd makes a unique and neat teammate to play with, but some gameplay oddness and dog artificial intelligence quirks mar the adventure.
  10. Pelaaja (Finland)
    Even if Haunting Ground is visually great and is in many ways a refreshingly different representative of its genre, but does have its own set of problems. [May 2005, p.68]
  11. Some elements of story and gameplay are left disappointingly underdeveloped, and the grand environmental puzzles of the opening section become all but absent in the later locations - but when Belli's running for her life, you won't stop to notice.
  12. Cheat Code Central
    Good but not great, Haunting Ground is technically impressive albeit fundamentally flawed. Dog lovers may want to prepare themselves for the horrors ahead.
  13. games(TM)
    Stands as an interesting attempt to broaden the appeal of horror games, even if its innovative successes are counterbalanced by an adherence to old-fashioned adventure sleuthing. [May 2005, p.118]
  14. It's the best game to emerge in the genre since "Project Zero II." Just bear in mind you'll almost certainly reflect on your time with the game with a few mixed feelings. It's so nearly brilliant it hurts.
  15. 70
    What the game lacks in shock value, it more than makes up for in sheer psychological terror.
  16. Why Capcom didn’t name this survival horror game "Clock Tower 4" is beyond me. Other than the reduced gore, single location and reliance on canine companion Hewie to save Fiona’s backside at every turn this is basically the same game.
  17. I try to play it alone in the dark, by myself, late at night, and I'll be darned if I haven't gotten scared more then once. For me, that speaks volumes.
  18. 70
    The game ultimately feels anchored in a very traditional Capcom style, with its fixed viewpoints and the stalwart, somewhat clunky control system, though admittedly it is one of their better efforts.
  19. The story is interesting and the mood – from music to visuals and cut scenes – is consistent and well executed. If you're an RE veteran who's ready to move on, it'll feel like you're playing an old game with a new skin.
  20. Like a breath of fresh air in the survival horror world. Although its gameplay is a direct copy of CT3, it is still something that hasn’t been seen much.
  21. PSM Magazine
    Becomes more a decent action game with a cool twist rather than the psychological thriller it's so obviously meant to be. [June 2005, p.79]
  22. 65
    It comes on the heels of Capcom's own "Resident Evil 4." After you've played a game as breathtakingly beautiful and exhilarating as that, it's hard to take a step back and play something that just feels dated by comparison.
  23. A mix of clever ideas and petty annoyances, Haunting perches on the point between fascinating and irritating. It is original, atmospheric and infuriating, with an intriguing story that fizzles out.
  24. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Pares down the survival-horror experience to its most basic, frightening form - running for your life. [June 2005, p.100]
  25. 60
    Despite a few fresh ideas, Haunting Ground is no classic. The thin story relies too often on clich? and titillation, the villains aren't terribly frightening, and the gameplay becomes too predictable too quickly.
  26. Obstacles prove satisfying to overcome, but enduring a lengthy Benny Hill-style pursuit is frustrating. Patience is required.
  27. To be fair, Capcom is pitching Haunting Ground as 'psychological' horror rather than a straight-ahead survival horror, but that's hardly compensation when the supposedly terrifying lead baddie looks more like 'Sloth' from The Goonies after a bad makeover. [PSW]
  28. 60
    It may not be a revolutionary new type of horror or even the beginning of a great new series, but for what it is Haunting Ground is generally worth trying.
  29. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    Most of the mechanics in the game hearken back to an era when the survival-horror genre was still in its infancy. [June 2005, p.92]
  30. In the end, after hours of playing, Haunting Ground left me wanting to rent an old "Friday the 13th" movie: fewer headaches and just as scary.
  31. Game Informer
    An experience that is unquestionably less fun than doing one's taxes. [May 2005, p.116]
  32. Graphically, Haunting Ground is of average quality, but seems to have been designed by an adolescent game designer, given that the main character is *ahem* extremely well endowed, and clothed only in a sheet for the first few minutes of the game.
  33. The plot is weird enough that some collectors and video game novelty-seekers might find it worth their money, but ultimately, nothing can save Haunting Ground from its own tedious gameplay. Run and hide, indeed.

Awards & Rankings

#66 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2005
#26 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 45 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Mar 1, 2012
    This is a decent game with good atmosphere and a strong character. Gameplay consists of puzzles, object collecting, and training your dog. ItThis is a decent game with good atmosphere and a strong character. Gameplay consists of puzzles, object collecting, and training your dog. It is sort of like old Resident Evil in style and that might be a little bit bland in the modern era of gaming. Some elements are extremely fun and new, but I don't think there is enough to call this game addictive. Sometimes it is too confusing as to where you are supposed to go next. The anxiety and confusion factor is actually part of the gameplay as you stumble through while trying not to get attacked. I felt this game was solid, but not addictive for me personally. This game will keep value because its premise is so bizarre and the dog training very fun. Get this if you love old Resident Evil style games. Full Review »
  2. Jun 6, 2016
    Oh Haunting Ground, what can I say! I went into this game thinking, "Oh reviews say this is a resident evil clone, I'll give it a shot". WhatOh Haunting Ground, what can I say! I went into this game thinking, "Oh reviews say this is a resident evil clone, I'll give it a shot". What I got from Haunting Ground was one of the greatest horror's ever made.

    A spiritual successor to the Clock Tower franchise, Haunting Ground features the protagonist Fiona Belli and a killer (actually multiple killers the further you get) constantly running after her, and with little to nothing to defend herself with. Fiona must hide and solve puzzles to progress through the Belli Castle. There are virtually no load times and you can leave every room open to form a trail (a trail which tells you where you have and have not been yet). The creators were intelligent enough to realize by doing this a whole new dynamic could be added as the killer will go through rooms and close the door behind him/her to prevent your escape and search the room. My favorite killer was the Maid who one minute will be intent on killing you then suddenly appear in the next room and be cleaning and completely proper with you.

    Sounds fairly innovative already right? Well there is this dog names "Hewie" which changes everything. The dog's AI is insanely well done with him playing differently depending on how you interact with him and do pre-set commands such as "Go, Stay, Praise, and Scold". Hewie is needed to solve certain puzzles, and can assist you in combat as well. You can get Hewie to obey you efficiently by communicating with him often and occasionally throwing a ball around for him (once you receive it) and giving him praise whenever he performs tasks correctly. Also upon beating the game you can select from different breeds of dog which will change the personality as well as the dogs health, and speed.

    Some interesting survival skills Fiona has are her intuitions (thoughts which occur when Fiona interacts with a potentially useful item) and "Alchemy". The intuitions would be displayed when pausing and give subtle hints which never broke immersion (and in fact added to the immersion of the overall experience). Alchemy allowed you to make weapons out of different ingredients to assist in your survival. When bringing down a killer they will drop an item similar to the way Nemesis does in RE3.

    The game has an awesome amount of content, from unlockable costumes, movie gallery, art gallery, multiple endings and even the ability to play as the dog. Upon beating the game two times, Hewie's intuitions will be displayed instead of Fiona's. The intuition change caught me completely by surprise and had me amazed at just how much content was fit into Haunting Ground.

    The game is fairly expensive now, but regardless, if you ever get the chance or have the funds (and an insatiable love for horror and macabre) buy this game, there is absolutely no way you could be left disappointed.
    Full Review »
  3. May 24, 2015
    If anything, I truly feel sorry for this game. Being released just after Resident Evil 4. While it does try really hard to show someIf anything, I truly feel sorry for this game. Being released just after Resident Evil 4. While it does try really hard to show some innovation being something of a spiritual successor to the Clock Tower series, it just came too late and was almost instantly forgotten in RE4's shadow.

    Visuals are great, sound and music top notch. But, script/plot are just cliche and forgettable. It's kind of sad as you can see allot of effort and care went into designing the game. A shame better writers weren't involve.

    Haunting Ground is an old school survival horror game that just arrived to late. Not to mention a lackluster plot, sealed this game's fate from day 1. Otherwise it still is a fun game worth getting, especially if you are a fan of old school survival horror.
    Full Review »