The Suffering PlayStation 2

  • Publisher: Midway
  • Release Date: Mar 9, 2004
  • Also On: PC

Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 47
  2. Negative: 1 out of 47
Buy On
  1. 100
    This is a game that needs to be played on Surround Sound (Pro Logic) or with a good set of headphones. It needs to be loud in the room, and it needs to be dark. It should be like any good horror movie.
  2. The Suffering obliterates the rules of terror and even common decency to deliver a delightfully twisted horror game that will scare the fearless and chill the spine of the bravest soul. Play it…I dare you.
  3. Whether you like horror games or not, there’s no denying that The Suffering is a tight and polished package all-around. It’s also a bit different from the typical survival horror games, so action aficionados have something to look forward to as well.
  4. Computer Games Magazine
    Multiple endings, strategy behind weapons, smooth gameplay, and a terrifying experience make The Suffering one of the biggest surprises of the year. [Apr 2004, p.9]
  5. All the factors that make a good survival horror game are here; the story, the ambience, the tension, the scares and the gore. The formula has been slightly changed though, this game is more of a shooter than its predecessors and there is less puzzle solving, but it works.
  6. Exceeded all expectations that I had for the game, and then some. It does everything a game of this calibur can possibly do, innovating on some aspects while integrating several new ideas, molding the genre into a fun, sadistic package the likes of which we rarely see.
  7. I’m in awe of any developer that can create and sustain a mood of unease and sheer terror, and this game nails both to a T.
  8. netjak
    After a few moments into it, it’s likely you’ll forget about "Resident Evil" and its repetition.
  9. The action-packed nature of The Suffering keeps it from being the scariest of horror games, but Surreal Software added a plethora of inventive effects that make up for it, actually out-scaring some games in the ever growing genre.
  10. It’s not outright terrifying like "Fatal Frame 2" could be, nor is it intermittently creepy like "Half-Life" was, but it finds the right balance in being consistently ominous.
  11. 85
    The Suffering is more about exploration and action and less about surviving does a great job of providing us a horrific action game.
  12. 85
    The action is intense, the creatures are actually creepy, and the story does not shy away from truly macabre elements. One cannot say enough about the horrific world that's been created here.
  13. For those turned off by the gameplay mechanics of "Silent Hill" and "Resident Evil," this may be the horror game you’ve been waiting for.
  14. But the other half of Torque's persona are the things he sees, the visions he has, the carnage he dreams about. This is what got me...Trust me, it's un-nerving.
  15. A truly terrifying adventure that, while certainly not perfect, still brings a real sense of panic and dread back to the weary survival horror genre.
  16. If you think Peter Jackson's true masterpiece is "Dead Alive," you'll be right at home with The Suffering. [Apr 2004, p.90]
  17. Think of this game as a survival horror game that allows you to kick ass instead of being a helpless victim who is low on ammo and courage.
  18. A surprising twist to the horror genre. With extremely creative monsters, an unique setting and quite a bit of replayability, The Suffering provides a sense of where the survival horror game could be going within future titles.
  19. One of the goriest, sweariest action games out there but with some nice touches and a decent combat system. [GamesMaster]
  20. 80
    Hollywood creature designer Stan Winston lends his psychotic imagination to all of the monstrosities that pop up in the game. Instead of coming from obvious spawning points, creatures emerge from nearly any surface. The technique effectively adds dread to normally benign environments we haven’t experienced since our days in the Boy Scouts.
  21. The creatures of The Suffering are abstract, bizarre, and downright grotesque, and there will be more than a few times where players will quietly curse at themselves for attempting to play the game in the dark.
  22. 80
    A well-crafted game that's strictly for those who get off on blood, nastiness, and the darker side of the psyche. You know who you are.
  23. PSM Magazine
    Despite one or two mechanical wobbles, this is a good mix of action and dark adventure, with some nifty extras. [May 2004, p.22]
  24. 80
    It's faster and nastier than most of the kindred of "Resident Evil" at the cost of losing a bit of edge. [May 2004, p.71]
  25. Though the game relies heavily on cheap scares, it's a refreshing take on horror-themed games. It's also a bit longer than you'd expect from a straightforward action game, though the increased length is offset by an overall lack of variety.
  26. Either way the journey to that ultimate knowledge is paved with a disturbing set of bleak situations, bloodshed, death, dismemberment, gore, depravity, ill-tempered entities and foul-mouthed prisoners that won't let their past go long enough to be redeemed.
  27. Told in fragments along the way, the story resolves differently, depending on whether you torture and kill other humans or help them survive. Either way, the eerie atmosphere will scare you straighter than an "Oz" box set.
  28. AceGamez
    Deals with the horror genre brilliantly and will give anyone who wants it a darn good fright.
  29. 80
    Incorporates harsh violence, language, and imagery into a much darker, nastier action/horror title that takes its subject matter and protagonist seriously for a change...The Suffering offers a good mix of the violent, the visceral, and the visionary.
  30. Cheat Code Central
    A truly disturbing game. It's not just the look of the creatures that is designed to scare you, it's the anticipation, the unsettling ambience, the shocks and the understanding you have of the horrors that have taken place which make up the backdrop of the story.
  31. The atmosphere is tangible and the story and action are tied together so perfectly that the game rarely lags during lengthy periods of adventure.
  32. A welcome new twist on the stale survival-horror genre, the Suffering's disturbing unreality makes the prison in "Oz" look like summer camp.
  33. The end result is a much more action-packed experience that might be a little too straightforward in spots, but it does make for a solid action game.
  34. The Suffering has a lot of good stuff going for it – scary creatures, fast-moving gameplay, and a good story. It also has enough flaws that anyone who’s grown tired of the genre will likely be unable to look past its faults.
  35. Play Magazine
    The game can be thrilling, poorly executed, compelling, expertly crafted and everything in between. [Apr 2004, p.54]
  36. Playboy
    The lethal-injection-wielding beastie and other gruesome monsters were designed by movie F/X guru Stan Winston. Luckily, you can transform into a hulking beast when the prison yard gets too crowded. Dead man morphing! [Feb 2004, p.32]
  37. 75
    It's offensive, psyche-damaging, brutal, makes no sense, and is unforgiving and violent. And damn good fun.
  38. An enjoyable, tense, and if anything one of the most surprisingly playable games of the year so far.
  39. As it is though, it's a good, solid, disquieting action game that ought to serve fans of the macabre and whodunnit-with-demons perfectly adequately, but stands little chance of threatening the crowns of the Silent Hills, Resident Evils and Project Zeros of this and other worlds.
  40. Classical monsters are one thing, but why encourage players to think of themselves as killers of women and children, brought to justice, but justified by their "insanity"?
  41. The story loses steam about two-thirds of the way through; solving puzzles, which are few and far between, requires little brainpower; and it's far to easy to survive your sentence with so much free ammo and health lying around. [May 2004, p.86]
  42. Edge Magazine
    Had the level design have been a touch more ingenious, and the creatures exhibited more guile, this could have been memorable. [June 2004, p.106]
  43. The learning curve is gentle, the controls simple to master, but there’s little new here.
  44. It doesn't help that you seem to be shooting the same handful of monsters no matter where you are—or that the vast majority of these look like offspring of Soul Calibur's Voldo. The shoddy framerate, slippery controls, and blocky character models provide an even more low-rent feel.
  45. The game's frequent puzzles also range from simplistic to mildly frustrating. Fortunately, you'll be finished with the game in a weekend.
  46. This is as much fun as working in a butchers, if you happen to be one of those spooky automatons that stand in the window and carve meat for eternity.
  47. games(TM)
    It's not that this is a bad game, but to ignore the more important elements of gameplay in order to add more gratuitous elements to the cauldron is unforgivable, and in that sense The Suffering is most similar to Soldier of Fortune II and the like. [June 2004, p.123]

Awards & Rankings

#35 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2004
#93 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2004
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 41 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. EdB.
    Jul 31, 2005
    The reviews that dont like this game dont like a fear or a scare atmosphere. This game was great -period - for the non-whimp crowd. I have The reviews that dont like this game dont like a fear or a scare atmosphere. This game was great -period - for the non-whimp crowd. I have been playing for 20 years and this is the scariest video since the silent hill series. Resident evil does not hold a candle to this. Reviewers that had comments on controls, weapon management systems etc. just dont get it. You buy this game for the scare and atmoshere factor which cannot be beat! If you want super controls etc. stick to Ratchet and Clank this game is for the big boys not the whimps. Full Review »
  2. NathanB.
    Oct 2, 2004
    Dude, I almost wet myself more than once while playing this game. Enough said.
  3. MattS.
    Mar 13, 2004
    WOW!! This game is by far the scariest game ever. Take Resident Evil and Silent Hill, mix them with the battle system of Freedom Fighters, WOW!! This game is by far the scariest game ever. Take Resident Evil and Silent Hill, mix them with the battle system of Freedom Fighters, add a little bit of every serial killer ever born and you get this. I actually don't see how it got by without a A rating. This game doesn't just scare you by things jumping out at you, it goes far deeper, in side your head. The creatures are horrifically scary, the main character, constitently hears voices in his head, grotesque images flash on the screen for a second every now and then, such as decaying corpses, and sucide images. But Torque, the main character, has two voices in his head. A demon, which he can turn into, and his wife's. Throughout various parts, both voice try to influence you to do something, such as save a person( the wife) or kill them (the demon). I would have gave this a 11, but the constent use of the F word, and some more prison talk (etc. Full metal jacket !)has lowered the score. It doesn't effect me, and I know it has a M Rating, and it is in a prison. but it is used in every sentence and for those of us who have little bros, sis's, and uhh mothers. Have to either turn down the volume, which makes you miss out on the creepy background sounds, good acting, and effects, or turn on the subtitles and not hear the voices. I recommend this to any mature player out there and PLEASE PARENTS. Keep this out of the hands of your kids, oh and you might want to confiscate their copy of GTA too. Full Review »