• Publisher: Midway
  • Release Date: Mar 9, 2004
  • Also On: PC
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 47
  2. Negative: 1 out of 47
  1. 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.
  2. 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"?
  3. 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.
  4. An enjoyable, tense, and if anything one of the most surprisingly playable games of the year so far.
  5. The game's frequent puzzles also range from simplistic to mildly frustrating. Fortunately, you'll be finished with the game in a weekend.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. If you think Peter Jackson's true masterpiece is "Dead Alive," you'll be right at home with The Suffering. [Apr 2004, p.90]
  10. 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.
  11. One of the goriest, sweariest action games out there but with some nice touches and a decent combat system. [GamesMaster]
  12. 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.
  13. 75
    It's offensive, psyche-damaging, brutal, makes no sense, and is unforgiving and violent. And damn good fun.
  14. 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]
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. The learning curve is gentle, the controls simple to master, but there’s little new here.
  18. 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.
  19. Despite one or two mechanical wobbles, this is a good mix of action and dark adventure, with some nifty extras. [May 2004, p.22]
  20. Deals with the horror genre brilliantly and will give anyone who wants it a darn good fright.
  21. 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]
  22. 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]
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 88
    After a few moments into it, it’s likely you’ll forget about "Resident Evil" and its repetition.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 85
    The Suffering is more about exploration and action and less about surviving does a great job of providing us a horrific action game.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. A welcome new twist on the stale survival-horror genre, the Suffering's disturbing unreality makes the prison in "Oz" look like summer camp.
  37. 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.
  38. 75
    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]
  39. 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]
  40. 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.
  41. The atmosphere is tangible and the story and action are tied together so perfectly that the game rarely lags during lengthy periods of adventure.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. 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]
  46. 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.
  47. The game can be thrilling, poorly executed, compelling, expertly crafted and everything in between. [Apr 2004, p.54]
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 31 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. May 24, 2013
    10
    I remember playing this game when I was around 12. Absolutely terrifying and I craved every second of it. I had never played anything like it and the whole flashback system was new to me (and scary as hell being a young-ling). Awesome game, I recommend it to anyone who liked the original Resident Evil's or Silent Hill. Full Review »
  2. Apr 12, 2013
    9
    I used to play the heck out of this game back in the day! It was scarier than any movie or any other game to me back then. One of my favorite games when I had my ps2. Play at night and alone, you will be scared. If you can and like horror movies or games this is definately one worth checking out! Full Review »