Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. If you like lots of guns that feel the business, lots of demons who look the business, lots of tension, lots of suspense, a great plot that keeps you guessing and interested, and buckets and buckets of blood, then you'll probably love this.
  2. Everything in Ties That Bind creates a solid experience that still scares the ever-loving crap s*** out of us all in the office.
  3. There are moments of gut-wrenching terror and suspense, but the most remarkable part of Ties That Bind is that it never, ever flinches at depicting gore, evil, and depravity. [Dec 2005, p.114]
  4. This game isn't about the blasting or the slashing – it's about the scares. Let me tell you, it'll scare you good.
  5. The story is still scary and still a bit confusing but the action is good and that makes this a fun ride worth taking.
  6. Simultaneously fun and extremely frustrating, compelling and flawed, mature and foul, engaging and confusing. As a game, it can be aggravating, but as a piece of interactive storytelling, it flirts with brilliance. [Oct 2005, p.123]
  7. The lack of quality weapons early on may discourage some players, but stick it out, it will get better.
  8. The game oozes with style and originality unlike anything that might dare to compete with it. And yes…there will be blood.
  9. Besides a weird story, this game is loaded with tons and tons of great, non-stop action that will keep you playing the game to the very end just to shoot-up some demonic baddies with all kinds of deadly weapons.
  10. It's the kind of sequel that gamers look for, just as if you were to see a great horror film and then anxiously await the next installment to get all the answers.
  11. It simply crushes most of the competition in terms of art direction and audio composition. The gameplay is still a bit trite, and you won't need a PHD to figure out the puzzles, but the action is still more entertaining than the original.
  12. Be prepared to come with a strong stomach, as this game earns its "M" rating in spades.
  13. 81
    There are more neutral people in the environment, but one of the original's strengths was how we were so isolated within a seemingly inescapable mote of horror. That was an excellent tension. There was also something quite Gothic about it that doesn't carry over into Ties That Bind.
  14. Quotation forthcoming. [Nov 2005]
  15. The control system is responsive and accurate. The graphics still illustrate some spine chilling scenes and disturbing animation of the undead characters. This game is almost guaranteed to give you nightmares.
  16. Ties That Bind offers the best kind of horror in gaming, because it never cops out and tries to put you at ease. Surreal Software really doesn't care if you're disgusted, offended or just plain horrified by what you see. [Official UK Xbox Magazine]
  17. There are enough things that feel distracting to keep this from becoming a classic game, but a strong enough foundation of gameplay and direction to make it a worthy addition to the console library.
  18. 80
    Playing the game is like watching an episode of "Oz" while a priest performs an exorcism on your liver. And if you like your gore served up hot and fresh, you've come to the right place.
  19. The single player is reasonable length and with some replay options such as playing as a good or dark character means that you will get to experience a slightly different game depending on your actions.
  20. Sure, the action is pretty basic-it's still kill or be killed-but with more open spaces to run around and new foes to fight, Ties is like a weekend with Russell Crowe: disturbing, bloody, and a damn good time.
  21. It's a great chapter to Torque's story, but some of the restrictions with the combat and linearity make it a good action title instead of a great sequel.
  22. Those of you who loved The Suffering probably won't enjoy this title quite as much. The scares and suspense have been replaced with nonstop action, and a story that just doesn't compare.
  23. Midway has actually succeeded in creating an acceptable sequel to The Suffering, one which fans of the original should definitely look into.
  24. 76
    Graphically, it's unimpressive but serviceable. Nothing is really outstanding except the creature designs and the blood effect.
  25. 75
    The controls have also been improved over last year's game, with improved first-person aiming in particular, which works very well for battles where you have to fire off shots as quickly as possible.
  26. More of the same. While there are minor revisions to the game, the core of the game remains the same.
  27. Ties That Bind makes few changes to the formula, stretches a thin story to somewhere near the breaking point, and delivers a bloody, curse-filled action game that might still please fans of the first game, though it's more likely that you'll feel like you played the same game last year.
  28. Gamers who enjoyed the first game will find something to enjoy about Ties that Bind although it's not as brilliant as the first offering. Ties that Bind is cool, creepy and bloody, but it gets old fast.
  29. 70
    A decent survival horror action title, it just simply hasn't evolved much from its predecessor; the environments are a little restrictive and the action can be a bit stop start sometimes.
  30. 70
    The whole game comes across as the equivalent of a B-grade horror movie: exciting at times, ultimately unmemorable.
  31. 70
    Although the game doesn't bring a lot of new experiences to the table, it does do a great job of adding to the experience gamers enjoyed the first time around.
  32. But take heart, horror-inclined gamers. Any random two minutes of Ties that Bind's blood-soaked gameplay is likely to give your parents, stuffy friends or sensitive authority figures of your choice the dribbling shiznits, and pretty much all the first game's good stuff has remained intact.
  33. Offers so much potential but ultimately falls short of its ambitions and as such fails to stand out from the crowd (or even its own antecedent).
  34. A gory good time. And that's really all that matters.
  35. 60
    The main problem is that Ties That Bind doesn't live up to the once-promising pedigree of "The Suffering." While we got more of some things--more swearing, more gore, and more story--we actually ended up with less: less ammo, less creativity, and fewer thrills to keep you going.
  36. After the interesting and confident debut of The Suffering last year, Ties That Bind remains a straightforward action game, and one with a coherent story that feels well paced, if too full of schlocky cliché for some. But that is, ultimately, all it does: remains. [Dec 2005, p.106]
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. JuanP.
    Oct 20, 2005
    10
    Excellent spine tingler.
  2. DavidL.
    Oct 8, 2005
    10
    I've played and beat the first game and I thought it was one the best games I've ever played so when "Ties that Bind" came out I instantly got it. It has taken me two days to get to the end but I'm stuck, I can't figure out how to beat blackmore!!! Full Review »