Penumbra: Black Plague Image
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 221 Ratings

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  • Summary: Penumbra: Black Plague is a creepy and dark psychological horror experience featuring the adventures of Philip as he sets of in search of his dead father. Trapped in a shadowy, underground complex, intrepid explorer Philip is determined to discover the truth behind his father'sPenumbra: Black Plague is a creepy and dark psychological horror experience featuring the adventures of Philip as he sets of in search of his dead father. Trapped in a shadowy, underground complex, intrepid explorer Philip is determined to discover the truth behind his father's disappearance. Surrounded by enemies and assaulted by terror from all sides, Philip must collect clues and solve vexing puzzles while combating the gnawing psychological terrors that assail his mind and threaten to strip him of his sanity. Can Philip master his fear and finally uncover the truth behind a mystery that has haunted him for a lifetime? Only you can decide. [Paradox Interactive] Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. This is an incredible game. It's got fun, innovative gameplay, great writing, entertaining VO, a frightening atmosphere, and even manages to provoke deep thought. P:BP is a perfect example of exactly why I play videogames.
  2. Black Plague's success is the result of its individual components. It's a good game that is unique, refreshing, and fun to play. As far as the adventure game genre goes, it's definitely in a class by itself.
  3. PC Gamer
    83
    Black Plague actually made me scream aloud in fright at one point. Even horror movies don't have that effect on my anymore. [July 2008, p.68]
  4. PC Format
    80
    A creepy, well-written and refreshingly different first-person romp. [Apr 2008, p.110]
  5. It alternately shocks and entertains without resorting to the boring, repetitive combat we usually associate with survival horror. Black Plague is nowhere near perfect, but it still deserves to be played.
  6. Whilst the integration of the physics system within the environment in Penumbra is certainly more deeply-ingrained, the puzzles themselves never quite reach the same level of ingenuity as the classic Valve title.
  7. There are definitely some truly scary moments in Penumbra: Black Plague, and the story is good enough to make you want to find out how everything all turns out at the end. Don't clear your calendar to play it, but if your gaming slate is clear, and you're in the mood for a bit of horror, consider giving it a try.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 47
  2. Negative: 0 out of 47
  1. AnonymousMC
    Apr 23, 2009
    10
    No game I've ever played before scared and compelled me like Black Plague did. I had the opportunity of playing it with a Novint FalconNo game I've ever played before scared and compelled me like Black Plague did. I had the opportunity of playing it with a Novint Falcon peripheral, where the realistic motions become physical movements. Black Plague is the best game in the Penumbra trilogy by far. The atmosphere is all-around creepy, and game ambiance will make you jump with every scrape or distant thud, and the integration of global lighting for shadows is superb. Hiding in a dark corner in an underground facility while an ominous grotesque figure down a hall walks toward you... terrifying. No way to fight, only to hide. Some moments near the end are truly unrivaled in suspense and terror. The graphics may be somewhat sub-par by today's standards, but any game developer that can inspire this kind of fear despite the graphics is a master of the art form. I really can't do it justice with words, so just play it. Any fan of horror games, or even someone looking for a scare will thoroughly enjoy this game. Just be ready for it. Expand
  2. Jun 4, 2020
    10
    Some of the most clever puzzle design in a horror game. The way it allows you to do logical problem solving as you would in real life isSome of the most clever puzzle design in a horror game. The way it allows you to do logical problem solving as you would in real life is wonderful and is one of my favourite elements of the game. Every single time I play it I get giddy when I'm about to engage into trying to figure out a solution to a puzzle.

    Continuing the story from Penumbra: Overture, it improves and polishes on some of its predecessor's shortcomings and brings the mystery to a satisfying conclusion. Again, amazing atmosphere, even better soundtrack and great level design.
    Expand
  3. Aug 27, 2010
    10
    Nothing is as exciting as looking forward playing through a horror game on a rainy night with a buddy. That's what i did, someday i willNothing is as exciting as looking forward playing through a horror game on a rainy night with a buddy. That's what i did, someday i will replay them alone but playing it with company is a great way since you can figure out puzzles twice as fast. With the same game atmosphere as Overture, Black Plague goes even scarier and a bigger experience. Totally worth playing. The atmosphere will get sort of ruined in the end of the game, more than that i cant say. Expand
  4. CarlV
    Sep 7, 2009
    9
    I had already said great things about the first game, Penumbra Overture. So the second blew me away. Black Plague did everything Overture had I had already said great things about the first game, Penumbra Overture. So the second blew me away. Black Plague did everything Overture had accomplished and made it better, tweaking all the flaws from the first like the incredibly awkward combat. It also more then triples the scare factor of the game, replacing simple animals that were already dreadful with a horrifying new breed of danger. The game's story isn't going to win it an award by itself, and some people complain about the ending. I on the other hand, perhaps being a bit more flexible with plot, found the story memorable and thought provoking. Coupled with an atmosphere that is so dark, chilling and gripping that the game demands to be played fully emersed; at night, lights off. The graphics aren't amazing, but as the name of the series hints *Penumbra: The small area of light surrounded by darkness* , this is not so much about graphics as the lighting. The shadows easily hide the sins of the outdated graphics and while the lighting is amazing, it is rarely reassuring in the gritty, claustrophobic environment that is "The Shelter". Coupled with some underrated script and voice acting, not to mention immersive sound that leaves you jumping at every little noise that goes "bump", the game becomes a very frightening world for your character to explore, run and hide in. I bought this game for 5 dollars when it was on sale. Best 5 dollars ever spent. If you're a fan of horror, do not miss this game. The only reason I gave it a 9 out of 10 instead of a full out 10 is because the game isn't for everyone and it didn't smash down the definitions of adventure/puzzle games and set them anew. But it excels at what it sets out to do and creates not so much a game as more an experience, if not an utterly terrifying one. It's simply an amazing hidden gem in a sea of games. Not everyone will find it or even appreciate it, but that makes it all the more savoring for people like me who have discovered it. Expand
  5. Dec 2, 2012
    8
    And the series just keeps moving upward. Overture is a very good game, but Black Plague is a few steps up. The clever writing, characters,And the series just keeps moving upward. Overture is a very good game, but Black Plague is a few steps up. The clever writing, characters, scares and atmosphere is still there. The puzzles are still well done. Anyone who enjoyed Overture has no reason to not enjoy this one. Expand
  6. Aug 24, 2014
    8
    So basically this gets the beginning right from the end of the first chapter. Everything is better: puzzles, atmosphere, the plot unveils moreSo basically this gets the beginning right from the end of the first chapter. Everything is better: puzzles, atmosphere, the plot unveils more and it is scarier. I liked it more than the first. I haven't played requiem yet, but IMHO the ending of this Black Plague can be the end of the series. I know that Requiem goes on but that it didn't get the same popularity as the first two...I will play it anyway and see if I like it, but for me, a player could stop at Black Plague, the ending is no cliffhanger ending. Expand
  7. Nov 16, 2020
    6
    Okay puzzling, a little bit scary. Liked the first game more though. There's annoying interruptions all the time by your Navi-like character.Okay puzzling, a little bit scary. Liked the first game more though. There's annoying interruptions all the time by your Navi-like character. Enemy AI is stupid. Expand

See all 47 User Reviews