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61

Mixed or average reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

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5.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 13 Ratings

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  • Summary: Asemblance is a single-player, first-person, psychological thriller. You awake to find yourself trapped inside an experimental machine. A machine built to simulate memories. You have no idea how you got here… But to break the cycle, you must look into a past that you may not want to remember.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 13
  2. Negative: 3 out of 13
  1. 100
    To call Asemblence an unorthodox game would be an understatement; it’s a game that throws convention off a cliff. I doubt many would find it fun, or even satisfying in a traditional sense, but it's a game that pushes the boundaries of what a game can be – that questions our most basic assumptions of the medium, and that is something we desperately need.
  2. Jun 27, 2016
    70
    However, even with an ending that takes way too much to achieve with very little pay off, Asemblance still manages to be a very intriguing and atmospheric sci-fi story.
  3. Jul 5, 2016
    70
    Asemblance delivers an intriguing narrative based around a time looping mechanic, and makes a lot out of very little. The game may not have many environments to explore, but each one is carefully layered and crafted to allow the story to emerge at whatever pace you're able to keep up with. It helps that the title has genuinely interesting – and, oftentimes, unnerving – ideas, which, when paired with the menacing music, makes for an engaging experience.
  4. Jul 8, 2016
    60
    Asemblance is a special experience. It has the serious overtones of something dramatic but plays like something simple. It’s thought provoking but not a huge commitment.
  5. Jul 18, 2016
    60
    The ending isn’t completely satisfying, but as a pilot episode of an ongoing series I’m totally on-board to see what comes next.
  6. Jul 7, 2016
    50
    Developer Nilo Studios says it wants this to be the start of a series of experiences reminiscent of the X-Files or the Twilight Zone. Unfortunately, there’s so little pay off in Asemblance that it’s difficult to muster much excitement for its future.
  7. Jun 21, 2016
    40
    Asemblance seems to be trying to posit a number of thought-provoking questions to the player, but neither the narrow gameplay nor the convoluted narrative articulates this message effectively, and the result is a diluted experience that is over before it began. Hopefully Nilo Studios has the opportunity to deliver more fulfilling and expansive episodes to the series in the future, but this first outing doesn’t inspire too much confidence.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 8
  2. Negative: 4 out of 8
  1. Jun 21, 2016
    8
    You wake up to blaring alarms — a red light dashes across your vision. The AI tells you that we are in an emergency situation, questioning whyYou wake up to blaring alarms — a red light dashes across your vision. The AI tells you that we are in an emergency situation, questioning why you aren’t helping. You rush for the terminal in front of you and everything goes dark. Blue lights flicker, the alarms silence and everything is immediately calm. How did I end up here? What is this place? How do I get out?

    This is the exact situation you find yourself in Nilo Studios’ fledgling game Asemblance. A first-person experience/psychological-thriller, Asemblance presents puzzles in both story and progression. The PC and PlayStation 4 game is a bit of an odd-ball; built for a relatively niche audience, the game rewards you by how far down the rabbit hole you are willing to dive. Neither the story nor the mechanics are spelled out directly, meaning it is up to the player to discover who you are, why you are there, and what everything means.

    Being as vague as I can, the game feels fairly heavily influence by P.T. and SOMA. Far more science fiction than horror, the game relies on the player to not only discover the story, but also to progress the game forward. The place you wake up in happens to be a memory holo-chamber: given the right input, you are able to explore your previous memories and interact with the environments. Unfortunately for the protagonist, the chamber has no exit doors and the AI seems vaguely malevolent, trying to prevent you from accessing certain memories.

    At no point is the player given express direction about where to go, how to unlock the next memory, or why you are even locked in a memory chamber. The answers are in the game, but requires a fair amount of sleuthing.

    The game takes places in only a handful of environments — roughly five — with scattered documents and messages around to give you an idea of what is happening. Like most first-person experience games, the controls are very basic. You are able to interact with a few objects, walk at a quicker pace, and zoom in on objects. And while this makes it sound like that doesn’t present enough variety, it is actually perfect. The game’s puzzle gets fairly challenging towards the end, so it is important to have direct knowledge about what the limits of your abilities are to impact the environment.

    Another thing to note is Asemblance is stunning — running in Unreal Engine 4, the limited environments presented are perfect down to every detail. From an office environment to an impeccable apartment to a woody grove, it is one of the best looking games on the PlayStation 4 (especially for its $9.99 price tag). There are the rare visual blips that are fairly noticeable, only because everything around it is so perfect.

    The game features multiple endings, each progressively more difficult to find than the last. As far as I understand, I’m (currently) the only reviewer to find the fourth ending, and no one has been able to find the fifth. This is the kind of scavenger hunt I love to see in games — it is what made P.T. so much fun, and the recent Resident Evil 7 demo so infuriating. In creating a puzzle so rigorous, the developer is either implicitly or explicitly asking players to discuss the game further, talk strategies, and pull out their hair collectively.

    The only true downside (at least with the four of five endings I’ve seen) is they are entirely too similar. While there are some small dialogue variations attached to each of them, experiencing the endings never felt rewarding. Thankfully, the puzzle itself (and the accompanying trophies) were rewarding in and of itself.

    To add to that, I mentioned the game’s audience is relatively niche — many people don’t play games to be intellectually challenged, or for a dense, puzzling story. The game is technically beatable in 15-20 minutes if you are going for the more basic ending. Meanwhile, I have spent roughly six or seven hours reading through the many documents strewn around, investigating each object, and trying to decipher how to unlock all the endings.

    I’m hesitant to call Asemblance “fun” — but that isn’t what the game is trying to be. Instead, it is a challenge to overcome for those interested in experimental gameplay and hidden stories. The game is dense, but rewarding for those looking to make the investment.

    The fact of the matter is, there aren’t a ton of experiences like this around on PlayStation 4 (perhaps with the exception of SOMA): puzzle-driven psychological thrillers are fairly scarce. And though the puzzles aren’t as rewarding or playful as The Witness, a small collection of my friends have been spit-balling theories and ideas back-and-forth for the past couple of days in an attempt to unravel the last mystery. For $9.99, it is an experience I highly recommend trying out, even with its faults and being designed for a niche audience.
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  2. Aug 7, 2016
    8
    This game is a bit of a mind **** But in a good way.
    The graphics are kind of ordinary, but the storyline is strong. Which is why it pushed
    This game is a bit of a mind **** But in a good way.
    The graphics are kind of ordinary, but the storyline is strong. Which is why it pushed my personal review into the green. The only frustrating thing I had with this game was the unresolved story at the end... So I'm hoping they continue on with the franchise and we get to see more of this game. Because it left a lot of questions I need answered.
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  3. Oct 31, 2016
    7
    I bought Asemblance for $6.99 during the Halloween sale in the PS Store.
    I only spent maybe 2 hours on it and beat it twice so far.
    At the
    I bought Asemblance for $6.99 during the Halloween sale in the PS Store.
    I only spent maybe 2 hours on it and beat it twice so far.
    At the moment, I'm just trying to unlock some hidden trophies.

    I liked the experience. It's short, creepy, atmospheric which is the type of indie games I love playing.

    There are only 3 buttons. X is to interact with an object only if it has a giant X hovering below the screen, meaning you can. L1 is to sprint, but doesn't feel like that much of a difference compared to walking. R2 is to zoom in and that's basically how to progress through the world. You zoom in on certain objects to cause a rift that progressing you through time and space to your next task at hand.

    I think $10 for Asemblance is fair. We see movies for more in theaters. This does feel more like a tv show experience if you ask me, so you might want to buy it on sale too if you're unsure.
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  4. Jul 13, 2016
    4
    Asemblance is a psychological mystery thriller, and while it contains surprisingly smart points, it overall feels too underwhelming. ItAsemblance is a psychological mystery thriller, and while it contains surprisingly smart points, it overall feels too underwhelming. It contains good graphics, moments that legitimately creeped me out, and while it brings good curiosity, and as mind-bending and smart the storyline is, the overall game experience, even with the very smart puzzles, it feels very annoying. And it isn't that much of a scary game, i wouldn't call it horror, but a thriller. While it doesn't clearly contain much danger or disturbing imagery, there are moments that legitimately made me feel scared, and the voice-acting and sound effects are great. It contains a superb soundtrack, and an intresting but overall mysterious premise of our surroundings. We can barely know the universe we are in, but we know that people can have fake memories implanted into their brain, and things as such, it all feels very mysterious and intresting, but it's all usually up to interpretation. I really liked the ending, but it was rather confusing. While i enjoyed all the things about the premise, storyline, ambientation, universe, voice-acting, graphics, sound-effects, atmosphere, but there is one problem which is what overall pushes me away from this game. The puzzles. As smart as they are, they're overall annoying. They feel insanely annoying, and you'll be stuck in many parts of the game, While it forms a great mystery and suspense, once you look back, there is only one moment that truly makes you feel uncomfortable and frightened. From what i said, it seems good, right? Well, yeah. It is very good in my perspective, but what the game actually shows you overall creates a lack of emotion that you develop for the game. When you look back, it's overall truly amazing, but when you look more into it, it's not really as amazing as it seems. There isn't much that the game offers, but even as mind-bending the story is, the information you actually get in the game makes it seem underwhelming and not as good as it seems. It truly is amazing, but when you play it, it's not that amazing, but it will be once you look back into it. The biggest problem here is the lack of information, and at a first playthrough, it'll be infested with annoying, but smart puzzles, and it may seem really bad. But overall, once you look back into it, Asemblance is a mind-bending psychological mystery thriller, one that brings you not as much fear or thrill, but the eerie atmosphere and moments of the game overall make you feel uncomfortable. The storyline, is truly amazing, but in the game, it's not so amazing, as of the lack of information, but by looking back into it, it is amazing. There isn't much left for me to say, but i overall give Asemblance a 4.5/10. It's not really worth it, and it's not bad, the storyline and everything is surely mind-bending and smart, aswell as mysterious and somehow emotional and intresting, but when you actually play it, it's not really that good. What ruins it for me is the annoying puzzles, and the lack of information, causing a lack of emotion aswell. Is it good? No, not really. It has really good points, but overall it's just not worth it. Expand
  5. May 16, 2017
    3
    What IS there is only okay, there's practically nothing there, a non-game, and there's an ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM of 2 hours play time if you get allWhat IS there is only okay, there's practically nothing there, a non-game, and there's an ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM of 2 hours play time if you get all the endings, which you have to do by looking it up online, you would never ever guess white ending.-----------------------------------------------------------------

    More importantly, people compare video games to movies and other mediums, and cost ratios, and say a 2 hour game is okay for $15 or $10 or $7 dollars, because of how other mediums cost, but let me tell you, If you or I went to go see a movie, paid full price, and this game was the movie, there would be a public outcry of people wanting their money back, all review outlets would be 0/10, and people would be issuing public service announcements warning you against this scam of a movie. That is to say there is simply no content here, you have to absolutely SCRAPE the content off the floor by zooming in and reading every little memo you see laying around, and i would rate the memo reading portion of this game about 6/10 if you're someone who really enjoys reading memos in video games. *crickets*

    If I'm going to pay even a movie ticket price to clunk around in a game for merely 2 hours, that better be the most riveting, beautiful, immersive, mind-bending, paradigm shattering, butt-smacking 2 hours of my life, or at least that month, because the medium of film is inherently more entertaining than a walking simulator, as it evokes about ten million different techniques to engage the viewer, as opposed to walking around in first person view, listening to a voice over, reading memos, and occasionally having some visual distortion like a fax machine is having a stroke.

    Also, the story is not explained at all, it's ambiguous, finish your crappy story. I enjoyed one single moment of this game, and that was when you go to turn off the A.I. and it's self preservation kicks in and tries to tell you not to, and that lasted about 4 seconds.
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  6. Jan 22, 2017
    1
    Regardless of Nilo Studios' intentions of continuing Asemblance with more episodes, I have to emphasize the lack of substance. In the game,Regardless of Nilo Studios' intentions of continuing Asemblance with more episodes, I have to emphasize the lack of substance. In the game, you aren't told who you are and what you are supposed to be doing. You're someone who wakes up in some sort of memory machine. Beyond this, nothing is clear. Things happen and as a player I never felt as though I was connected to what was happening. It's simply a game playing itself, at most a walking simulator. As a demo or an idea, Asemblance shows promise, but as a fully fledged game, it falls short. Expand
  7. Aug 8, 2016
    0
    WARNING, DO NOT BUY THIS GAME!!!!!!

    This game was complete **** So much hype over nothing. I read a lot of good reviews "omg such a good
    WARNING, DO NOT BUY THIS GAME!!!!!!

    This game was complete **** So much hype over nothing. I read a lot of good reviews "omg such a good thriller/horror game" "great story" etc etc. I'm really sorry but the reality is that this is a walking simulator without any reward for playing it. In fact, the developpers think it's cool to make the actual ending IMPOSSIBLE to even achieve. I tried about 20 times. It's just impossible to get the white screen ending. It's a big **** you towards the players. It's an unrewarding **** walking simulator. At least that game "Gone Home" gave you an actual finished story. Also, that game was free, just like P.T. This game cost me about €15. It's a total rip-off.

    Don't buy this game, I really believe that all the positive reviews are made by people that either made this game, are family of the people that made this game OR people that got paid to say this game is "deep" and "cool". It's ****

    I can't tell you enough: don't buy this game. Any other activity you can think off is better than buying this game. At least shooting yourself in the nuts will provide you with some action and some laughs by the doctors at the ER. This game has NOTHING. It's ****

    Good day all. Use your money to buy a couple of ice creams. It'll even last you as long as the game. Half an hour max.

    DONT BUY THIS GAME!!!!!!!!
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See all 8 User Reviews