Past Cure Review

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Does anyone remember the days of yore, a point in time in which games released physically on consoles did so after rigorous QA testing and an official seal of quality? I vaguely do, and the fact that Past Cure exists drives those images further from my mind. The fact that you can walk into a game store and pay actual real world currency for a physical disc of this game truly astounds me, as it seems to be the Ride to Hell: Retribution of the Xbox One.

The first problem is the one you notice the second you boot up the game and witness protagonist Ian swaying back and forth, untextured face and janky movement making him look like a department store mannequin with strings attached to each limb. The next major issue becomes apparent the second you start the game proper, with the framerate chugging along so painfully you can hear the grinding gears of the crank turning it along. The shooting and movement feel very awkward as well, with movement being sluggish while the auto-aim drags your crosshair away from your targets head, forcing you to constantly miss headshots you should be making. The melee combat is a special beast entirely, Punches push your enemy away as you're hitting them, meaning they are out of range of your combo before you can finish performing it. I say "combo" as if there's any nuance or skill to it, every combo is BBB X and that's all you ever get. You can also counter with Y, but even if you mash the button for the split second it appears on screen it will only respond about half the time. There are a few guns you can use in combat, all generic and token third person shooter weapons that you've seen time and again before like pistols, shotguns, and SMG's with nothing else thrown in to the mix.

Another aspect of the game lumped in because it just had to be there is the "stealth" system which does not work in the slightest. There have been multiple occasions where I was "spotted" during cutscenes and began a section when the enemies already alerted to me before I could even move. Even when actually given the opportunity to be stealthy it only consists of sneaking behind an enemy and pressing X, you don't even have silenced weapons or a cover system to make the most of it, just slowly crawling up to enemies and hoping you don't get spotted by the other people on patrol in the area. There are also missions where you automatically fail if you get spotted and are given no additional items or abilities to aid with stealth, making these sections about as fun as an icepick lobotomy.

The only "unique" aspect of the game is the sanity meter. In order to use your bullet time and telekinesis powers your sanity meter needs to be at a reasonable level. If it depletes too much through the use of your abilities you will summon a group of red mannequins that kill you instantly if they come within your hit box. The mannequins somehow tie into the absolute mess of a plot that combines Get Even, SOMA, and any other game that refers to itself as "psychological horror" and is certainly not interesting or well written enough to follow. The cutscenes are very poorly acted and voiced, with enough jitter and frame drops to disengage even the most dedicated player.

The last part of this write up will be dedicated to the bugs and glitches I encountered in the very short time I spent playing the game. The 4th level is the worst offender, with about 3 separate falls through the map on top of the usual clipping issues. A document necessary to progress didn't spawn, forcing a mission restart. I got stuck in a few walls, forcing checkpoint restarts on more than one frustrating occasion. The game is absolutely jam packed with game breaking bugs and graphical issues, making the experience all the more unpleasant. I have no reason to recommend this, even if it can be completed in a day. $30 for such a broken product is absolutely inexcusable.