Friday, May 17, 2013

Game Review: Ghost of Thornton Hall #28

Ghost of Thornton Hall ~ Game #28
Some Families Keep Deadly Secrets!Jessalyn Thornton's fateful sleepover at the abandoned Thornton estate was supposed to be a pre-wedding celebration, but the fun ended when she disappeared. While her family searches for clues, others refuse to speak about the estate's dark past. Did something supernatural happen to Jessalyn, or is someone in Thornton Hall holding something besides family secrets? 
First play through: May 8-10, 2013
Format: PC DVD-ROM
Bonus Edition
Game Rating: E--mild violence


First Impressions
I was so excited for this game, but a bit weary since I have been a bit disappointed with some of the newer "scary" games. Really, nothing could be scarier than CUR, right? ...I may stand corrected. I don't think I've been as jumpy while playing a game in a long while.

Plot and Setting
The main plot is a bit of a re-hash of what we got in HAU: An impending marriage and one half of the party goes missing. But, there is also the second story line involving Charlotte and her ghost. Thornton Hall itself is a whole other story onto itself and I thought the three were interwoven very nicely. That being said, without the ambiance we are given with the overgrown trees, fog, dilapidated buildings, and creepy tombstones, the stories would be lost completely. I really loved the old, southern feel the property exuded. It really made me feel that there were more people hanging around, who were not necessarily alive.

Characters

Clara Thornton: Not my favorite of the bunch. She stays locked up in the house, and all she does is tell Nancy that the house used to look nice, freaks out over Charlotte, and keeps secrets. Lots of them. She doesn't give you much to go on, which is probably why she's not high on my list of favorites.


Wade Thornton: Probably my favorite character of the game, because he is so straight forward, unlike Clara. He tells you what you need to know and nothing more, and is just entertaining to talk to. Plus he hangs out in the cemetery which is my favorite place in the game, and in real life. I know, I'm creepy.


Harper Thornton: A surprising favorite of mine. There is something very Helena Bonham Carter about her that I just love. The way she talks to Nancy and not quite answers all her questions makes you wonder whether she is crazy like everyone says, or if she's the sanest person at Thornton Hall.


Colton Birchfield: He's a tool and I don't like him. Plain and simple. I didn't talk to him much in the game just because he seemed shady and distant. Also, I don't like his hair.




Charlotte Thornton: I was amazed, and frightened, every time Charlotte showed up. The artwork that went into her appearances is just incredible. I had to play part of the game with headphones on because my speakers decided that they did not want to work, and it made her so much more creepy. There were several times when I almost jumped right out of my chair.

Other characters and phone friends: Jessalyn Thornton, Addison Hammond, Savannah Woodham, Bess and Ned

Game Play
GTH uses the newest interface (4th) which is not my favorite of the four, but it give easier access to the journal and task list, not to mention hints. I love the hints on the new interface since it gives people like me the answers after a while and I don't have to run around in circles. I had a bit of trouble with lag, especially in the cemetery. The fog made everything freeze for a second every time I tried to back away from the tombstones, but it was a minor detail I could look past.

Game grade: A-
I was really surprised at the level of scares in GTH. After SAW, I thought that HeR was starting to turn down the scares, but they proved me wrong. This game is definitely the scariest to date, not to mention an obvious effort the artists put into Charlotte. GTH will without a doubt be going up on my list of favorites.

Hints and Tips
As always, take notes! There were so many puzzles in this game that one really has to write information down for later. Also, for optimum creepiness, I suggest you turn off the lights and plug in the headphones for the full effect. Happy gaming!