Shame Legacy is a strange horror title that focuses on slow gameplay and stealth elements. Furthermore, the well-trodden mechanics will leave horror and adventure fans wanting much more. However, the interesting, albeit familiar plot and eerie atmosphere mitigate the occasionally cumbersome action.
Developed by Fairyship Games and Revenant Games and published by Destructive Creations, this is a horror adventure title. What’s more, there is a lack of combat and the action relies heavily on stealth mechanics. As such, this is much slower than its peers. Yet, this isn’t too much of a problem if you enjoy an uncomfortable and creepy atmosphere.
Shame Legacy is far too familiar.
Cultists in a damned village aren’t a new idea. As such, you may sigh when you experience the opening cinematic. Alongside this, the surreal plot often leaves you guessing as you get snippets of information with minimal guidance to connect the dots. However, this minimalist style and lack of hand-holding juxtaposes an almost linear and straightforward approach. Subsequently, this adds to the confusion and leaves you scratching your head just a bit more.
You play the part of a father that has lost his family. You awake confused and dazed in a dank and grim village. Although you are confused, you are aware that you are in trouble. The villagers appear possessed and they are vying for your blood. Additionally, a fiery apparition is chasing you as your family’s past appears to have caught up with you.
Hide, sneak, and complete every puzzle.
Shame Legacy has a healthy dose of cliched jump scares to enjoy. Alongside this, there are some wonderful stealth moments as you sneak your way past every zombified villager. However, the AI was remarkably poor and though this aspect of the game was great, there was minimal difficulty, as they barely reacted to your presence. Luckily, though, the developers mixed things up with traps and audio clues. Consequently, if you move too quickly or you step on a trap, the zombies are alerted, and the shit hits the fan.
If you are chased, you must run for your life! Boxes, cupboards, and other darkened locations serve as a temporary respite from these insatiable beasts. However, if you are caught, you may defend yourself by completing a simple but annoying QTE. By lining up a cursor and tapping some buttons like a crazy thing, you will push the villager away. Yet, if you fail, they’ll grab your staff and bludgeon you to death. As such, it’s best to be successful in every QTE, or death is all but assured.
Alongside these elements, you’ll be tasked with completing some rudimentary puzzles. No matter your skill level, you will not struggle with this aspect of the game. As such, Shame Legacy will frustrate some gamers, as there is little to no challenge when it comes to completing each puzzle.
Chased by a fiery beast.
The zombified villagers were horrific, but the fiery beast was a tad worse. This hellish creature appears at the most inopportune moments. When it does, you are required to sprint, crawl, climb, and navigate tight spaces. If you can keep ahead of this mysterious monster, you’ll get one step closer to finding out what has happened whilst escaping the demented villagers.
Shame Legacy is wonderfully atmospheric.
The core concept wasn’t as great as I hoped. Yet, its presentation is fantastic. Accordingly, Shame Legacy is wonderfully atmospheric and undeniably scary. When the stealth mechanics work, there is a sense of anticipation and plenty of unknown elements to deal with. On top of this, the oppressive world and tight spaces make it a grim game to explore. This is then matched by the gruesome zombies and the smooth animation.
The audio complements the plot and the visuals perfectly. With a sombre and sorrowful soundtrack and unbearably loud sound effects, it is uncomfortable to listen to. What’s more, I liked how the volume of your actions altered depending on your stance. This core gameplay mechanic was brilliantly executed and worked well with the theme.
The QTEs were painful to complete.
Getting to grips with the controls was simple. Thanks to the opening tutorial, you’ll understand what you need to do in no time. However, the “combat” QTEs were painful to tackle. Unfortunately, it was tough to line up the cursors, and this led to frustration. Had the developers incorporated a more straightforward idea, then this element would have been vastly improved.
Shame Legacy lasts for around 3 to 4 hours. Accordingly, there isn’t much replay value or longevity. This was a disappointment as the stage design and excellent atmosphere deserve to be shown off for longer. Once you tackle every moment, there is sadly no reason to return. As such, though the action was slow, and you will be left wanting.
Shame Legacy should have been much better.
The potential is plain to see. However, the developers stuck to a rigid approach, and this impacted their creative licence. Though the story is as old as the hills, I liked the stealth mechanics and the wonderful stage design. Moreover, the creepy atmosphere was impressive, and the audio was uncomfortably oppressive. Yet, it isn’t long enough, the controls aren’t great, and it lacked originality. Despite these issues, I think this should be picked up when it is on sale. Accordingly, I recommend that you buy it here! Can you discover the truth and escape your fate? Stay out of sight, solve the puzzles, and evade the fiery beast.