As Halloween is fast approaching, horror games have taken the front seat of steam sales and Phasmophobia is no exception. Since its release on Steam in mid-September, the game has garnered over 11,000 overwhelmingly positive reviews – and after playing it myself, it’s no wonder as to why.
Phasmophobia is a 4-player online psychological horror and is the first game to be developed and published by Kinetic Games – a team consisting of only one person. Whilst the game is still in early access, there is still plenty to sink your teeth into.
Phasmophobia has you become a ghost hunter, sending you to several haunted locations such as spooky farmhouses and abandoned schools along with the tools you need in order to locate and figure out what kind of ghost you’re dealing with. Whilst this may seem straight forward enough – there was not a moment I spent in that game where I was not completely on edge.
As the game unfolds the aim is that you gather enough evidence to figure out which type of ghost is haunting the location. This is figured out through the use of cameras, spirit books, UV lighting and more tools that you can access along the way. By collecting this evidence in your journal, you can narrow down and hopefully successfully identify the ghost you’re dealing with to complete the mission and earn yourself a bit of cash, however simply identifying the ghost is merely the tip of the ectoplasm-covered iceberg.
The sudden intense atmosphere change when stepping into a haunted location as well as being plunged into complete darkness really sets you up to expect some good scares, and boy does Phasmophobia deliver on the scares.
After five minutes of playtime, your sanity begins to drop, and whatever ghost you are hunting starts to get really angry with your presence. This increases the number of “ghost events”, which range from plates being thrown at you all the way to being grabbed by the ghost. These events are often a goal the game wants you to witness, earning you more money. However more often than not I find myself running back to the safety of the van before I witness the ghost too many times.
I am a huge wuss when it comes to horror games, but I’m having so much fun playing Phasmophobia. There’s something so unique about wandering around a terrifying house calling a ghost “stinky” so that you might get a picture of it, only to panic when it appears and take a picture of your equally frightened hunting partner.
One thing I’ve learned as I’ve played through the game is that I am strangely good at figuring out which ghost is currently raising my blood pressure, despite hanging out in the utility van whilst I send everyone else to do the scary, life-threatening parts. Is the room kind of cold? Is a ghost threatening you over the ghost box? It’s probably a demon… I’d suggest you get out of there sooner rather than later.
As with most multiplayer games, I would say that Phasmophobia is best enjoyed in the company of friends if only to make them go first and laugh at them as they get locked in various rooms; but that is not to say that the single-player experience is lacking in any way.
Phasmophobia is also compatible with virtual reality and whilst I personally cannot say anything about the VR experience itself, the game certainly seems as though it would lend itself well to the growing library of horror VR games.
Phasmophobia is certainly one to keep an eye on, and with the promise of continuous updates, I for one am looking forward to seeing the game grow and develop into a fantastic addition to anyone’s game library. Phasmophobia is available to purchase on Steam for £10.99.