Excerpt: Episodic development provides developers with an excellent opportunity to receive feedback from players, allowing them to improve their games in further installments. Sadly, some developers either fail to take advantage of such opportunities or surrender if the first episode is a financial or critical flub.
Conclusion: So it's all about the puzzles then, and the obvious point of reference here would be Half Life II, which many players still consider to be the undisputed king of physics-puzzling FPS action. Indeed in many ways still is. Whilst the integration of the physics system within the environment in Penumbra is certainly more deeply-ingrained, the puzzles themselves never quite reach the same level of ingenuity as the classic Valve title.
Excerpt: Monday, 10 November 2008 19:31 steve3582 System Requirements Windows 2000/XP/Vista 32bit 256MB 1.0GHz CPU 1.1GB HDD space GeForce 3, ATI 8500 or better GPU ESRB Rating: Teen 16+ Penumbra Black Plague is the sequel to the very popular Penumbra Overture. If you’re a person who likes to be scared, confused, and has a good mind for solving puzzles and challenges, then the Penumbra games are for you.
Excerpt: Graphics & Sound: The adventure game is an interesting genre that, for the most part, has seen its heyday and now finds its innermost workings and defining features more prevalent in other genres. I am a fan of the overall theme of adventure gaming, when done well. Penumbra: Black Plague is the second and final game in a series of FPS based adventure puzzle games.
Excerpt: Diary of a Horror Game Novice Day One: “To think that such a small event can change your life in such a violent way.” Philip It’s dark. The house is quiet. I’m all alone. I’ve heard that is the perfect time. I turn out the lights and slip the disk for the new horror adventure game, Penumbra: Black Plague in the drive. I have studied the manual and now I’m ready to experience the terror—at least, I hope I am.
Excerpt: Penumbra: Black Plague is an innovative and much improved sequel to Penumbra: Overture from Frictional Games. Originally planned as part of an episodic trilogy, Penumbra: Black Plague is a rework of the aborted second and third episodes of the Penumbra series into a single game. The original Penumbra: Overture has been praised by critics for being a forerunner in successfully integrating a fully interactive 3D physics engine into an adventure game.
Conclusion: The story, as I have mentioned, sometimes falls short of its initial promise, and in a series originally planned as a trilogy, one wonders if a little too much wasn't lost in condensing it to two parts. It is unlikely that the developers will ever revisit the world of Penumbra, having concluded the current storyline here, but whatever Frictional Games make next, consider this reviewer first in line.
Summary: When last we left Philip, the protagonist of last year's first-person horror adventure Penumbra: Overture, he had just been knocked out cold in a dank underground lair. This sudden cliffhanger was just about the only truly annoying moment in Frictional Games' freshman effort, though, because the Swedish developer did yeoman work setting up both a macabre mood and puzzles rooted in the real world.
Pros: Natural puzzles solved by manipulating your environment, Tense and creepy atmosphere, Great music and sound effects