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.
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.
Excerpt: There is something about a gaming experience where you are sitting around in a dark room wondering if the sounds you hear whispering into your headphones are real or just another sign that your character is going crazy, as both answers turn out to be true at different points. Never overdone, Penumbra: Black Plague uses audio and visual hints, sort of like a gentle scratching at the back of your brain, to tap into the psychological side of horror like no other title...
Excerpt: Penumbra: Overture, the dark psychological horror has had a big episodic baby, and it’s looking up at you dripping in fresh birth juice, telling you its name is Penumbra: Black Plague. Penumbra: Black Plague slips you into the eyes and disembodied hand of a fellow named Philip, no last name here, there’s no time for a last name where he’s going.