Phasmophobia is an indie co-op horror game, where you try to find out which type of ghost is haunting. When the mission starts, you arrive at a haunted location in a van. You have multiple different types of equipment to locate and examine which kind of ghost it is. The missions don’t have a time limit, but after some time the ghost will get angry and tries to kill players. When you have gathered enough information, you can guess which type of ghost it is. If you guess the type right and complete enough side missions, like taking photos of the ghost, there’s a reward at the end of the mission. With a reward, it’s possible to purchase better ghost hunting gear for the next mission.
What makes this game unique from other horror games, besides having some puzzle elements and being a co-op game of max. 4 players, the game has well-made in-game voice chat. If you want to speak to your fellow players, you have to be close to them or speak by using radios. You can always hear others when you’re close to them, but if you are separated and the ghost is mad at you, the radios won’t work and it gives an uncertain feeling of what is happening when you can’t hear your friends which makes the ghosts horrifying. Another strength of the in-game audio is that it uses voice recognition if it’s downloaded. Ghosts always have a name and if you say their name, it may appear, do something nearby or it may start chasing you. You can say their name multiple times but then it gets mad and probably kills you. Whit one equipment you can speak to the ghost and ask some questions like “how old are you”, “can we help” and “should we leave”.
The game is still in early access and it shows. The textures and movement look rough. The player’s characters feel janky, the movement looks unnatural and the overall look of the characters looks cheaply made. When a player picks up an item, it doesn’t look to fit their hand naturally. This is an indie game, but I believe that it will look at least a little bit better after it is not in early access.
Even though the game doesn’t look visually good, it succeeds in horror and puzzle elements so well that graphics don’t even matter. The in-game audio, dark surroundings, and interesting tasks make this a great horror experience and it doesn’t rely on cheap jump scare tricks that many horror games use these days. The mystery of finding a ghost, gathering information, and sharing spooky moments with friends is fun. The game idea is unique and I highly recommend trying it with a group who is brave enough to try. The game has VR support to make the experience more horrifying to those with a VR headset.
Publisher: Kinetic Games
Developer: Kinetic Games
Platforms: Microsoft Windows
Release Date: 18.9.2020
The game doesn’t have an ESRB rating, but in my opinion, it’s 16+ or 18+
The pictures are taken by the author.