Detention analysis. A sigh … and you’re dead!

Written by Kamran Haider

Bloodthirsty souls in blood, a country subjected to terrible martial law, and two young people trapped in school during a typhoon. Detention extends its nightmare to Nintendo Switch and PS4 where, at last, console players can enjoy what is one of the best psychological horror adventures of recent years thanks, especially, to the powerful narrative of this video game. We tell you in the Detention analysis.

Disturbing. Tétrico and disturbed. I can not think of a better way to define Detention, an adventure of psychological terror that, along the lines of the memorable Silent Hill, manages to overcome the barriers of superficial fear to go where it hurts most, straight to your head, not so much because of its gloomy atmosphere , disturbing soundtrack or the terrible spirits that torment you from beginning to end, which of course, but rather, for the story that narrates; for that desolate trip to the underworld in which you embark. There is much more behind this video game than it appears at first glance; it is more than just a simple imitator of Konami’s classic but in 2D, what earned him just a year ago, with its release on PC, to become one of the greats of the genre. So, it’s hard not to get excited now that the game is also available on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.

The similarities with the Silent Hill saga are there, nobody hides them, but the video game of Red Candle Gamache has his own voice, he has an identity, and he knows at all times how to surprise you. I said it in its moment. Without being one of those adventures of terror that make you jump in the chair or scream like crazy, Detention has the ability to put fear in your body; get upset in such a way that, over and over again, you’ll see yourself looking backward lest someone threaten your life in real life. His terror, even though it is visceral and very graphic, affects you in another way; your soul disturbs you, it frightens you more for what it tells you than for what you see, for what you intuit more than for what you really know, and in the end, it creates such a halo of mystery around you, it is so twisted sinister in the plot , which is hard to resist; It catches you without remedy! And not without reason. This is an adventure of terror of the good ones, of those that leave an imprint, originality, even getting you questioned if what you see on the screen is real, or perhaps, a hallucination caused by the stress to which the protagonists are subjected.

Do not breathe

How misleading can sometimes be first impressions? You see it and think irretrievably in Silent Hill. “Another more imitator”, you tell yourself; “I’ve seen this already”, you keep repeating yourself again and again … until you realize that no, that this is a different game, with another style, more deliberate, more brainy; closer to a traditional graphic adventure, those of the point & click, than to a survival horror of those of a lifetime. Which does not mean that you are going to escape easily from the black grim; Death is a real threat, spirits are there, thirsty for blood, always looking for souls to reap. So you have to escape from them, by stealth, but in a very original way. You must not hide, nor run like crazy; On the contrary, his is to pretend to be a dead man; walk among them, without breathing, so they do not notice your presence. And it’s something that I love!Do not breathe

This is a somewhat different videogame [to Silent Hill], with another style, more deliberate, more brainy

I do not know why, but I have always been very affected by oriental terror; It is the one that leaves me with a terrible bad body, which when I get home, it leads me to turn on all the lights and look under the bed. I’m not exaggerating; I’m that scared. Therefore, to stand in front of a soul in pain that moans, that cries, that emits grotesque, terrible sounds of the grave, knowing that I should not move, that I have to stay still holding my breath … sometimes even it was me who did not breathe! So tense sometimes can be the action of this video game that, depending on the spirit that lurks, forces us to act in one way or another. It’s not that there is a great variety of enemies, there is not, and I certainly miss something more playable depth, more challenges that take better advantage of stealth; but it can not be denied that Detention is a most gimmicky work. With little gets put the fear in the body, and that has many merits.

Much of the blame has its gloomy atmosphere, yes, but above all, the story that counts. Starring two young students who have been trapped in a Taiwanese school in 1960 , during a furious typhoon, Detention builds an emotional, dramatic story, which is also greatly benefited by the country’s own historical context, which at that time, He lived under a terrible martial law that ended the lives of thousands of innocents. From it, the Red Candle Games team gets gold, showing with realism and cruelty how dark the human soul can be. There are surprises, tension, well-written dialogues and, best of all, puzzles that integrate phenomenally well in the story itself.

You will move from one place to another in search of clues, triggering mechanisms, repairing objects or using keys … but you will feel that everything has a logic, even if your mission is to find some incense sticks to pay tribute to a god. Detention intertwines reality with mysticism and religion brilliantly, and that is evident in their puzzles. There are also incredibly original, surreal, but always with a logic that will take you to find the answers intuitively. I also appreciate how well the exploration of the scenarios is managed. Sometimes you may not know very well what to do, where to go, but in a matter of seconds, as soon as you come up with a voilà clue, the ideas will flow naturally and you will immediately get going.

I was also very impressed with the soundtrack of Detention and, above all, its sound effects. It has a brutal force; there have been moments that when listening to a moan, that strange guttural lament so typical of the Asian terror, I have stopped in my tracks, I have been paralyzed, doubting whether or not to continue forward. And music, although it is not very varied, gets something similar; in some way, it takes you to walk in constant tension. Logical on the other hand. Just take a look at the images that accompany this analysis to see how gloomy and depressing some of the scenarios we will advance can be. They are also designed with an exquisite taste, with great attention to detail.

Their scenarios are gloomy and depressing, with designs that are attentive to detail.

All are details. Small references, special moments, situations of maximum tension … but it is all these details that make Detention such a remarkable video game. The pity is that the final stretch of the adventure, which we can complete around five hours, is completely in the narrative, is more linear, and the story incomprehensibly loses some strength. Also, although the story is easy to follow, the translation to Spanish is missing.

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Inspired by Silent Hill among other classics of psychological terror but Detention is much more than a simple imitator. He has an identity, he speaks to you with his own voice, and what counts is a scary, sinister story, which in many ways puts fear in your body. Their puzzles are ingenious, some even original; stealth is also well resolved, escaping death facing you face to face is great, but the best is the story, its grim setting and the particular drama that confronts you. If you like oriental terror do not think about it anymore, this is your video game.

  • A story with strength, well written, that catches and generates fear
  • Great atmosphere In the artistic, and sound level, it’s a fantastic game
  • Good puzzle design; stealth and the spirits
  • The final stretch of the adventure loses strength
  • It is missing something more complex in certain challenges

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Kamran Haider

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