I was craving a good horror game, and I was pleasantly surprised when S.O.N. was announced. It looked the kind of experience I needed, and was lucky enough to be able to play it. The story is based around a father searching for his son, Jay, who has gone missing. As you play, you traverse forests, tunnels, and homes to find him. It’s not an easy journey, though. You’re constantly on edge about what could jump out at you…
This game has a palpable, uneasy aesthetic, with environments that chill you to the bone and sound effects that add to the anxious atmosphere. Played in the first-person perspective, each jump scare effectively unnerves and the world successfully sucks in the victim… I mean, player. The gameplay is simple: find keys to unlock barred-off areas while avoiding the creatures who desperately want to stop your search. Only two buttons are utilized: the left thumbstick and L2 to interact with objects. This helps immensely and doesn’t detract from the experience.
There are a couple of issues, though. Trying to interact with objects can be tedious. You can’t just grab a key or a plush rabbit (which saves your game). You have to perfectly line yourself up so the object has a red outline before your interaction will be recognized by the game. This proved frustrating, especially during one sequence where you could perish. This is also an extremely short game, clocking in at under ninety minutes with very little replay value. The other niggle was the lack of story. The backstory isn’t explained in the game, and even though there are clues sprinkled throughout the environment, you don’t really get enough info to understand why you’re doing what you’re doing unless you look up the story online.
S.O.N. is a fun, effective, yet short, experience that will satiate any horror fan’s cravings for jump scares and an immersive experience. There are a few hiccups, but the devs should be applauded for how well they imbued this game with tension and anxiety.
– Incredible atmosphere and audio
– Effective scares
-Extremely short with little replayability
-Finicky controls when interacting with objects
S.O.N. is available exclusively on PS4 for $19.99.
*Thank you RedG Studios for providing a review code!
**All images and videos courtesy of RedG Studios and RedG Entertainment