Silent Hill has inspired plenty of horror games over the years, and now you can add Mirror Forge to the list. It’s not a bad thing at all, especially since the game just so happens to offer a genuinely enjoyable horror experience, but it’s not exactly brimming with originality throughout its eerie escapade. It does plenty right to ensure horror fans will enjoy it though, but does come with the caveat of some technical flaws that will cause frustrations during your playthrough.
Check out some screenshots down below:
Mirror Forge puts players in the role of Thomas Jackson, a man who has his fair share of health and mental issues that have seen him rely heavily on medication to get through his day. Things take an even worse turn when he learns that his ex-wife has gone missing, which sends him on a perilous journey through a dark and twisted reality that echoes the haunting thoughts in his mind. There’s no telling what’s real and what’s fake, but with both his and his ex-wife’s life at risk, he has to trudge through the horrors in front of him.
It’s a creepy tale that has some interesting ideas, but it’s easy to see the Silent Hill inspiration almost immediately. Haunting alternate realities? Check. Creepy town to explore? Check. Nasty creatures out to get you? Double-check. It’s not the most original premise in the world and some typical horror cliches do rear their head, but it still did enough to keep me invested until the end credits. It took some turns that I didn’t expect when playing at first too, and whilst it does lean heavily into psychological horror, the inter-dimensional elements made it that bit more intriguing.
“The environments are well designed, oozing with a creepy atmosphere, and bring with them plenty of little scares that kept me on my toes, whilst the puzzles are fun to complete and challenge the player to think outside of the box.”
The core gameplay experience will feel familiar to those who’ve played survival horror games before, with players exploring an array of sinister locales, gathering the items required to progress, solving some puzzles, and making sure they stay out of the way of the creatures out to get them. It is worth noting that there’s no combat in the game though, so you won’t have to preserve ammo a la Resident Evil; instead, you use an artifact known as the Seal of Anu to stop enemies in their track and keep them off your back. It can also be used to interact with different objects across the world to solve puzzles and even reveals story details, so it plays a big role in your progression through the game.
I’d be lying if I said Mirror Forge offered anything I hadn’t seen before with its gameplay, but the familiarity wasn’t a bad thing – especially since it does things so competently. The environments are well designed, oozing with a creepy atmosphere, and bring with them plenty of little scares that kept me on my toes, whilst the puzzles are fun to complete and challenge the player to think outside of the box. There’s some cool variety offered with the creatures that hunt you too, with the game having a more action-orientated approach in some sections by having them simply chase you down, whilst in other moments having the player tread carefully whilst listening out for an invisible foe. Again, it’s nothing particularly original, but the variety offered ensured that the game doesn’t run out of steam during its roughly five-hour runtime.
Check out some screenshots down below:
Whilst it does plenty of things right throughout its horror adventure, Mirror Forge does have some issues too. I encountered a few technical issues for example, with the game sometimes dropping frames for no real reason (I was playing on a decent gaming rig), item physics going out of control and not acting naturally, the in-game menu not closing after accessing my inventory (this required a re-load to fix), and even a couple of crashes sending me back to my desktop. Whilst there was nothing that occurred that stopped me from completing the game, there were plenty of frustrations felt during my playthrough. Some aspects of gameplay could feel a little dull too, with the stealth sections particularly standing out as a low point of the experience.
It’s clear that Mirror Forge could have done with a little bit more work before release then, but these flaws didn’t stop me from enjoying my time with the game. There are plenty of other aspects of it that I really liked too, such as the environmental design which brought an abundance of detail to the dark and disturbing world. Some of Mirror Forge’s locales can be genuinely harrowing to explore, with the grim and distorted take on seemingly ordinary areas enough to keep me feeling tense and uneasy when playing (which is EXACTLY how I like to feel when playing horror games). Again, it reminded me a lot of Silent Hill, with it clear that the game is consistently wearing its inspirations like a big badge of honour throughout its entire runtime.
Mirror Forge Review
Mirror Forge isn’t a particularly original horror experience, but it’s still an enjoyable one that’ll constantly creep players out. It’s just a shame that it has some issues right now, with the technical hiccups and occasional crash certainly deterring from my overall experience. They didn’t stop me from enjoying the game, but man, it would have been nice not to have to worry about them all the time.
Still, if you’re willing to deal with the occasional frustration (or instead wait for a patch), fans of the horror genre will certainly enjoy their time with Mirror Forge. It won’t do anything you haven’t seen before, but its fascinatingly grotesque world and enjoyable gameplay make it worth your attention.
Platform(s): PC (Reviewed)