It’s been a long week, so what better way to wind-down than head off to a second-home to spend the weekend.
It’s been a while due to some construction work being done but playing as Ben, you accompany your chronically ill sister Irene, in the car with your parents as you finally arrive with a short conversation explaining about the Pani…. PIPES! being fitted.
There’s a tutorial in place which introduces you to the games straightforward first-person mechanics, after picking up a few items to help lay the table ready for dinner, you then join Irene in a game of hide & seek, where you have to find the key, sneak back past her and unlock the door to escape the library.
While it’s a long tutorial in the grand scheme of things, it does a good job of showcasing everything you’ll encounter, including a “panic” mini-game where you hit LT in time with the peak of your heartrate to calm down, something that I never encountered again throughout my entire playthrough.
After dinner and half-hour to play, it’s off to bed, but you’re soon interrupted by your sister on her Walkie-talkie who can’t sleep and want’s some company. You head around the terrace into her bedroom to find her peering through the door listening to your parents talking, with your dad heading off to “check out the new installation”.
Curious to what it is, you follow and after sneaking past your father, find a Panic-Room downstairs in the garage.
While inside, you and your sister look through the camera feeds surrounding the house, to find your Mum and Dad being taken hostage by three ominous characters, a guy in a deer mask, a hulk-like brute and a female hacker.
It’s time to play hide & seek as a matter of life and death, not just for yourself but your family too, and while your sister’s declining health keeps her in the panic room, it’s up to you to save the day.
The remainder of the game tasks you with travelling from point to point in the house to collect an item or perform a task, each “chapter” you’ll find the three antagonists wandering around certain areas of the house and you’ll need to sneak past them to reach the desired location.
It’s often a case of using your head and watching their paths, but with an upstairs landing and downstairs basement, it’s usually fairly simple to work a route around the bad guys.
Somewhere around the 90-minute mark, I found myself truly engrossed in both the gameplay and the overall storyline as some dark secrets were revealed and the reason for the home invasion became apparent.
Sadly, it was short-lived… Less than 30 minutes later, it was all over…
Story complete, game finished, the characters who were starting to flesh-out into interesting parts of the story, the gameplay which was far from tiresome, and the intrigue that was all building nicely, was done and dusted.
In total, it took me just under two hours to complete the game, and while I didn’t collect every collectable jigsaw piece and document, doing so wouldn’t have taken much more than 3 hours for 100% completion, which for £17.99 / $19.99 is a poor return for your pennies.
Another area we need to cover is the overall presentation…
While graphically I was impressed, there’s decent lighting and the large house makes for an eerie setting which adds to the overall atmosphere.
Things could be better, animations aren’t the best and characters don’t really look grounded to the floor, but it’s certainly not a bad graphically presentation.
The general sound effects are perfectly fine, with some mood-setting ambience and plenty of chatter from the intruders and Irene who keeps you updated with what you’re supposed to be doing, however the otherwise great sound is completely ruined by some of the worse voice acting I’ve heard in a long time.
The father (who does far too much talking anyway) is particularly poor, with a flat, lifeless performance with zero passion and with another large percentage of the game filled with Irene’s fake cough, it really does break the immersion of an otherwise quality game.
Sneaking around the house, listening to the background of the intruders (who mostly all have slightly better voice acting) and reading documents as you piece together the shady goings on inside your own family eventually gives immersion and quality stealth gameplay.
But after that long introduction and tutorial, £18 is a lot to ask for what amounts to an hour of the quality.
Overall while the poor voice-acting is countered by a great story and an immersive gameplay loop, it’s a little too easy and far too short.
I’d definitely recommend taking your time to search for every document and the often tough to find puzzle pieces, not for the last few related achievements, but to try and make sure the game lasts as long as possible.
While the ending is sufficient and draws a great conclusion to the ever-evolving storyline, there’s a single choice to make at the end
Intruders: Hide & Seek – Review
while the poor voice-acting is countered by a great story and an immersive gameplay loop, it’s a little too easy and far too short
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