At a glance...

Previewer Platform Publisher Developer Players Release Date Screenshots
Unknown PlayStation 2 Wanadoo Tecmo 1 Sept 2002 Here

Project Zero preview

As titles like Resident Evil: CVX and Silent Hill 2 demonstrate, gamers just can't get enough frights. It's a trend that Japanese developer Tecmo has noted and taken very much to heart.

Now, psychological terror has a new name, and a matching mini skirt, courtesy of newly revealed action/adventure game Project Zero, or Fatal Frame as its known in the US and Japan.

You have to love the Japanese for their insistance in having a cute and adorable female lead character in, let's take a wild guess, 90% of their games. Not that I'm complaining mind you! So, sticking to this particular tradition, enter Miku, a strapping young lass in a Japanese schoolgirl outfit, looking to find her missing brother.

The story goes that he's disappeared inside the haunted Himuro Mansion, so that's where she's heading. But the little lady isn't alone... far from it. Ghostly apparitions crowd the mansion's halls, waiting for a chance to caress her warm, tender flesh with their icy cold fingers.

Viewed from a 3rd person perspective, over 30 rooms await exploration and many of them contain puzzles uncovered via your torch beam. Both wits and reflexes play a role here; when not working out mind-bending puzzles, you'll find yourself fending off attacking spirits from a 1st person camera view. Who would have thought that cameras could be used as effective weapons? Well in this game, that's exactly what they're used for.

The game uses some rather unique effects in order to create some frighteningly realistic ghosts, so much so that the hairs on the back of your neck will crawl, and they (the ghosts, not the hairs!) can attack from all angles. But fear not, when danger threatens, simply pop into camera mode and snap away.

Photos capture souls, and when spirits attack, you must wait for a targeting reticule to appear, then snap their mugshot sending the poltergeists into oblivion. Pictures are then saved to an album of 40 pictures for later viewing.

This seems to be a highly atmospheric and intriguing game with creepy filtering and audio effects to give it "punch". Just try staying cool whilst footsteps echo down dark corridors and images flit at the corners of your vision. Sound freaky? Well, let's just say that it wouldn't be a bad idea to keep an extra pack of Pampers with you!

This is really a unique game concept, the likes of which hasn't been seen on any Playstation system. Try out the demo in the latest copy of Official Playstation Magazine 2 (August Issue-Demo Disc 23).

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