Review â The Park

The Park

We sit down and review The Park. This is another narrative driven experience with basis in Funcom's other great IPs. Here's our review of The Park

While The Park released last October on the PC it has finally made the jump over the PS4 and Xbox One to make sure everyone could have the narrative experience that they put together. An experience that looks to stem off from some of the amazing darkness that Funcom has already placed in The Secret World. Now that it has hopped over to consoles we had a chance to give The Park a fun play through and see just how intense this horror experience is. Here is our review of the game.

Story

Step into the shoes of Lorraine; a single mother who has lost her son Callum at their favorite amusement park. The park being Atlantic Island Park and it just happened to be closing at the exact same time. Doing what a mother should do she rushes back in and quickly finds out that The Park holds a lot more than just fun. Are the horrors real or all just based on Lorraine's own guilt and mental status? Time to find out…

Hated

One thing that was transparent from the start of The Park was the fact that the whole experience was on the short side. In fact it was only stated to be about two to three hours long by Funcom way back when it was all first announced. Given the lower price of the game it also shows. Sadly though it is so short it felt like there was a lot of aspects and side story that was left on the cutting room floor that could have been touched upon. In fact my personal play through didn't even last more than an hour and a half and I was trying to experience everything the game had to offer. About the same as your average film but given the interactivity involved, it really boiled down to a 45 minute experience.

The time above of course could have been expended out as I said, and most likely would have, if I was able to actually read the extra story tidbits scattered around the game's world. All of the written text that I am assuming expanded on The Park's story and side stories was so small and obscured that I had to get up and place my face inches from my screen to actually read. Using text documents to hand out more detail in the world is a viable option in experiences like this but players actually need to be able to read these things. I think I missed out on so much due to this and it could have played out better by just adding in a voice over or extra scenes.

Lastly here, The Park was slated as a horror style experience. There were some great visuals and events that definitely fell into that pile but one thing that was missing was the dread and fear the world and story was supposed to instill. Not once did I feel anything in terms of real terror or anxiety as Lorraine always felt safe. The danger or fear of when your character could die was never present and everything boiled down to a very predictable haunted house walk-through and not something nightmares are made of. Again so much potential but since I felt the character couldn't die I just felt like I was along for the ride and had nothing to invest or lose.

The Park — The Grisly True Story Behind

Loved

While The Park's story was short, spread out into unreadable text, and lacking in the horror it did have a really interesting over all story mixed in. All of the psychological aspects of the story and what Lorraine went through during it all was a great experience. I don't want to spoil that side of things at all as it is one of the best selling points of The Park but watching the experience and feelings of a mother going through everything Lorraine has/had leads to a great story. That is totally what kept me coming back for more and also led to my hate of the shortness.

Quite a few of the experiences that occur during the story of The Park are rather mundane but as I mentioned there are some great ones that have been crafted. In fact the events that tied directly into Lorraine's personal story were crafted so perfectly that the narrative that went along with it was almost needed. You could feel more in those experiences and actions than any words ever could say. I won't spoil those either but even though you are along for the ride the look into her soul and the way the world is comes across so well and I only wish The Park was filled with many, many more of them.

Overview

If you are looking for a horror game or experience that will keep you up at night then you may want to pass on The Park. The horror isn't as prevalent as the trailers showed us and the few good instances are so short that they are forgettable. If you want to see a short story that delves into some interesting psychological concepts while feeling safe in the game's world then The Park is worth the low price for you. It will make you ask for more but I think the only way to truly get that is give in and pick up The Secret World to see how it all progresses from there.

I give The Park 13 bumper cars on the bumper car scale.

The Park — Launch Trailer

The Park was developed and published by Funcom for the PS4 and Xbox One on May 3rd, 2016. A PS4 copy of the game was provided by the publisher for reviewing purposes.