Dementium II HD – PC
Developer: Memetic Games
Publisher: Digital Tribe Games
Release Date (NA): December 17, 2013
Genre: Survival Horror
Nerd Rating: 7.5 out of 10
ESRB Rating: It’s got to be M, Right?
Reviewed by Malefico
This game is twisted and evil… good times.
Dementium II HD is Renegade Kids’ follow-up to Dementium: The Ward. Ported to PC by Memetic Games and published by Digital Tribe, Dementium II was originally released for Nintendo DS in 2010 and now this creepy survival-horror title has finally made its way to PC. It was worth the wait.
In Dementium II you play as William Redmoor, a man convicted of murdering his wife and sent to the Bright Dawn Treatment Center, where he is subjected to brain surgery. As it turns out, though, the surgery is unsuccessful. Bill still has some issues to work through, and now his nightmarish inner world has been unleashed on the real world around him. The doctor is in.
The system defaulted to 1280 X 720 and “Beautiful” quality on the POS. Considering it didn’t even meet the minimum video card requirements, I thought it did pretty well. FPS ranged from high 30’s to low 40’s and I could have easily bumped them up by dropping resolution a bit. As such, Dementium II is well-suited for low-end systems and would work well even without a discrete GPU provided you have an APU-based system, preferably A-6 or better. I don’t think you would get good results from an Intel chip without a separate video card.
The controls are FPS standard fare and the game includes USB controller support for folks who prefer console control schemes, as shown below. Weapons are accessed either by rolling the mouse wheel or pressing the number keys- and there are a lot of great weapons. I prefer a realistic survival horror experience, and in this aspect Dementium II delivers. William can’t run very fast or jump very high, so when you’re threatened you can’t count on your character’s gymnastic ability to save you. Also, aiming and firing the projectile weapons is a little difficult, especially considering some of the enemies are fairly small and the flying ones move quickly. This is entirely what you’d expect from a guy who just had his gourd sawed open and rewired, and I appreciated the difficulties rather than considering them poor design. When in doubt, stick something.
Dementium II features a progressive Save system. Once you find a Save point you can record your progress, and you get your health restored as a bonus. You can also Resume the game from the Main Menu.
The game environment is dark and disturbing. From the first moment you exit your cell (by crawling under an active guillotine blade), you know you’re in for a horrific thrill ride. After witnessing some unfortunate, tortured soul being eaten alive you start on your quest to regain some semblance of sanity.
To help you on your way, you start finding useful items in short order. Aside from a variety of weapons, you have access to health pills and packs, poison antidotes and adrenaline shots to speed you up temporarily.
The enemies come at you in a variety of ways. Slithering, shuffling, hopping, and looping or gliding through the air, Redmoor’s twisted psychotic creations are coming for you While not all of them scared me, I have to give the developers props for making sure players have to achieve a comfort level with different tactics in order to defeat the myriad foes that menace you.
Also, not all of the enemies in DII can be defeated. There are several situations in which the only successful strategy will be to flee. This is no simple run and gun title. Ammo is somewhat limited as befits a survival horror title and I found myself defaulting to the shank even in later portions of the game.
The music complements the overall atmosphere well. Haunting, melancholy piano riffs underscored by somber strings help get you in the survival horror mood, and the melodies change frequently so you never get tired of hearing them.
DII also has some of the most repulsive monster sound effects I’ve ever heard. And the background effects are creepy as well. From the shrieks of fellow inmates as they are beaten, to the appalling sounds of mobs as they spawn, the game is not lacking in disagreeable noises. This only adds to DII‘s success at immersing you in an obnoxious environment that encourages you to find your way out.
Level design in Dementium II is good. Linear enough to point you in the right direction, but with sufficient twists, turns and side areas to keep things interesting. Also, the maps transition nicely from the asylum to various areas underground and outside, never becoming repetitive. Exploration is key- you’ll find extra ammo, new weapons, tools and health items necessary to navigate the various areas.
You’ll also run into puzzles, one per area. The puzzles themselves are simplistic, no doubt as a result of this title being ported from DS. You’ll need to complete each in order to obtain special items or enter restricted regions on the map.
Finally, the bosses in Dementium II are no pushovers. Each one can soak up damage and attack you in numerous ways. They each present a singular, hellish persona and require different tactics to defeat. Even the first, “Gnaw” (played convincingly by Julia Roberts), keeps you on your toes and can easily ruin your day.
The Bottom Line
Dementium II features a lot to like for survival horror fans. Abhorrent environments combine well with disturbing creatures to set the mood. The music and sound effects complement the world, and the levels encourage you to move along home.
The enemies, while not equally frightening, do require you to adapt your combat tactics in order to fight them off and the bosses are truly challenging.
The puzzles could have been harder, but at least you’re not stuck in one place for an extended interval while you ponder the solution.
The title has a few minor issues that didn’t seriously detract from my enjoyment.
As I mentioned above, not all the enemies were frightening in their design. Some were downright silly looking, while others were very close to things I’d seen in other games. Finally, one in particular seems overused. However, any enemy, even the smallest is capable of taking you down if you’re not careful and there is a sufficient variety of frightening foes to keep the mood of the game intact.
I found the animations in DII ranged from well-done to simplistic, most likely due in part to the fact that it’s a port from a far less capable platform.
Some reviewers have criticized this game for a weak story line and stilted exposition. Maybe I’m just easy, but I enjoyed it. Let’s face it, all games require a certain suspension of disbelief, and I’m not looking to experience the kind of depth and detail you find in a good book when I play a game. Much like graphics, story to me is a nice bonus and not a deal-breaker. DII features a number of unpleasant places in which you don’t want to remain. Since the goal of the game is to escape the nightmare world, I thought it accomplished its aims nicely.
Finally, the game requires you to backtrack in some areas. While I don’t mind doing so, it’s always nice when, through exploration you find not only an item you need but a shortcut back to the place it’s to be used. Failing that, I enjoy reentering cleared areas to find them repopulated with fresh freaks. Although this happens occasionally it’s not often enough to instill the sense that you’re never really safe, a quality I think adds to the attraction of survival horror games.
Dementium II is a well-done indie title and a solid addition to the realm of survival horror FPS. I enjoyed it greatly, and I’m going to make time to replay it soon at a higher difficulty level (default is normal for reviews), and take more time to poke around in the dark corners of the Dementium II world.
The issues I found with the game were, for me, not terribly important in the overall scheme of things. The most annoying aspect was some of the creature designs/animations that did briefly disrupt the mood. But they in no way hampered my overall enjoyment of the game, and I heartily recommend it, especially to those gamers who haven’t had any exposure to the franchise. It’s a steal at $15, either through Steam or a number of other digital distribution sites.
Dementium II is a macabre, mayhem-filled horror-fest filled with all the good stuff gamers love about survival-horror. If you enjoy the darker side of video games, definitely check it out.
I’m giving Dementium II 7.5 out of 10.
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