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Shines Over: The Damned is brief, mystifying and thoroughly disappointing

Shines Over The Damned

Recently released on PS5, Shines Over: The Damned is described an experimental first-person horror experience. After playing through it, however, the only thing we find scary about it is that some people might unfortunately end up spending money on it.

Shines Over: The Damned is one of those games where everything is cryptic and not much makes sense. Are you dead? Have you simply found yourself in another realm? Who the hell knows, and within minutes you won’t really care: you’ll be too busy being frustrated by the game’s so-called gameplay.

Perhaps Shines Over: The Damned is best described as a walking simulator with light puzzles elements. Across its five or so short levels that’s all you essentially do, after all. In one level you’ll have to memorise where balls of light are over a large pit, and that’s where you’ll find invisible pillars to jump on. In another you’ll have to collect balls of light so you can get the code to open a large stone door. Oh, and in an attempt to scare you, sometimes a figure will pop out and grab you, forcing you to press the left and right shoulder buttons as quickly as possible to break free.

The only level that doesn’t require you to walk here is the final one, which instead finds you slowly sailing a boat down a stream. Like the rest of the game, it’s not challenging at all, but frustrating in that it generally relies on trial and error. Essentially, it’s painfully dull and goes on for so long that you wonder if you’re supposed to be doing something other than avoiding obstacles.

In any case, pick up Shines Over: The Damned and the credits will likely be rolling in around 30 minutes, and you’ll just be wondering what the hell you just played. It’s devoid of scares, devoid of challenge, and devoid of fun. It looks fairly nice but that’s about all it has going for it, and chances are you’ll be very disappointed if you pay the asking price for it. So, you know what to do: give Shines Over: The Damned a wide berth and find something else to play instead.

Shines Over: The Damned is available exclusively on PS5.

Editor in Chief // An avid gamer since discovering the wonders of the Acorn Electron in the '80s, Rich has nearly played more games than he's had hot dinners. Not one to put all his eggs in one basket, Rich is happy to play games of all genres, but he particularly enjoys racing games and anything that's full of non-stop action, especially if it includes a good dose of humour, horror or crudeness!