Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Hell—o? Static Can any— hear me? More Static Hold on— fixing— one sec— Static interference level changing
Hello, hello? Testing! One! Two! Is that better? Good.
How did anyone get this hunk of junk to work in the past? Good thing we have cellphones, now. Zero bars WHAT DO YOU MEAN NO SIGNAL!
Maybe they’ll have a working phone in this remote diner in the middle of the forest? It’s not like anything
else could go wrong… Right!?
Our story begins with our protagonist, Chris Selwood, who is driving down a dark, rainy road in the middle of the woods in North Wales. As the heavy rainfall continues, he notices a café that he decides to stop at. Inside he meets a waitress who happens to be closing up soon, but offers him shelter, with the promise for a ride home in this terrible weather.
Before he gets too comfy the power fails, and darkness blankets the interior… along with a horrific phenomenon of the waitress crawling on the ceiling. Scared, he runs off to his car and races down the rural road only to get into an accident. Dazed and confused, he wanders the woods in search for help. However things aren’t quite as they seem… did he hit his head too hard or are there other strange forces working to harm him?
If you’ve ever played the original Silent Hill, or any other horror game that came out on the PS1, then you’re going to have some graphic nostalgia while playing Chasing Static. Control wise the game is pretty simple and easy to handle, so you shouldn’t have a hard time navigating through the levels. You’ll have to survive the night by gathering items and locating these transmitters in remote parts of the town. These items will be scattered and sometimes hidden throughout the map, but not every item you find will help solve your current puzzle. They may be needed at another point in time so make sure to remember where certain puzzles are where.
Saving in this game comes in the format of taking a picture. In order to save your progress, you have to pull out your camera and snap a photo of your current environment and voila! Now you can continue towards your demise. Another handy gimmick that was in the game was the ability to fast travel to previously visited locations in the game via a telephone. When you come across these phones you’ll be teleport into a void which will have a table with a TV and different channels that connect to these other areas, making travel in this game a breeze.
You’ll eventually be given a radio device that can pick up electromagnetic signals. These signals appear as past memories, which will activate once you get close enough. When turned on the device will react to nearby interference, which will show up as numbers. The higher the number, the stronger and closer you are to the signal. Last thing you’ll have to be wary about are the creatures. Static creatures to be precise.
They lurk in the background and will creep up out of nowhere without making a sound. The only thing that’ll make you aware of their presence is either by getting lucky and noticing this odd squiggly shape shifting towards you, or your vision will start to go static. If this happens RUN! Getting as far away as possible will shake them from your tail. But if you think you’ll be safe behind that huge tree, building or vehicle well you’re sadly mistaken, because they like to go through EVERYTHING! You’re never truly alone for long.
Ups and Downs
Sometimes you don’t have to have the best high definition graphics to make an interesting game. Giving the game that classic look from the 90’s really does breathe retro vibes into the experience and it’s a nice feeling once in a while. Top it off with good voice acting that doesn’t sound like you’re stuck inside a radio and you get a nice blend of the old and new. There wasn’t much in the game that I found terrible, but there were a couple of occasions where I raised an eyebrow. I found it quite humorous that I could climb up on chairs and beds just by walking at them.
More accurately it felt more like phasing onto objects, but the character model made no attempt to sit or lay down. He just stood on top, floating at times, haha! Another glitch I happened upon was in this open area. When the screen loaded I noticed this random white figure moving in the background. Thinking it was an enemy I crawled my way forward only to find a digitally programmed sheep stuck in a fence. And I’m not talking about getting its horns stuck in the mesh. It was physically stuck, standing in place, walking nowhere, with the fence skewered right through. Poor thing didn’t deserve it.
To conclude, Chasing Static was a pleasant experience for anyone who’s interested in classic, suspenseful horror, graphics and all. Even though it runs short, with only 4 hours of gameplay, you’ll find that the controls run smoothly and you get a healthy dose of fear and anxiety to boot. I’m giving this game a 7.5 out of 10 for its nostalgic performance. Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a poor sheep that needs my help.Score: 7.5 / 10