Halloween is almost upon us and horror games and films are coming. Film fans can experience Five Nights at Freddy’s. Gamers can choose an extensive back catalogue and we also will have some new releases or updates. Battlefield 2042 advertised a horror theme Call of Duty has The Haunting and PUBG has announced the Horror Grounds. Though full release we have Alan Wake 2 out very soon. However, before then Jukai Studio launched Stray Souls. We looked at the demo earlier in the year and now the game is finally upon us. It’s the debut project from a developer we are told were formed last year on their website.
So are you hearing about Stray Souls for the first time? In this game, you play as a teenager named Daniel who suddenly hears about a grandmother who never knew existed and on her passing inherits her house. He meets a mysterious woman who not only knows the family history but has some connections. Daniel needs to explore and unearth the secrets of the town Aspen Falls. You may have seen we covered the demo from earlier in the year which can be seen here.
How Stray Souls Is Now
The best way to look is by looking at gameplay. Captured below is PlayStation 5 footage.
So this is a bit mixed. It’s generally very good. However, we have some negatives. At the start of a certain section of that chapter, I would have horrible stuttering in the camera for a few seconds. Combat at the start is very rough but as the game progressed it seemed smoother. However in certain sections even with a clear shot at monsters, your bullets don’t register
Some of the puzzles are not very clear in how to solve them. Some you get clues to solve can go and solve them and nothing happens as you need to progress further. In one chapter you were told what objective was needed but the objective the game was asking you was long since completed.
On the whole, we have a really good looking game with the textures of each location looking really good. On top of that, we have some high-quality lighting and particle effects. Reflections on mirrors could be improved. However, this isn’t am isolated situation as other games have struggled with this. Though with the game taking advantage of Unreal Engine 5 maybe it would have been nice to see more.
Sadly though we do have some graphical glitches at odd times and also the character models are rather dated. Also, there are points on the console release there is writing on a wall you need to read and it’s not very clear. I’ve looked at footage from the PC release and it’s much clearer. Subtitles on console are much smaller than on PC and there is no option to change.
On the whole sound effects are fantastic. Creaking floorboards or things breaking it works really well. The musical score as we know is by the composer of the Silent Hill franchise. That being Akira Yamaoka. The score works fantastically well and compliments in game events such as combat and monsters near by.
So for me, this is the strongest part of the game. However, it’s let down by some voice acting. Where the story works is the pace of the story. For a debut by Jukai it’s a solid start. There are twists and turns but the game’s strength was the narrative.
So will Stray Souls rival Silent Hill 2? Well, If the remake is like the original then it’s a definite no. The game could have used some more polish and could have a been a smoother less frustrating experience at times. However with all the negatives the game I enjoyed it and there is potential in this game. It’s this studio’s debut release and they’ve got a lot of promise. Sadly this game is probably not going to be well received outside of the survival horror fan base. I can’t recommend to this newcomers to the franchise but I do suggest keep an eye on the studio’s future.