Penumbra:Black Plague

Posted by: Terroulini

Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/05/08 11:23 PM

For those who like playing horror-adventure games Penumbra:Black Plague is the ultimate game of all.The story in Black Plague picks up after the end of the first game(Penumbra:Overture,which offered first-person shooter controls along with an exploration mechanic that made for a compelling and frightening quest)with series lead Philip(that`s you)waking up in a dank and dirty cell somewhere with the sound of torture coming from somewhere close by while still trying to figure out the mystery surrounding the disappearance of his father.Upon inspecting the room, he discovers that he is not the first person to be held there,as there are several clues scrawled out on the walls in order to give him hints on how to escape from the room and survive on the outside.
The game is based on physics,requiring you to use the mouse cursor to mimic an action almost like twisting it around to open doors,unscrewing screws,grabbing the lid of a box and pushing the mouse up to open it,holding a leaver and use a circular motion on the mouse to turn it,actions you`ll have to make throughout the entire game.You’ll also be required to move objects and obstacles out of the way by lifting them and putting them elsewhere.
To make things that little more eerie you're not alone for a lot of the game,however your companion isn't a comforting comedy sidekick, instead it's a voice in Philip's head called Clarence.
Despite the rather gentile name Clarence has the unsettling ability to change your perceptions,causing you to see and hear things that aren't there.As if things weren't spooky enough,now you can't even trust your own senses.Sequences where Philip has to strap on a gas mask,limiting vision to a tiny section of the screen, forcing you to plunge into darkened areas of the unknown with flashlight,flare,or glow stick,make for some very horrifying experiences. Combine that with the harsh rasps of breath through the mask's filter and scratches in the mask's see-through plastic and it's even more affecting, even if the wall textures make you think you've downed a handle of vodka.Oh, and as with any game like this, do not play it in a bright room. Turn off the lights and make sure you're alone – it's better that way(if you dare!!).

Publisher:Paradox Interactive
Developer:Frictional Games
Release Date:15/2/2008 US,most Europe
Edited by Terry
Sources IGN,Gamezone,Play
Posted by: Becky

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/06/08 01:27 AM

Hi Terry --

Our reviewer concluded after playing the first Penumbra game that these games are more stealth/action than adventure titles. So I'm copying this over to the Dark Side forum.

EDIT: Hmmm. I just read in this article that Black Plague has eliminated the combat elements in the first game, and is more of a traditional adventure experience.

Maybe this thread should go back to Adventure Discussion???
Posted by: nickie

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/06/08 02:13 AM

It does appear that combat has been taken out of the mix, and this sequel is now all adventure, so back to you Becky! grin

For some screenshots click here.

For the developer's community forum, including technical help, click here.
Posted by: Becky

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/06/08 03:03 AM

Thanks nickie!

Welcome back, Black Plague! evil
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/06/08 08:53 AM

Posted by: Chief

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/06/08 09:30 AM

Just to help evil The site WorthPlaying has it as an Action/Adventure game

And here are Four Trailers to help you decide what the game should be. duh

Chief wave

Posted by: Darleen03

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/06/08 10:49 AM

Thanks Terroulini

The screenshots looks good...The interface with the hand thing looks neat...

So glad its an adventure !!!

I will be watching for this & a review...
Posted by: Terroulini

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/06/08 11:07 AM

Glad you like it guys.Right now I`m playing Episode 1 and trust me if Black Plague is half as good as this one,I`m sure you`ll love it!!
Posted by: misa

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/06/08 11:13 AM

Terry, have you played Fahrenheit? If so, how do the controls in Black Plague compare to Fahrenheit as it sounds similar (control-wise).
Posted by: Terroulini

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/06/08 11:23 AM

You`re right misa the controls in Fahrenheit were magnificent,it must be actually one of the best games I have ever played but every now and then a new game pops out with something new to give.We will have to wait and see if Black Plague is as great as they say it is! duh
Posted by: BrownEyedTigre

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/06/08 11:29 AM

InteractCd will be getting this game in and it will be up for preorder soon, in case anyone was wondering.

Ana wave
Posted by: Terroulini

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/06/08 11:33 AM

Good to know,thanks Ana thumbsup wave
Posted by: marie

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/08/08 11:30 AM

I just saw the game on the GoGamer site and they have it for preorder for $49.90, way to pricy for me. frown Marie
Posted by: Sneaker

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/08/08 12:02 PM

The demo is out now and 133 MB large.
Posted by: misa

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/08/08 12:09 PM

Thanks Sneaker! I'm downloading the demo right now. I've had Penumbra Overture sitting on my shelf for quite some time. I think with the upcoming release of Black Plague I'll finally play Overture to see how it is.
Posted by: Chief

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/08/08 01:52 PM

Have played a good part of this demo and for now it's all Adventure. Did not see anybody else nor strange creature.

Have fun with the demo. A big part of it is that interaction with objects, Penumbra style.

Posted by: kjos

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/08/08 03:34 PM

You can download it for $19.99 plays real good on my pc. My mistake it isn't ready for downloading yet.
Posted by: BrownEyedTigre

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/08/08 04:06 PM

Originally Posted By: kjos
You can download it for $19.99 plays real good on my pc. My mistake it isn't ready for downloading yet.

kjos, how did you get it already?

I see Here that it will be ready the 12th.

Ana wave
Posted by: kjos

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/08/08 04:25 PM

I just finished the demo and that what it said. I didn't get the game yet.
Posted by: BrownEyedTigre

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/08/08 04:30 PM

Ahhh! How did you like it? I'm glad it worked okay on your computer. 19.99 sounds a lot better that 49.99. eek

Posted by: kjos

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/08/08 04:38 PM

I loved the demo was a lot better than the other one. $19.99 I can go for that price. I didn't see any $49.99 at all. it's well worth the price. More adventure than action.I would recomend everybody to play the demo and see if they like it.The control with the mouse were really smooth. bravo
Posted by: BrownEyedTigre

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/08/08 05:09 PM

kjos, it is for preorder Here on GoGamer for 49.90.

Ana wave
Posted by: kjos

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/08/08 05:16 PM

Do you know why there is a $30 difference in the price? Sounds like somebody wants to make a lot of money. Makes me awful mad, unles it's a mistake.
Posted by: BrownEyedTigre

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/08/08 05:21 PM

I don't know kjos. but I searched Amazon and it's 19.99 too Here.

InteractCd is getting ready to put it up for preorder too, but Dave hasn't mentioned a price to me.

Ana wave
Posted by: kjos

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/08/08 05:23 PM

I sure will be preordering it from Dave. I get all my games through him. Great service to. $49.90 Ha Ha.
Posted by: Darleen03

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/08/08 06:07 PM

I just played 20 minutes minutes of the demo...

Got a little disgusted with the interface...Right clicking to get the hand to pull a drawer out...You have to right click then pull the mouse back to open a drawer.. crazy

Maybe its me... But I don't like the interface ..

My opinion duh

Also Graphics are very fuzzy
Posted by: marie

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/08/08 06:27 PM

Iv'e downloaded the demo, and if I like I'm ordering it from Azazon for that $19.99, forget that $49.90 rolleyes from GoGamer.
Marie broccoli
Posted by: kjos

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/08/08 06:30 PM

I don't blame you Marie, 49.90 is way to much. Must be a mistake in printing. I guess.
Posted by: Sneaker

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/10/08 02:13 PM

I've just started the game (review version) and I love it. It is just as creepy as the first one. I don't know how far the demo go, but at one point something was coming and entering the room. I quickly hide but I was really curious what the heck that was, but I just couldn't look. I loved one of the puzzles to open a door. Brilliantly worked out. I did get stuck in the beginning of the game (something with a drink (don't want to spoil much)).
Posted by: Howard the Doc

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/10/08 07:14 PM

Holy [blip]!! I don't think I could stand playing this. I thought Darkness Within was spooky!!! This REALLY gives me the creeps!
Posted by: Phoebe

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/21/08 10:56 AM

Hey Boomers.

Is really pure adventure or have action like overture?
Posted by: BrownEyedTigre

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/21/08 10:59 AM

Phoebe, if you read the first couple posts in this thread it'll explain it to you. wink It is supposedly all adventure.
Posted by: Becky

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/21/08 06:00 PM

I just bought this at my local Gamestop. It was $19.99 there.

I'll be loading it in the next day or so and go in and see what it's like. It definitely looks spooky, just judging from the box. From the back of the box: "Philip must collect clues and solve vexing puzzles while combating the gnawing psychological terrors that assail his mind and threaten to strip him of his sanity."

From the manual: WASD to move, shift to run, space bar to jump or swim up, tab to access inventory, mouse to look around, move or examine objects, move cursor, interact with objects, swing or throw tools... You'll be dealing with tools, a flashlight, a glowstick, a notebook.

There's sneaking -- keep to the shadows, crouching, distracting creatures by throwing an object. If you are discovered, you have few resources with which to defend yourself, so be careful while exploring, learn to lean to look around corners (keyboard keys Q and E). If you see an enemy, look away. (???) This means that you won't panic -- panic makes you easier to spot. Judging from the manual, there will be significant stealth elements.

You keep track of health -- painkillers restore your health.

The game autosaves, and you can save manually at certain save points, which take the form of ancient artifacts. There are ten manual saves and 5 autosaves.

I hope this info from the manual helps give an idea of what the game is like until one or more of us get into it even further!

I'm expecting to be afraid, very afraid.
Posted by: marie

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/21/08 07:02 PM

I just bought the game also today and just started playing. Its definately pretty weird devil, more so than the first one.But I'm enjoying it so far.

Marie wave
Posted by: Darlene

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/21/08 10:57 PM

wave Saw this at BestBuy for $19.99. Did not finish the first one. As interesting as it was, I couldn't get passed the dogs. If this question has been asked and I missed it, I apologize, but how important is it to play the first game in your enjoyment of the second?
Posted by: Becky

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/22/08 01:30 AM

Darlene -- I haven't played the first one, so I can't help with that question. frown I'm hoping other members who have played Penumbra: Overture and are now playing Black Plague will stop by to tell us.
Posted by: Darlene

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/22/08 01:39 AM

wave Becky, you're up late. smile Thanks for your reply. Liked the concept of the first game, and maybe I'll go back and tackle it again. Hearing rumor that the second installment is much more adventure-oriented, which, at least for this game, would be more up my alley. smile
Posted by: Chief

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/22/08 09:28 AM

Darlene, you can play Black Plague without having played Overture.

If you read nickie's review and remember the introduction story of Overture, you will have the necessary background knowledge about Penumbra.

Up to now, the area visited is completely different from Overture and find it quite interesting with a little bit of action parts and the great interaction with objects "Penumbra style".

Have fun with the game.

Posted by: Darlene

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 02/22/08 02:24 PM

wave Thanks, Chief!
Posted by: Becky

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 03/01/08 09:10 AM

I just played an hour into Black Plague, and for the most part I was pleasantly surprised.

There's a tutorial at the beginning that's helpful, and a quick recap of the story in Penumbra: Overture. You can also pick a difficulty setting (there are three levels), with "Easy" specifically for people like me who don't like action/tricky stealth sequences. This setting doesn't eliminate these sequences, but does make them, well, easier.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The physics-based gameplay is unusually creative -- I can see now how this can be adapted to give some unorthodox ways of approaching puzzle situations. It's fun to be able to pick things up and toss them around the room (your player character apparently does some weight-lifting in his spare time grin). And I enjoyed being able to change the environment -- move things around and leave them where I want them, stack things on top of other things, swing things hanging from a hook, etc.

That said, there is some frustration in dealing with objects -- trying to get a chair to stand up normally was surprisingly difficult, and carrying long planks in these tight quarters requires some trial and error to keep from bumping into walls and other objects. This is not a game for the impatient gamer.

Movement is easy if you're used to panning with the mouse and moving forward with the "W" key. It's first person perspective.

Environments so far are a prison cell, a refrigerated room, a storage room and quite a bit of ventilation duct. It's spooky, with an atmosphere that, while not nerve-wracking yet, does heighten the senses and make you anticipate fearful things lurking around the next corner. I haven't met any monsters, but I've heard one.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

One downside -- twice in an hour the screen froze for about a minute, then gameplay resumed. There's an auto-save system, as well as extra saves that are based on reaching special "rewards" -- this means that if you quit between available saves, you will have to repeat everything when you return to the game.

You also die frequently, though you don't lose your inventory when you are respawned or revivified or reanimated or whatever. scared

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I'd say that this game would be good for gamers who want to try something different than the traditional adventure, have the patience to try something new, and enjoy an atmosphere of horror. One hour in, I'd say that so far it fits the definition of an adventure game. thumbsup
Posted by: Sneaker

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 03/03/08 04:44 PM

I didn't experience the screen freezes you have been talking about. You can also save when you encounter some sort of strange lantern with orange lightbeams coming out of it. Click on it and the game will be saved. The Auto Save function works really well to. Just exit or enter a room (with the door icon) and the game will be saved. And about dealing with objects. Hold the a button (don't have the manual here, but I thought it was the C button) and then you can move the object a lot more easier with the mouse. You than control the object instead of the mouse pointer.

I'm playing it to and I love it so far. Some great puzzles that use the surroundings in a awesome way and it is very creepy. Love it.
Posted by: Becky

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 03/03/08 07:54 PM

Hi Sneaker --

I used the C button to try to get a plank to rest on its flat surface instead of on its side, without success. It didn't occur to me to try using it with the chair -- that might have helped, now that I think about it.

I agree that the game is well worth playing, if you have an interest in creative ways to build adventure game puzzles, or if you like adventures with a creepy atmosphere and don't mind a bit of innovation.

One screen freeze occurred when I tried putting (possible spoiler)
Click to reveal..
the can of soda on the crate right in front of the escaping steam from the pipe.
That may not have been something that the gamer is expected to do, which may have explained that particular problem.

One of the fun things about this game is trying crazy stuff to see if anything happens. laugh
Posted by: Sneaker

Re: Penumbra:Black Plague - 03/04/08 05:32 AM

It worked fine for me, once you understand how it works. It kind of reminded me of the 3D interface in the last case of Phoenix Wright 1 and the new Apollo Justice. Hold the C button and then you have two axes (move left-right, move up-down) with the mouse.

I just encountered a terrible monster. His is fast and could kill you.
Click to reveal..
But I just ran away and lured him into another space and then locked him up.
I really like that way of thinking to survive. It basically is a puzzle. I really liked that, using the environment to solve puzzles.