Prison on Island Meets Silent Hill
What’s scarier than being trapped in a desolate prison on an island? Being trapped in a prison on an island that is littered with paranormal creatures. This week we salute one of the best horror video game classics of the past, The Suffering. The game was released by Midway in 2004, before their dive into bankruptcy and the end of a great video game developer. I had a spanking brand new copy for my shiny PS2. Nothing could ever explain the fear I had playing this game better than gaming with all the lights on.
Torque, the main character, is a man sentenced to prison on Carnate Island for the murder of his wife and kids. Once locked up in his cell, an earthquake on the island causes paranormal creatures to rise from the ground and attack prisoners and guards. Torque is not harmed. His cell opens on its own and he tries to escape through the dimly lit prison, with creatures straight out of Silent Hill emerging from the darkness.
These apparitions are ghosts of executed prisoners. Each creature represents the way they were killed. For example, the Marksmen are covered in bullet holes and have guns protruding from their backs. These prisoners died blindfolded and gunned down by a firing squad. They all look like they were taken from the creepiest game ever Silent Hill.
Eventually, you get used to the strange forms of these creatures, as you encounter them repeatedly down the prison halls. If I said that the halls were dimly lit, I was wrong and I apologize. I meant barely lit, allowing for the occasional spark of light to illuminate in the middle of the darkness the faces of human looking ghosts. In addition, to being able to hear the voices of the prison guards, prisoners, and faculty, that have died on the island. You also have visions out of nowhere from ghosts that appear and feel like striking up a casual conversation. There are real prison guards and prisoners still alive but sometimes it feels like you can’t tell which is which.
Check out these clips of the scariest moments in the game
The Suffering Video Game Spoilers
So if you haven’t summed it up by now, the staff of this prison, tortured the prisoners and their pissed off ghosts have taken over this island. Since the maximum security prison was far away from authority, the prison staff took advantage and tortured and experimented on the prisoners.
The prison isn’t the only problem on the island. Torque has his own demons that he is battling. He can’t remember killing his family and they are ghosts that haunt Torque too. His wife and kids can appear anywhere, reminding Torque of what he did. At first, you only spot glimpses of what seems to be another creation from the island. Eventually, you discover that Torque turns into something called the “The Creature” in a Hulk rage kind of way when he is mad and has reached his limit. There is a rage meter that allows you to turn into “The Creature” in battle mode. Obviously one of these rage spells is what caused him to kill his family.
There is a lot of shooting and fighting against the swarms of creatures that surprise you from the ceilings, corners, and even outdoors. The gameplay allows for information intake and action at the same time. You encounter ghosts of prisoners and medical staff that will give you pieces of info on the past of the prison. This allows you to piece together, like a mystery, what happened on the island. That is also the key to getting off the island. These ghosts are also trying to persuade you into situations. Most of the time it is clear they only want you to join them.
The ending depends on Torque’s inner fight with himself. I never knew there were multiple endings, my ending had Torque being taken off the island to be acquitted. I probably would have tried it several times just to see the others, had I known.
There was also a sequel made, which I may write about later. But the end of Midway Games prevents any more of these awesome games from being created.
You can download a freeware version here if you’re interested in playing the PC game
The Suffering Video Game Freeware
What do you guys think about this classic The Suffering? Comment below or message me here to reminisce ->
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