Don’t Be Afraid is a first person horror game developed by Hydra Games. It was released on Steam in December 2020 and then was released for console in January 2022!
*A code was provided by the developer for the purpose of this review. This doesn’t affect the review, as my thoughts are mine and mine alone. This review contains spoilers and inappropriate images. Viewers discretion is advised.
One night David decides to try and sneak out of the house, only to be kidnapped by a madman known as Franklin! Thrown into a mad house of puzzles and horrific monstrosities, he has to find his way out to be able to return home. Depending on the actions you take, he may be able to return home, but he may be lost forever!
The game itself tells a very barebones story, and most of it is found throughout notes you find, and cassette tapes you can listen to. These give you insight into Franklin, and some of the messed up stuff he’s done. The tapes you find usually tend to be about some of his victims that have experienced the same messed up horror show that you’re facing yourself. Though nothing blew me away, I was still very interested in everything that was happening.
The game has a few different endings you can achieve. I believe there are three in total, and the ending you get is determined by what paths you take through the house. I thought I knew the way to one ending, but I messed up and ended up at an ending I’d already seen. I played through three times hoping to get a new ending, but failed each time before I decided I wasn’t going to try again. So unfortunately I never saw the “best” ending. But maybe when guides are made, I’ll look more into it!
I went into this game with baited breath. A lot of “horror” games nowadays aren’t very scary, so I tempered my expectations a lot for this. But I was very happy when I got so freaked out, I turned on my living room light, so I wasn’t playing in total darkness. The atmosphere is dark, it’s creepy, and you actually have to take note of some things in the environment. Plus mannequins are some of the worst things for me in terms of fear, and this game has them EVERYWHERE. I screamed when I walked past a mannequin and it blew my candle out, causing me to fall into complete darkness.
The house is made up of nothing but puzzles. You have to search the environment very carefully to be able to advance. Though this was fun to do, it got very annoying sometimes. Especially if you needed to find a key. As they could blend in on a desk, or be in a drawer, or in the hand of a mannequin. It’s very easy to be lost in an area, walking in circles.
A few times in the game, you are chased by giant monsters that “kill” you if you’re caught. David screams, then it’s an immediate restart. No load times or anything. These parts were the worst part of the game. It turns a spooky atmosphere into a mad dash, trying to comb through the areas while getting chased. There were many times I missed an item in these times because I was in too much of a rush to take the time to look in a toilet for example. It ruins the pacing. Especially when you’ve been caught 20 times in one section. There’s even collectibles to get to learn more about the story! There was another sort of cool psychedelic-like scene in the game, but also kind of annoying as well, as I just had to mash my R2 button until it was over. I liked the spooky imagery that was sifted through, but I hated the process.
- Good Scares
- Messed Up Premise
- No Convoluted Puzzles
- Tedious Chase Sections
- Easy For Items To Blend In
I really enjoyed Don’t Be Afraid. From the fun madhouse of puzzles that weren’t too convoluted, to some of the grotesque imagery and the unraveling of the plot. It does have a few moments where it gets bogged down with awful chase scenes, and the endings are not easy to obtain, but I will come back to it one day when someone figures it out for me! I recommend playing this game if you’re a horror nut!
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Game & Developer Information
Developer/Publisher Website: Hydra Games
Developer/Publisher Socials: Twitter
PSN Store Links: £7.99/€9.99 Europe / $9.99 North America
Trophy Information: 26. 1 / 7 / 9 / 9