The Deep End Games is finally able to showcase their vision for gameplay in their new title Perception. It is an experience that asks you to see without sight, and trust yourself in the darkness. New gameplay mechanics and a compelling story generate an intense, yet unique experience. Perception is a new way to experience gameplay, both in the light and dark.

Gamers step into the mind of Cassie, a young blind woman, who must investigate a terrifying, old mansion. While she cannot see, her extraordinary hearing abilities grant her a path when she needs it. Cassie’s cane is what allows her to see in the darkness, granting visibility to the world around her. Her cane sends sound waves throughout a room, illuminating its layout.

This is an action gamers will learn when to use, and when not to. The mansion Cassie is investigating provides hints and clues about the story, bit by bit. The Presence is the antagonist and it will take your life, should you use your cane in the wrong spots. The Deep End Games grants players enough ability to progress, but not enough to fight.

This sets up a wonderful dynamic, which creates some of the game’s scariest moments. The Presence is everywhere in Perception and players must quickly learn how to navigate it. Scattered throughout the house are clues that reveal the game’s story. However, in order to find them, you must carefully search.

Cassie’s cane illuminating the world around her (Courtesy of The Deep End Games).

As you move throughout the mansion, gamers encounter these furnace-type objects. They are glowing and represent The Presence within the house. As I found out the hard way, you must learn to not use your cane while near these objects. Doing so will result in a fatality, that being your own.

This creates some interesting gameplay dynamics and forces the player to sometimes trust what isn’t there. It is easy to sneak by The Presence while you’re in an open room. However, when moving through more complex, crowded spaces, this can make for a more uneasy experience.

You pretty much navigate through darkness when you sneak passed The Presence. Most of the time, you are unable to move with any illumination, outside of The Presence’s small light. Being careful with your movements and, as best as you can, projecting the environment ahead prove to be essential.

I felt great unease as I slowly slunk passed The Presence, and the complete darkness also adds to the vibe. It feels like a liberation when you finally get by and are able to use your cane again. The Deep End Games creates an entertaining dynamic through this system. It is a necessary balance to Cassie’s illuminating cane, creating an interesting gameplay mechanic, albeit a simple one.

When the house is this color, it is time to run and hide (Courtesy of The Deep End Games).

Perception focuses on its story and its gameplay mechanics help emphasize it. There are no distracting systems to take away from the narrative. Angela Morris does a fine job of voice-acting in Perception. She brings Cassie to life with vibrancy and plenty of range. Her performance is convincing and becomes a central element of the experience.

The Deep End Games have created a simple and enjoyable experience. Your adversary, The Presence, will bring you down if you aren’t aware of what provokes it. You should figure it out pretty easily though. This game is an easy experience to progress through and features an engaging narrative. Surprising twists and an unexpected ending help make this story one worth experiencing.

Perception provides an interesting and unique way to view gameplay. The mechanic of using a cane to illuminate your surroundings is quite clever. This game will not challenge you to the greatest degree, but that’s not what it is trying to do. It is sending a message through its narrative and characters. For that, I appreciate everything The Deep End Games has created.

Stick around here at We Write Things for more on video games. The Deep End Games provided We Write Things with an Xbox One code of Perception for the purposes of this review.

A message for players who reach the end (Credit: We Write Things).

About Steve Ruygrok

Gaming, Spirits, and Craft Beer enthusiast. If you say you don't like beer, then you just haven't had the right type yet. Great spirits keep away the bad ones. Video games are kind of amazing, just do it...or something like that. Contact me at weplaythingssteve@gmail.com

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