As a person who dislikes the horror videogame and movie genre, I can say this was a challenging piece to write. With that being said, Phasmophobia isn’t a new Amnesia or Silent Hills, that make you have an extra pair of underwear ready to go (at least for me). Instead, this new popular co-op game steps out of the typical horror game mechanics, delivering a well-thought-out and creepy experience that sticks in your head, even well after the gaming session has ended.
Learning the Ropes
Presently in early access, developed by Kinetic Games, Phasmophobia is a 4 player online co-op horror for PC and VR. Available on Steam, this horror game puts you and your friends in a haunted location, out of 7 available locations. The purpose is to record and register any paranormal phenomena you witness inside this house. To capture this activity, you and your team have at your disposal lots of different ghost hunting equipment, each with its own purpose.
Inside this haunted house there is a ghost, 1 out of 10 unique types of ghosts currently in the game, and let me tell you, he doesn’t like you poking into his business. These ghosts interact with you in various ways. One of the most interesting is through voice recognition, where you can speak to the ghost through a Spirit Box and he responds to you. A funny aspect of the game is that the ghosts have actual names you can call for, like Lisa Johnson or David Martinez. The objective here is to gather as much evidence of paranormal activity as you can and escape the creepy house in one piece.
A major aspect of this game is called sanity. Your level of sanity will determine the chances of getting targeted and killed by the ghost. Your sanity will be high when you first enter the ghostly house and will decrease during the course of the run. So besides having to fight against a ghost you also have to fight against time. However, the levels of sanity can be increased by taking pills, which will automatically give you an increase of 40% in the sanity meter.
In total, there are 12 ghosts currently in the game: Mare, Demon, Oni, Yurei, Poltergeist, Jinn, Banshee, Phantom, Spirit, Wraith, Revenant, and Shade. Each ghost has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. As for equipment that you have at your disposal to capture supernatural evidence, you have the following: an EMF Reader, a Ghost Writing Book, a Spirit Box, a Flashlight and a UV Flashlight, a couple of Smudge Sticks, Candles, a Lighter, Salt, a Thermometer, a Head-Mounted Camera, a Photo Camera, a Video Camera, and finally, a Crucifix.
Weird Stuff and Green Stuff
The only way to determine which type of ghost is haunting the house is through the evidence he leaves behind. Each type of ghost gives a specific set of evidence, for example, the Demon type can be determined through the following evidence: Spirit Box, Ghost Writing, and Freezing Temperatures. If you get all of these 3, you already know what you’re up against. There are 6 unique pieces of evidence: activity on the Spirit Box, Ghost Writing, Freezing Temperatures, EMF Level 5, Fingerprints, and Ghost Orbs. Each player also owns a journal, in which they can register what kind of evidence they’ve found.
One other interesting feature that the game has, not very unique per se, is money and its management. You need money to buy new equipment for your runs and you can get this money in two ways. Either you complete the specific objectives of your run, or you complete daily challenges. The last ones don’t give you as much money as the other objectives but are always a welcome income. Each player can add items of their choosing to the whole team’s inventories before the game begins. When you die, all the additional equipment you bought for the mission will be lost.
Booming and Blooming
Just like Among Us, Phasmophobia saw a huge boost in its statistics, mainly on Twitch. All the big streamers, like Sodapoppin, xQc, and Pokelawls, played and most importantly enjoyed this new co-op experience. According to SullyGnome, in the last 14 days, Phasmophobia racked up a total of 84 thousand average viewers, with 256 thousand max viewers. This is a growth of 337% in average viewers and 70% in max viewers when comparing to older statistics.
If you have played Phasmophobia before, you know it can be a stressful and challenging experience. However, all the elements in the game are smartly constructed and play really well with each other, giving the player a fun and thrilling gaming session, especially with friends by your side. What about you? Share with us your experience and your best moments in Phasmophobia!