Dementium: The Ward - updated impressions

As we mentioned in our earlier preview, your sight range is limited, but a flashlight soon dispels that annoyance. Sometimes the light flickers, making you think it is going to fail, which adds to the tension. Be warned, though: the mechanic is straight out of Doom 3 - you can't have your flashlight out along with a weapon, so you're constantly searching for monsters with the light, then plunging into darkness as you switch to a gun. If that mechanic annoyed you in Doom 3, if may annoy you even more here, because switching between the flashlight and weapons isn't terribly convenient - you have a choice of using the R button, which requires creative use of your fingers while holding the stylus to aim, or tapping an icon on the touch screen, which can require that you look away from the immediate threat of an advancing monster.

We got a chance to try out all the weapons, which include your standard array of pistol, shotgun, sniper rifle, etc. Although for a melee weapon the surgical buzz-saw is a nice twist. We also got to fight a boss, which was an ogre-style lumbering thing. At the beginning of the encounter you walk in on a horrible scene - the creature appears to be training as a butcher. If the fight is any indication of future bosses, we can expect some fun battles. In order to survive we had to sprint from its bull-rushes, strafe to dodge green vomit, and aim for the head to take it down quickly.

Although Dementium is first-person, it takes considerable influence from Silent Hill, and goes as much for the psychological horror as it does the run-and-gun scares. It may turn out to be a unique blend of mystery, creepiness, and action. The release is supposed to be only weeks away, so check back for our review to see if it lives up to its premise.