Dementium: The Ward - updated impressions

Oct 12, 2007

Like us, your first thought when pondering Dementium: The Ward probably is "Can a horror game on the DS be scary?" A while back we gave ourinitial impressionsof the game, and recently we got some hands-on time with it. After wandering the halls of an asylum full of disturbing creatures, we can safely answer the question with "Yes, it's scary."

There's no back story or even an intro movie - the game just starts in first-person, and you have no idea who your character is or what's going on. But the eerie, empty halls of the ward immediately rev up the creep factor. You also start off without a weapon, increasing the feeling of defenselessness.

Right off the bat we noticed the feel of the controls. Your character moves very slowly - while we understand it's meant to give the game a more deliberate pace, it's also a bit plodding. Of course, you can run by double-tapping up on the d-pad, but this is more cumbersome than simply being able to move faster than a crippled zombie. However, on the other end of the spectrum is aiming and looking with the stylus. The motions are smooth, quick, and precise - you'll think you're sitting at your PC with a mouse. Not only does it help with the combat (you can make headshots when you want), but it really adds to the frantic feeling of whipping your head around to peer into closets or around corners, expecting some horror to leap out at you.