Penumbra: Overture - Episode One review

Find yourself alone in the dark

GamesRadar+ Verdict


  • +

    Graphics are pretty

  • +

    Puzzles and physics work together

  • +

    Genuinely terrifying


  • -

    Combat doesn't work

  • -

    Repetitive locations

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  • -

    done-that story

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Maybe it was all the coffee we’d been drinking, but Penumbra: Overture (the first in this three-part series) is one of the few games that actually made us jump with fright. Entering the mysterious hatch and opening the mysterious door into all of that mysterious darkness, the protagonist nervously claims he thinks something might be down here in the darkness with him, and that if he happens to run into it, it would most likely kill him. So you crouch, and you hide in the dark from the thing because you’re no “Hollywood action hero,” and through some magical trick of character empathy, you’re actually scared. Then a wolf howls and you promptly shit yourself.

More info

DescriptionEerie episodic survival-horror that dumps you in an underground facility deep in Greenland, bolstered with an excellent sense of atmosphere and accomplished physics gameplay
US censor rating"Mature"
UK censor rating""
Steve Hogarty

Steve Hogarty is a London-based freelance journalist covering games and technology. His bylines have appeared in publications including GamesRadar, The Independent, Yahoo, VICE, Eurogamer, and more. He is also the co-host of the pocast, Regular Features.