A great Puzzle Survival Horror game.
First i played the demo for Penumbra: Black Plague, after completely the demo I loved it and decided that I would play the first chapter before I played black plague.
All I can say is wow the game is great. There I said it! This is what a horror game should be. The basic story line is that your after your mother passes away you recieve a letter from your dead father, which leads you to greenland, once there you realise what a harsh climate you are in and take cover in a mine, which is where the game really begins. The game play is great, you use the mouse to collect objects, swing weapons and interact with the environment (by that I mean opening doors, picking up barrels etc) there is a hand on the screen which replaces your cursor and it is a representation of your actual in game hand, but it is the use of the mouse that really gets you immersed in this game, picture this, you hear a noise on the other side of the door, its your only way forward, you slowly approach the door and grab the door, now depending on whether you push the mouse forward hard or soft will depend on how fast or slow the door opens (the same applies for where you grab the door; grab it close to the hinges and you will need to use more force, but grab it closer to the handle and it will be easier) this adds to the suspense because you can slowly open the door peaking inside to make sure the way forward is clear or you can swing the door open and just deal with it. The sound also is great, it helps set suspense and drama where needed and help indicate where the creatures are, and any good horror game needs to have effective sound and this game hit the nail on the head.
The only negatives of this game I found are that it is too short; completed the game in around 6-7 hours, but you could argue quality over quantity because they are 7 hours well spent. The graphics are not up to scratch, poor backgrounds and blocky creatures are not appealing although when you are crawling through a spider infested crawl space it will still scare you. Another problem is that although the controls fit the puzzle and interacting elements well, I wish I could say the same about the fighting, which involves holding down the mouse button to ready your weapon and then moving the mouse left, right or forward to swing, and although it sounds good it doesn't work well, and in a game where all it takes is around 3 hits to die you can't afford to miss swings. The last negative point is that once you have completed the game there is no incentive to go through it again.
Overall: This is a great survival game, if you are a fan of survival games then this should be played, if however you don't play horror/survival games then this is unlikely to change your mind but the puzzle and interactive elements definitely add to your immersion in this game. Although the graphics could be better and it is on the short side you won't find a game with such as good combination of game play and amazing sound. (except maybe the sequel)