developer: Frictional Games
publisher: Lexicon Entertainment
Game mode: single player
game language: English
game release date for PC:
Penumbra: Overture is the first episode in the Penumbra series developed by Frictional Games. The action takes place in Greenland in an abandoned research complex which is overrun by bizarre and very dangerous creatures. The player’s task is to exterminate them and to find information on the protagonist’s recently deceased father.
Penumbra puts a very big emphasis on making use of physical interaction. While playing, it is not enough to simply click on a door to open it – the player has to make an appropriate motion with the mouse cursor to make it happen. The same goes for every other action, such as opening valves or searching drawers. The extensive physics system is also used for numerous puzzles. The player will often have to rearrange items or build uncomplicated structures with boxes. It is worthy of mention that every piece of furniture has its weight – some of those can be picked up, and some only moved. As far as physics are concerned, Penumbra’s engine is very realistic.
The game offers a rather dark and depressing atmosphere. In our travel through the corridors of an abandoned station, the flashlight is our only companion. And even that can change should the batteries run out of energy. The player constantly has to overcome problems with closed doors, blocked passages and the like. The items he finds let him progress further and slowly uncover subsequent secrets of the story. The developers really focused on atmosphere in Penumbra, which makes the player feel uneasy just after a few minutes of gameplay.
Game score 8.5 / 10 calculated out of 712 players' votes.
PC / Windows
Recommended: Pentium III 1 GHz, 512 MB RAM, graphic card 32 MB (GeForce 3 Ti200 or better), Windows 2000/XP