Crow Country Review (PS5) | Push Square


Developed by SFB Games, survival horror adventure Crow Country sees you playing as Mara Forest, a young woman hell-bent on finding the now-missing Edward Crow, enigmatic owner of the recently-shuttered Crow Country amusement park.

The game has a wonderful retro graphical style that evokes the likes of PS1 classics Resident Evil and Silent Hill while adding an impressive amount of density and detail to environments. This added level of detail does make it hard to discern which items can be picked up, however, especially in areas where the lighting is too low, abetting the horror rather than helping it.

While things look fresh out of the 90s, there’s a vastly superior degree of comfort and playability. The game controls like the Resident Evils of yore, though there’s an option to switch to a more contemporary control scheme. Quality of life ideas are everywhere in the game, including on the difficulty level, which even offers an “exploration” mode that fully disables enemy encounters. While this may upset purists, it’s a huge accessibility win, especially with so much of the map being worth exploring.

Turning off enemies does remove one of the best facets of the title, though. Creature design is phenomenal, masterfully toeing the line between grotesque and lethal, ensuring that every enemy encounter is a harrowing one. In a masterstroke, your gun deals higher damage the closer enemies are to you, so the game actively encourages putting yourself in danger. It’s brilliant.

Sound design further enhances the mood, offering suitably creepy ambient tracks, distressing combat tracks — one track in particular sounds like composer Ockeroid was prompted with “horror castanets” and just rolled with it — and of course, the “save room” theme.

It’s truly impressive what SFB Games has accomplished with such a small team. If you like 90s horror games — Resident Evil especially — then you owe it to yourself to try out Crow Country.

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