Patreon button  Steam curated reviews  Discord button  Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | PC | PS4 | PS5 | SWITCH | VITA | XB1 | XSX | All

God's Basement (PC) artwork

God's Basement (PC) review


"It beats God's Bathroom"

God's Basement (PC) image

Congratulations! You're dead. Or at least that's what the game God's Basement tells you almost immediately. If you were hoping for pearly gates, though, then I've got bad news for you. At least you're apparently not in Hell, right? Instead, you manifest in a series of offices so sterile and empty in appearance that they're actually quite unsettling. A monotone voice on a nearby phone gives you instructions, telling you he's "The Operator" and you need to trust him. Well, what other choice have you got?

Basement isn't your run of the mill horror adventure. Nothing chases you when you leave the office, and you aren't going to mindlessly collect notes or whatever. Still, you can't shake the feeling that something horrible lurks behind the scenes, watching and judging you. Every time you round a dark corner or find a gently open door, you catch hints of your tormentor: an elderly woman with a mangled face. You hear her sometimes weeping, other times knocking on walls or doors, or occasionally appearing in the darkness at the very edge of the game's draw distance.

She never pursues you, but that doesn't diminish her ghostly presence. As the campaign advances, you discover more about this lady and how the storyline both humanizes and demonizes her. She's done some outright rotten things, but only because she has suffered to the point of madness. And for both good and ill, she's left a huge impression on your life and has left you feeling held back as much as loved...

God's Basement (PC) image

Confinement is a central theme explored in Basement, and it crops up most in the game's design and campaign structure. This title is about as far from "open world" as you can get, with stages that consists of maybe a few rooms and some connecting hallways with plenty of blocked off passages and jammed doors. If that's not enough, the campaign serves as a biography for your character's mundane, inescapable existence, which consists of a steady regimen of menial labor and grandma-proofing his house. You frequently feel trapped, like a rat in a maze trying to sniff its way out--except the maze is haunted by another deceased rodent.

For the most part, though, you spend your time searching the grounds until you locate a locked door. In order to advance past them, you need to perform a handful of tasks, some of which defy intuition. Sometimes all you need is a key or to read a nearby note. Most of the time, though, you must explore your surroundings and utilize whatever hints the game offers. For instance, one segment tells you about letters written on paintings in a hallway. As you look about you, you'll notice some of pictures in the vicinity possess tiny red marks on them. Stare at them long enough and they'll vanish, eventually opening a door once you've spotted all of them

Sounds odd and a tad boring, right? Well, the entire experience is like that. Most sections revolve around you searching for things to stare at until something in the area changes or performing straightforward activities until you can pass through a door. While this is a concept that hasn't been explored much, there's no denying that it doesn't make for compelling play, especially in areas where you're not entirely sure what you should be examining or how long you to need to gawk at any given item or piece of environment.

God's Basement (PC) image

Challenges like these almost sound so random that they would be impossible to figure out, which is why the developer provided "hints" that unlock after you've been stuck for so long. While these cheapen the puzzles a bit, they also help speed things up. Ultimately, they're more worth having than not.

Although campaign tasks can be a bit of a drag, they do little to tarnish the dread the game builds. This title uses a lot of plain, ordinary assets, but pieces everything together just right. The way scant light hits certain rooms and leaves various corners pitch black is nearly perfect. The manner in which you find some areas littered with trash or miscellany adds to the madness. But best of all, the game's design spits in the face of logic. You enter numerous areas that seemingly loop with slight alterations, creating an effect a bit like dementia. You often feel lost and confused, but not because of poor stage design. That's actually how you're supposed to feel.

God's Basement (PC) image

A lot of horror stories tell their tales through implications to some degree, but Basement doesn't have time for that. It hits you with one predictable twist before showing you outright what transpired in your life. The Operator then tells you very clearly what's going on, and what happens from here. A brief ending plays out, and you're done. It's a bit of an anticlimax, though. You're left with the impression that The Operator could have departed from you with some terrifying implications, like a threat or a warning--basically anything that would have instilled some lingering fear as the story draws to a close.

God's Basement represents a step in the right direction for horror adventure, as it leaves out some of the more tired aspects of that sub-genre while experimenting with some less familiar concepts. However, it's seemingly arbitrary tasks and anticlimactic ending leave something to be desired. Ultimately, it's a decent scary title that offers a somewhat refreshing experience in comparison the usual nonsense.


JoeTheDestroyer's avatar
Staff review by Joseph Shaffer (October 15, 2021)

Rumor has it that Joe is not actually a man, but a machine that likes video games, horror movies, and long walks on the beach. His/Its first contribution to HonestGamers was a review of Breath of Fire III.

More Reviews by Joseph Shaffer [+]
Arcade Game Series: Dig Dug (PC) artwork
3 Stars of Destiny (PC) artwork
3 Stars of Destiny (PC)

30 hours of apathy
Case #9 (PC) artwork
Case #9 (PC)

This case was closed before it could ever really open

Feedback

If you enjoyed this God's Basement review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this review.

User Help | Contact | Ethics | Sponsor Guide | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2021 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. God's Basement is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to God's Basement, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors. Staff and freelance reviews are typically written based on time spent with a retail review copy or review key for the game that is provided by its publisher.