Menu

Bring to Light Review – It May Come

SPOOKTOBER 2019 Entry #1 – Next Entry: World War Z

 

It’s back! The 3rd installment of Spooktober!

 

The great jack- o’- lanterns in the sky know that I need this special occasion. All around me, people are more fascinated by the prospect of Christmas coming up than they are Halloween. Various shops already have their reindeer ready. It’s absurd, and I refuse to stand for it until after November 5th, so let’s get these creepy festivities out of the way, starting with Bring to Light!

 

This is the latest title from Canadian developers, Red Meat Games, and– Now that I think about it, any developer with “Red” in their titles usually has a stab with horror. Red Barrels with Outlast, Red Hook with Darkest Dungeon, Red Limb with Rise of Insanity. In that case, the “Color meets adjective meets horror” attempts are 1-1-1 in terms of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly at the moment, so let’s see how Bring to Light breaks this tie.

 

An in-engine screenshot of Bring to Light, showcasing one of the monsters; Specifically the Ghoul.

 

You play as Guy Guyverson, or rather Lady Ladyperson. It’s unknown exactly who or what you play as, but that’s irrelevant, as the subway you were riding on has derailed. Inexplicably, you are the only survivor from this wreck, with bodies nowhere to be seen. A lack of assets could be the easiest answer, but for the game’s sake, let’s just say that it’s because the monsters in the subway have eaten everyone else and are looking to eat you. Who or what are they, and what are their origins? That’s unknown… it will continue to remain unknown, as I stopped playing halfway through and with good reason, but we’ll get to that.

 

It’s a walking simulator. Don’t let other reviews fool you into thinking that this may be some sort of tense game of cat-and-mouse. This is a walking simulator first and foremost, except once in a while when the pots in your kitchen will fall. You have a cracked phone working as a pathetic flashlight, and as you continue forward, you’ll come across random underwritten notes addressed to nobody.

 

First impressions weren’t strong. Your first taste of horror will be when a door slams right in front of you while in complete silence. Your second taste is– and I’m not kidding here– a random pixelated .jpg of a fucking skull with glowing eyes. What is it, and how does it connect thus far? It doesn’t! I may not have finished the game, but in all honesty, what chases you strays from the path of this .gif with a Photoshop edit.

 

An in-game screenshot of Bring to Light, showcasing one of the monsters; specifically a humanoid creature in a crypt.

 

The cover the game uses has this sort of red-eyed ghoul on it, but then some others use what looks like concept art for the Licker from Resident Evil 2. Then you also have to deal with these weird spider variants, both their child and adult versions. There’s possibly more, but they don’t come across as much of a threat, mostly due to some uncaring A.I.

 

Every once in awhile, you’ll be stuck in a space where one of these various monsters are patrolling the area. You’ll usually have to find an item, like four goddamn fuses or mirrors to reflect light, and you’ll notice quite quickly that the monsters can’t actually stray from their predetermined path. You can poke a stick at them and aggravate them as much as possible, but no matter what, they simply can’t be bothered chasing you after a short while.

 

There are ways to destroy them as well, and that’s with the use of flashlights and lanterns, but I’ll be goddamned if it isn’t a pain in the arse. They’ll be set on fire, sure, but they show no signs of continued degradation and will continue at the same speed of pursuit. Eventually, they will die, but half of the time, you won’t even be sure if the game is working as intended, which makes sense, if you came across the physics.

 

An in-game screenshot of Bring to Light, showcasing the mutant spider in a bright light.

 

Fun fact: In the world of Bring to Light, nobody can stay still on stairs. They’re slides with sharp bumps, and if you stay still or crouch on them, then you might even hear your character do a little “Whee!” as they slip down. I’m kidding, of course. I’m making my own fun after going through under-designed areas.

 

Bring to Light’s level design is actually kind of fascinating. Red Meat seems to have taken their visual cues from the benchmark of F.E.A.R., but I don’t think our protagonist here has a VK-12 in their pockets. Every room is so dry and drab. Litter and ruins seem meticulously placed and built, like it’s the cleanest apocalypse ever. Signs of death and strife are non-existent, and all you can rely on is the voices.

 

The sound design almost works really well. Every once in awhile, voices will pierce your surround sound in a way similar to Hellblade, but in all honesty, it comes across more like Limbo of The Lost. These voices seem more invasive than possessive and are dedicated to simply popping in randomly, as opposed to being a part of the environment. It’s hard to explain, but their presence is Red Meat’s only card to make you feel threatened, and they take too bloody long to truly elevate said presence beyond audio distractions.

 

An in-game screenshot of Bring to Light, showcasing one of the dimly lit and damaged subway tunnels.

 

At some point, the game eventually decides to funnel you down into more interesting prospects, and by that, I mean they ditch the horror and turn it into Portal 2. Now you’re suddenly doing light-beam puzzles with Aztec mirrors and positioning, and I honestly couldn’t tell you where the switch-up was. Thematically, it makes sense, but it’s a harsh juxtaposition when compared to the harrowing nature the game attempts to evoke.

 

It all fell apart after an hour or two into said puzzles, however. They eventually become more complex with different light beams and switches you need to activate, and they’re stimulating. They’d be more stimulating if they actually worked though, and this is where I stopped playing.

 

After playing the same puzzle for 70 fucking minutes, tweaking these stupidly thick light-beams from mirror to mirror with as minimal movement as one can get from a drifting thumbstick, nothing was working. The light beam necessary to move forward kept missing the final piece of the puzzle by a pixel, and I was becoming befuddled and annoyed.

 

An in-engine screenshot of Bring to Light, showcasing one of the crypts, with a lava fountain in the middle.

 

I decided to break my own rules and searched up a video walkthrough to see exactly what I was doing wrong, and the answer? Nothing. I was doing nothing wrong, and the game was simply having a bit of a fit. It was just a simple glitch that frustrated me severely, especially when it persisted after two separate restarts. Well fine then, Bring to Light. If you won’t do your job properly, then neither will I.

 

I just don’t understand Bring to Light‘s intentions. It’s both overwritten and poorly designed. It’s both under-dressed and overly eager with aesthetic switch-ups. It tries too hard and not hard enough to startle you. It’s like 100 different people shouted a different answer to “What horror game should we really evoke in our new title?” and the results are 50 percent Amnesia, 20 percent Alone in The Dark, 15 percent Spooky’s House of Jump Scares, and 15 percent Layers of Fear. The results are mildly pitiful, to say the least.

 

In the end, I don’t know what the hell Bring to Light was supposed to be, and I’ll honestly never find out. Its most interesting development isn’t even one revolving around terror, unless you thought the laser cubes from Portal 2 were hiding something. Even its sound design becomes more of a burden than an actual threat or imposing entity. It reeks of under-development, and I apologize for not kicking Spooktober into gear with the right type of game.

 

Man, now I feel like a tit for wasting Sagebrush so early.

 

This review of Bring to Light was based on the Xbox One version.

No comments

Leave a Reply

Newsletter

Lightmatter Review — You Light up My Life

To the same degree that light spreads out from the aperture it shines through, the creative energy seething from Valve’s The Orange Box permeated all levels of game development. The…

January 24, 2020, 107

Stardew Valley Surpasses 10 Million Copies Sold

One of the greatest games of our time, light of my life, point of hope in the chaos of the world Stardew Valley has officially sold over 10,000,000 copies after its…

January 24, 2020, 57

Leaked Images of Xbox Series X Show Off Console’s Back

The first real-life images of the Xbox Series X have leaked online via NeoGAF. Two images of a prototype model of the console were posted by user Curry Panda in a…

January 22, 2020, 147

Dying Light 2 Delayed Indefinitely From Spring 2020 Release Window

Delay season just won’t end. The sequel to the well-liked, open-world zombie parkour game Dying Light has been delayed from its intended spring 2020 release window. Developer Techland has not…

January 21, 2020, 125

Fire Emblem to Receive New House in DLC Pack

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is one of the biggest games currently on the Nintendo Switch, and its first major DLC pack adds a whole new layer to the game. Cindered Shadows…

January 20, 2020, 109

Demon’s Tilt Review – Forget The Ball, I’m Titled

“I feel the demons rage, I must clean them all away.”   Y’know what Pinball reminds me of? Blackpool piers, with that bloody Who song playing in the background. The…

January 19, 2020, 221

Support Australian Fire Relief with Humble Bundle

https://www.humblebundle.com/games/australia-fire-relief Global climate change has lead to worse wildfires than ever as of late, the most recent of which being a bush fire that covered the entire continent of Australia…

January 17, 2020, 183
Read Dead Redemption II

Top 10 Games of 2018 – What’s the Story, Wishbone

There’s nothing I love more than a good story with compelling characters, and 2018 delivered on an unprecedented level. Almost every single entry on this list is worth a replay…

January 16, 2020, 171
Byleth Joins Smash

Fire Emblem’s Byleth and Cuphead Mii Costume Join Smash

At last, we finally know who will be the 5th and final character released in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s Fighters Pass. Mr. Sakurai revealed in a video presentation today that…

January 16, 2020, 221
Image from the promotional art of Resident Evil 3 (2020). Depicts villain Nemesis facing towards the camera.

Resident Evil 3 Remake’s New Trailer Shows Off Nemesis

Capcom’s highly anticipated Resident Evil 3 Remake has just gotten a new trailer. This marks the second bit of footage we’re seeing of RE3 Remake, which was announced last December…

January 15, 2020, 160