Everyone has some regrets throughout their life. Mistakes are made, lessons are learned. But sometimes there are bad decisions that can eat away at a person, slowly changing the way they think and feel about humanity. Distraint tells this exact story, and sadly there’s no way to change the outcome. In this 2D horror adventure game, the player takes the role of Price. A genuinely nice guy, who’s just trying to climb the corporate ladder and impress the “big guys”.
Price must have drawn the short straw because his job really sucks. He’s the guy who tells people they’re being evicted from their homes. People who have nowhere to go, who have children, dying spouses – it gets pretty depressing. You can imagine the toll that would put on someone’s mental state. Price starts to feel the guilt pretty early on in the story and begins to experience some crazy psychological breakdowns. The cutscenes and dialogue can get pretty creepy…and bloody. There is some really messed up stuff going on in this little town, especially in that old folks home.
The gameplay itself is really simple. The player is mostly walking from point A to point B, doing what I would call “fetch quests” in order to solve whatever mystery you’re trying to figure out at that time. I would say this game is highly story-driven. Which I didn’t hate, as I wanted to know what happened next like I was reading a good Stephen King book or something. I was really into it, and then all of a sudden, it was over! So fast. I seriously thought my game was frozen when I beat it because I couldn’t believe that was all. And it ends pretty tragically… realistic, but tragic.
Aesthetically speaking, Distraint has everything it needs to give you the “heeby jeebies”. There’s creepy music when necessary, awesome visual effects, spooky settings, blood, and the scariest part of all, a soul-sucking job. While the graphics might look a little outdated, I assure you it just adds to the atmosphere. I thought the panoramic screen and their giant heads were going to bug me too, but I honestly didn’t even notice once I started playing.
The most disappointing part of the game is the ending, and that’s for more reasons than one. I tried not to give too much away in my review, in regards to the storyline because it’d be pretty lame if you already knew what happens. But I will say if you like a good psychological thriller, then Distraint is right up your alley. It’s like an interactive storybook, that just ends way too soon. I would have loved a longer playthrough, or at least had some different choices when it came to Price and his career. After you beat this short, sad game, I can’t think of any reasons to play it again. For a while at least.
Overall I enjoyed my experience with Distraint, even if it was just under 2-3 hours of gameplay. If you’re into the creepy stuff or looking for something spooky to play while you wait for Halloween, it’s definitely worth checking out at only $5.99.
Review: DISTRAINT: Deluxe Edition (Nintendo Switch)
Distraint: Deluxe Edition is short and sweet. Unlike the story, which is gruesome and a bit psychotic. I liked the whole experience, but I would have loved a longer playthrough and some different outcomes for the ending.