In Pneumata, Tenants are a Real Terror

Pneumata Preview

Pneumata is an upcoming game from game developer Deadbolt Interactive. They gave us access to the demo that will be available in Steam on September 23rd. Deadbolt is a small indie team that has created a game in the survival/psychological horror genre. The creatures in the demo have a Silent Hill/Lovecraftian vibe to them. Pneumata, for those not in the know, means ghost or spirit. More specifically, holy spirit. It remains to be seen how the story and gameplay will incorporate this reference. I could glean little from this demo.

The game is set in a small Missouri town in an apartment complex – Clover Hill, but for the demo the action takes place entirely underneath in the sewers. The demo is about one third of the way through the story. The game is in first person perspective and starts with you falling from a broken ladder. After a hard landing, you can look up to see an open manhole cover.

The goal of this section of the game is to find a way back to the surface. Of course, the path to get back above ground is fraught with dangers, dead ends, and diabolical monsters. The game arms you with a flashlight, a knife, a shotgun, a pistol, and limited ammunition for both. As you venture into the sewers, you can find additional weapons, such as a section of rusty pipe that becomes your melee weapon.

As you try to find a way out, you discover game lore in the form of notes. There is also health, ammunition, and more weapons throughout the level. Also available are save points scattered throughout the level. As is de rigueur with this type of game, there is no straightforward path to success.

You will solve puzzles, throw switches to gain access to new areas, and combat a range of creepy creatures. In my demo playthrough I only encountered two of them. One was vaguely human and somewhat zombie like. The other while bipedal seemed reptilian, somewhat like the Lizard from the Spider-Man universe.

Glimpses of Pneumata’s Potential

As this is an early alpha release, the demo is far from optimized, but I could see glimpses of content that are quite enticing. The renders suitable lighting effects and the underground environments in solid detail. The beam of light from your flashlights, reveal hidden horrors or treasures, or items needed to continue your quest to get back topside. This is another game using Unreal Engine 5 so expect to see impressive visuals.

The gameplay in the underground area shows that resource management will be tantamount. You have very limited amounts of ammo for the pistol and shotgun. Also, melee weapons and running have endurance limits. You have to monitor your stamina.

To regain stamina, you must rest, which is difficult to do when enemies are nearby. These are very much staples of the survival horror genre. To improve your chances of survival, exploration is a must. Finding ammo or supplements can be lifesaving. Supplements not only improve your health, but can increase your stamina.

The demo is for the PC and will support keyboard and mouse, as well as PS5 and Xbox controllers. The demo will be released on Steam on September 23, 2023. The game is a multi-platform release and is coming to Steam, Xbox, PS5, and Switch. There will also be a VR version, though it is unclear if that includes PSVR 2 or Meta at the time of this article.

Coming This Halloween

Appropriately, Pneumata is targeted for final release this Halloween, 2023.

Thank you for keeping it locked on COGconnected.

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