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Agony Review

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Story:

Initially Agony starts with you falling into Hell as a martyr, and shortly after you learn you are not only without your memory but also face an accusation that others are in Hell because of you. While the accusation does suggest there is some greater depth to the story, you do progress through the game a bit before it is addressed. Until then, the story is actually pretty weak with it really just being you trying to escape Hell, which means getting to the Red Goddess. You do still ultimately need to get to her, actually a number of times, but your role in the world is left unexplained for quite a long time.

The story is told through interactions with a handful of NPCs but also notes you will find and collect through the game. Thinking back now I am unsure if the notes are necessary to understanding the story, but they do add valuable background and color to it. None of them seemed very long, or populous enough to make it feel like a burden to read those I found. You can also go back into the Gallery to re-read them later. There are also paintings you will find and interacting with them adds them to your Gallery as well, but these paintings and the collectible statues you find are actually more significant to the background story than you might expect.

While your identity is potentially a spoiler, I do not consider the background (or what I interpret to be the background) and the Red Goddess to be a spoiler. Based on what is presented to the player by how she is referred to by NPCs, the notes, the paintings, and the statues, it seems the Red Goddess is a deity that has been present in human history for a very long time and in many forms. The paintings and statues show these different forms from what appears to be a pre-historic fertility goddess to her being one of the malevolent actors in the apocalypse. Recognizing or researching some of these references may add to the experience of the story for you; it helped me enjoy it. This presence of hers is also stated in the game I believe, but you can guess at it earlier.

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately there are some aspects of the story that seem to be neglected or forgotten. While many of the monsters you encounter are demons in the service of the Red Goddess, there are also shadow beings crawling about. While the demons, especially the succubi, described as her priestesses, are considered her eyes throughout Hell, it is indicated these shadow beings are not of her and thus would be the eyes of another being. At least in my playthrough, this other being was never identified, but it is possible I missed what would explain them. The game has multiple endings and many secrets I know I failed to find, and there is a separate Succubus Mode I have not yet played. (The Succubus Mode unlocks after completing the normal/martyr campaign and allows you to play a new campaign from the point of view of a succubus. This might be a parallel story or a separate story, but either way it may address some of these questions.) Personally I was hoping to discover some amount of turmoil in Hell between the Red Goddess and another being, but this was before your identity was revealed, which provided me with the same satisfaction (though it did not answer the questions concerning the shadow beings).

I do want to return to the graphics briefly because they serve the story quite nicely. They do a good job of creating a tortured and perverted world for you to explore and survive, even with the issues I discussed earlier. This seems to be more the case earlier in the game, when you are entering multiple regions that each have a purpose, as opposed to a large desert or icy caves found later.

 

 

This might be considered a spoiler by some but I do want to discuss an issue I have with the ending I had for the game. It really should not be a surprise that the Red Goddess betrays you at the end, but it is done so quietly it left me confused. I mean she just sent you to do something and without a word turns on you. I honestly was not sure what was going on and if I was actually supposed to be fighting the enemy or if we were allies. Turns out it was a fight, but that section was also scripted, so I was not defeated, just confused. Of course this could be easily predicted as it is stated she taught the succubi everything they know, and their existence involves the tempting of humans with granting their desires, only to betray and kill them in the end, so this betrayal at the end is not hard to see coming, but could still have used some words to recognize it.

Overall the story is kind of mixed and inconsistent, but still fair to good. My opinion of it might improve if/when I continue playing and have more of the story revealed to me. The reason I use the word inconsistent is because of the paragraph a bit above this one, and how the game takes you from areas with multiple, smaller regions in them that almost tell a story on their own, to larger areas like a desert that are still filled with things, but I could not tell you what their story or role is in the larger story. Encountering torture chambers will descending through The Pit is more interesting and engaging than finding ruins in a desert.

 




  1. Agony Review - Introduction
  2. Agony Review - Graphics
  3. Agony Review - Story
  4. Agony Review - Gameplay
  5. Agony Review - Heart Rate Data and Playlist
  6. Agony Review - Conclusion
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