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Agony Review

Price: $29.99


Before getting to anything else, Agony has an M rating from the ESRB and it definitely deserves it. In fact, it originally would have received an Adult-Only rating, but the developers tweaked the problematic scenes, as an AO rating would prevent a console launch. The descriptors given are strong sexual content, nudity, strong language, intense violence, and blood and gore. If such content is not appropriate for you, and there is a lot of all of this content, then there is a good chance the media within this review is also not appropriate for you.

With that addressed, Agony is a survival horror game set in Hell. Your goal is to escape, which means surviving traps and demons to reach the Red Goddess, the being that rules and created Hell. No one actually knows if there is a way to escape, but if there is, she is the key to it. As you progress you will learn your own role in the story is a bit more involved than a sinner searching for a way out of eternal suffering.

There is an interesting mechanic in Agony that allows you to assume a spirit or soul form, and when in this form you can find and possess a new body. This could be the body of another martyr, or, if you are powerful enough, the body of one of the demons hunting you. There are some pros and cons to possessing a demon body, but it is still nice to occasionally get to become the monster that just killed you, or another, bigger monster capable of exacting revenge.

Horror is an odd genre of games for me because, honestly, it is not one of 'my' genres, but I have a lot of experience with them. In May 2016 I finally brought to reality an idea that was floating around in my head for a while; to record gameplay with real-time heart-rate data. Since then I have recorded some 175 hours of heart rate data across 24 games, and Agony makes it 25 games on my The Body on Games YouTube channel. I have the heart rate data for every second I spent in the game, making it possible to look at how I reacted to the game, along with a complete recording of my review playthrough. I also use the Tobii Tracker 4C and the Gaze Overlay from the company to record where I am looking as well, but as Agony supports eye and head tracking, this overlay is more transparent than usual (it is the green 'bubble' moving around the screen).

I should mention the review key for the game was provided to me (specifically by Tinsley PR for Maximum Games), so to that extent, the videos and this review would be considered sponsored. Also, while my commentary during the videos does give my immediate impressions of the game, you may find differences between it and the written review. This can be because something changed my opinion of the game later on or that when I sit and write any review, I am reflecting back on the experience and may change my mind then. I cannot say 'hindsight is 20/20' because even if something does specifically frustrate me and the commentary captures it, I could still forget it by now, when I am writing the review. My sentiment for when this happens is if it was not important or significant enough for me to remember, it is also not important or significant enough for me to write about.

With all of that covered, time to get to the reviewing.

  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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