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Wonhon: A Vengeful Spirit:



Wonhon: A Vengeful Spirit: Sometimes, in search of something unusual and unconventional, you can stumble upon something that will discourage experimentation for a long time.

Judge for yourself, the concept of Wonhon: A Vengeful Spirit is intriguing: Korea during the Japanese annexation (setting, to put it mildly, unusual), a combination of military devastation and mysticism, the main character is a ghost of a girl killed by soldiers, seeking revenge ... When you are promised the opportunity to play as Sadako from "Call" (or Alma from F.EAR ., Who is closer to what), how can you not bite !? Here are just a creepy vendetta in fact turned into a bustle of exactly the same, routine quests with a break to collect fresh carrots.

Wonhon: A Vengeful Spirit Review.  Stifling spirit

To the underworld - only in turn

Wonhon: A Vengeful Spirit: The action takes place in the alternate 1920s. Korea is in the grip of an unknown state: guerrilla groups are operating throughout the country, trying to make the life of the conquerors as unbearable as possible. The aggressor, in turn, makes every effort to fight the underground: torture, interrogation, executions of civilians, mass killings ...

One of the victims turns out to be our heroine, tortured to death by an enemy general. Even after death, she does not manage to find peace: she, like thousands of other souls, is chained to the world of the living by the energy of Khan - anger, pain and resentment towards her tormentors. Having made a deal with the god of death, the girl gains the opportunity to take on a bodily form, as well as to temporarily inhabit other people. Now the newly-minted spirit of revenge will have to help lost souls, dealing with their murderers and completing unfinished business for them. Once the girl fulfills her part of the agreement, she will be allowed to return to the living world and reunite with her family. If God keeps his promise, of course.

The plot so captures the imagination that you expect at least a few strong, touching stories from the game - for example, about the fact that there are fleeting things that are so easy to lose forever, and, no matter how angry, they cannot be returned back; or about desperate underground fighters who did not give up even after death. But in just half an hour you realize: Wonhon: A Vengeful Spirit is not at all about drama and plot. The game is simply based on a set of challenge levels, and the story of the ghost of revenge is nothing more than a way to somehow tie together a series of tasks. The plot consists of 95% of meager lines in dialog boxes, and most of the conversations are unlikely to count more than five or seven phrases. Therefore, you can forget about immersion and empathy for the characters.

The same requests from the same ghosts. In total, I counted four types of quests: kill everyone, bring a thing, save a prisoner, destroy a weapon. Reminds of side-fillers from open world games

Lurking ghost

Wonhon begins at the local cemetery, which acts as a kind of main base for the ghost girl, where other spirits are given tasks in order. In order to rest in peace, the first must kill the soldiers who executed him, the second must save a comrade from captivity, the third must find the lost doll. To administer justice and bring-serve will have to be at military bases, warehouses, in occupied villages and, perhaps, everything - the game cannot boast of a variety of scenery. To complete the next assignment, the player is almost always required the same thing - to sneak past the patrols from the beginning of the level to the end of the level and return unharmed.

The girl cannot directly engage in battle with armed soldiers. She has no weapons, and she has to move around the world of the living in a material, mortal form with all the consequences - she literally dies from two shots from a rifle. However, occasionally the heroine will still be able to take on the true guise of a ghost, but only for a very short time. In this form, she is invisible to most enemies and easily passes through walls and other obstacles. It's just that a special resource is quickly consumed to maintain a disembodied state, and the flight speed is extremely low, so a girl can easily materialize right in the midst of crazed opponents, not having time to fly to the shelter.

In general, endlessly flying and nightmare unsuspecting soldiers will definitely not work. Much more often a paranormal trick is used - obsession. Taking control of a fighter, you can, just like in Beyond: Two Souls , explore enemy territory for a certain time and draw up a detailed map of the area. Only watchdogs and shamans reacting to the presence of a ghost are capable of preventing an obsessed fighter, but they are far from everywhere. Unfortunately, in this form it will not be possible to take the quest item, and the captives who need to be saved will not go anywhere after the enemy - they do not know that a friendly ghost has moved into him. And therefore, it is much more fun to bring a commotion under the control of a fighter in the enemy's camp and arrange a firefight, not giving a damn about stealth.

There are many opponents, but their numerical superiority is compensated by stupidity and myopia. Pay attention to the viewing sector - you can sneak up almost close. True, in winter it becomes more difficult for the soldiers not to be seen by the soldiers for a completely stupid reason - the field of view merges with the snow

It’s even exciting at first. As soon as fire is opened, the enemies will realistically come running to the sound from all ends of the base - you get the feeling that you have stirred up a hornet's nest. Moreover, they will consider the violator not the heroine, but the very unfortunate fighter in whom she possessed, which opens up rather curious tactical possibilities. Let's say a bunch of soldiers are guarding an important passage. We take control of a random enemy, start shooting somewhere far away, kill as many opponents as possible, and when it becomes clear that the case smells of kerosene and the puppet is about to be shot, we leave the body in the form of a ghost. The enemy will still try to kill the unfortunate soldier, but in the meantime we are quickly moving in the opposite direction from the mess and freely run along the opened corridor to the goal.

At such moments, the game gives emotions, adrenaline, dopamine and satisfaction: "This is what I deftly beat them!" The levels are traversed in this way very quickly and energetically: the game seems to manage to find a balance between leisurely stealth and gambling shootouts. But, unfortunately, Wonhon stifles its only addicting mechanic, inundating the spirit of vengeance with hordes of immortal dummy enemies.

The poor guy turned the wrong way and in a few seconds the ghost will kill him with the hands of all the bad guys

Day of the dead groundhog

As it should be, the difficulty of the levels is constantly increasing as you progress. But, unfortunately, Wonhon: A Vengeful Spirit challenges you in the most straightforward and stubborn way - by strengthening the same opponents and increasing their number at the location. Moreover, in the first few hours it may seem that the game will consistently throw up motley enemies throughout the entire length. Two types of soldiers here and there are diluted with auxiliary units: dogs that sense a ghost invisible to people; shamans who scare away spirits with magic bells and do not allow to take control of anyone; rats, which for some reason are especially brutal here and instantly kill the restless spirit ... But soon new enemies stop appearing, and it is easy to deal with all of the above, having possessed any soldier with a rifle. And in order to patch this hole in the balance, Wonhon has given dead soldiers the ability to respawn after death! Such a "find" turns the gameplay into chewing gum: shoot all the patrols in your path at least ten times, soon the dead will stand up and, as if nothing had happened, gloomily go about their business.

The further along the plot, the more such immortal enemies there are, in every room, in every corridor. They, like cockroaches, fill the already cramped locations, leaving almost no other way of passing, except for the trick with distracting shooting. Only this has to be done not two or three times per level, but much more often, and this begins to seriously annoy. The saddest thing is that the design and size of the locations practically do not change, Wonhon does not even give a chance to find any bypass path or a hidden path to the goal.

And the lack of intelligible ideas would have resulted in a short game, but no - the developer decided to artificially stretch the "pleasure". If at the very beginning each ghost has only one request per level, then further NPCs begin to come across, who may have several assignments at once, which are not in any way united in meaning into an integral storyline. Moreover, and often with the most stupid description in the style: "Well, I was there ... I lost a ring dear to my heart ..." - to which the main character invariably answers something like: "Yes, yes, there is no time to listen to you, now I will do everything "- and runs to humbly satisfy the next corral of the spoiled petitioner. And as soon as you cope with one request, the next one immediately arrives. The game does not in any way encourage all this mournful work with information or plot, the heroine does not try to mock or comment on such impudence; it is not even clear by what right this particular spirit can make several wishes at once, while most of the others are content with one. And the most logical reaction from the player at this moment: "How did you get it, how much can you already?"

The desire to hold out until the ending can finally fight off a bunch of technical problems: from minor bugs (like bodies hanging in the air after an explosion) to the controller malfunctioning. The latter is especially ironic, considering that on the start screen we are strongly advised to play Wonhon with a gamepad. In my case, the game detected a DualShock 4 and changed the control layout to console, but the character did not respond to any of the commands. The same thing happened with the Xbox One controller. Further - even weirder: as soon as you switch to a combination of "keyboard-mouse", the character came to life, began to obediently move and run, but refused to talk to the NPC, demanding to press the R2 button, which exists only on DualShock. The problem was solved only by completely disconnecting the gamepads from the computer.

Wonhon: A Vengeful Spirit was created by a small team of four. Such projects are always humanly difficult to evaluate, since it is clear that you are not criticizing the creation of a huge, insensitive corporation, but the result of the work of a handful of developers who have shouldered an enormous amount of work. I would like to make a discount on both, and on the fifth, and on the tenth. However, only this year we saw several worthy indie projects created in similar conditions - for example, Dom Rusalok and Loop Hero - and showed that it is quite possible to make a cool game with small forces. During their passage, the player by and large does not care who and by what means what was developed there.

 So let's do this: Busan Sanai Games - respect and honor, the team has done a great job. But Wonhon, unfortunately, is not able to hook with anything, except for an unusual idea and an amusing mechanic of obsession, which quickly rises across the throat along with restless beggar ghosts and immortal enemies. This is not a bad try of the pen, but not at all the kind of game that will turn out to be a pleasant time.

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