The Chant PS5 Review – After the death of her sister, Jess visits her childhood friend on a seemingly peaceful island that’s basking in sunlight. Home to a spiritual retreat ran by Tyler, she soon realises that it might have been better to stay at home. On the surface, The Chant ticks all the boxes of a story based on a cult longing for enlightenment, but there’re some neat ideas that are executed rather well, although there are some technical issues that hold it back from fully achieving what it sets out to do.
Along with Kim and Tyler, there are other characters on the island looking for peace, for possible redemption, and for answers. Each one burdened by darkness that is revealed through cutscenes, and various documents littered around the island. There’s an interesting story fed to you in bitesize chunks, and the more you explore, the fuller the narrative becomes. This is a story about a woman trying to rid herself of the guilt she feels as part of her sister’s death, but other threads can be pulled and picked at to open up an interesting tale.
The Chant PS5 Review – Let us begin
Brass Token have done a very good job on the lead character of Jess in the game. They don’t set out to make her badass but instead have focused on her vulnerabilities which does allow you to connect with her through her tale. Thrust into an island filled with horrors, Jess is a survivor and that is what you will do throughout the game.
After a group Chant goes wrong at the start of the game you are left to your own devices. With various flora and fauna scattered around the areas you use your scavenged findings to create more spiritual weapons shall we say. Added to that the game uses your senses really well. When faced with horrors your mind starts to go crazy and the longer you surround yourself with the various horrors, the closer to a full panic attack you come. Your mind can be calmed with the use of Lavender as it is used in the real-life world for its calming abilities.
One issue however is that when you are surrounded by enemies the controls can start to feel clunky. I will avoid a lot of the issues I found within the game in this review as I have played for the last week and upon receiving my review copy it came accompanied with a long list of known issues which are to be patched day 1 of release. The controls do avoid this list and are as standard in the game.
The Chant PS5 Review – Monsters are everywhere
The main threat to your character is something known as ‘The Gloom’. A parasite that takes different forms leading to psychedelic trauma as mentioned above. Monsters range from actual monsters known as Mimicrawlers which I did get a strong sense of the Lickers from Resident Evil to masked cult members whose brains seem to have gone crazy (just like any cult member throughout the world).
Jess can run from these encounters if needed but you can craft various Witch Sticks to fight them off; sage sticks hurt swarms of flies; fire lash can burn cultists with great effect; and oils can be thrown to trap and damage. Salt is a great use though if you do feel that you want to turn and run from the monsters as it slows them down giving you an advantage in escape.
Dodging has been incorporated into the games fight mechanics and is easy to perform and well presented. By that, Jess doesn’t just roll out of the way like with most games, she stumbles, falls and crawls back out of the way so you can’t do what would be deemed as a normal dodge and counterattack. It also adds to the vulnerability of her character.
The Chant PS5 Review – Some classic elements
As with all great survival horror games that have come before there are a few puzzles thrown into the mix that you need to solve. Nothing a puzzling and tasking as say Silent Hill gave us. They are more along the lines of finding a fuse to power a generator to add light down a dark tunnel within mines. Finding a cog that needs to be placed somewhere to generate power that you can then access a gate that is unable to be opened without the power running.
Classic elements are a-plenty. However, that leads me into a complaint about the game. I do love the touches of classic survival horror being thrown in, but I am not a fan of the graphics which wouldn’t be out of place on the PS3. I am reviewing the PS5 version, and the graphics were well below par for even the PS4. Don’t let the trailers fool you as they don’t look that good on screen. I as certainly hoping for a much more realistic look to the game, but it came up short of the mark.
It just feels a little clumsy on the PS5. Lip Sync is out at times. Mouths don’t seem to fit some characters faces right and feel a little big for the face. The issue is that these problems are very noticeable on the latest generation of console and do need to be addressed.
The Chant PS5 Review – Overall scary ratings?
The Chant is a solid entry into the horror genre, and I do like what has been done within the game, but the graphic issues really did put me off a little too much. I wanted to love this game, but I couldn’t get past the feeling of playing on a PS3.
The crafting elements within the game bring a strong sense of vulnerability and defencelessness to our main character and are refreshing. The story kept me interested throughout the game and I always wanted to find out more. This is strengthened by collectables scattered through the game all adding to the background of what is going on. The Gloom is a very well-integrated element to the game and does give some very tense encounters