The Wailing Heights developer, Outsider Games, promises players an exciting world of oddities where the town features unique encounters with illicit zombie dealers, over-excited werewolves, and hipster vampires. Upon this promise, this incredible video game provides an experience that is odd, fun, and consistent, and perhaps a little frustrating at times too.
Without diving too deep into spoiler territory, those interested in the game will want to know that the game’s story mode is based on Frances Finkelstein, a band manager who attempts to reunite The Deadbeats, a now-deceased band, while also attempting to protect his still-living body. To achieve this, players are required to use Possession, and in-game mechanic, where Finkelstein will take over the bodies of several characters, including a Public Defender and Soul Ghoulman.
The possession mechanic is extremely important during the story and gameplay of Wailing Heights as Finkelstein will eventually become a disembodied spirit. To successfully possess a certain character, Finkelstein needs to obtain their name, something they love, and something they hate. Once this is achieved, a short song is played, as this is a musical adventure, which allows you to possess a character. Every character will give you access to a specific area, such as Vampire Café or Law Library, which will then further serve the overall story.
Where this video game excels is in the Possession mechanic and the overall design. Boasting with an assortment of well-known comic book talent, the new Wailing Heights offers a gorgeous game with cutting-edge 2D artwork. The in-game locations will give you the impression that they have been taken directly from a comic book, while dialogue choices will be displayed in speech balloons which solidifies the cohesion of the gameplay and artwork. It’s also worth stating that the characters you can possess, along with the Deadbeats band members, have a comic origin that is viewable within the game. Furthermore, as the primary cinematics are displayed in comic form, Wailing Heights can be considered an interactive comic book.
Every character will have a special ability. For instance, Soul Ghoulman can read thoughts and turn invisible, while the Werewolf character track down various items by scent and undertake a quadrupedal form. However, the design behind each ability has one significant drawback as they are the only way you can increase the speed of movement for each character.
Unpossessed characters will remain in the location where a newly possessed character was taken which means that you’ll need to frequently cross the map to locate the specific character you require. The overall movement speed is extremely slow, so it’s best to use those abilities to move across the map continuously. For instance, the Zombie character’s ability is an increase of speed along with the special ability to understand other undead zombies.
Wailing Heights will provide a challenging adventure packed with loads of intriguing puzzles to solve. Despite a handful of drawbacks when it comes to the overall gameplay, this video game consisting of musical adventures will offer you a unique, stable experience that is sure to be fun and exciting.