Project Zero
Genre Action -> Shoot Em Up
Today's Rank 0
Date N/A
Publisher N/A
Date 2002-08-30
Publisher Wanadoo
United Kingdom 
Retail Box ArtWith a couple of exceptions, the PlayStation 2 has been starved of good quality survival-horror games. That's changed with the arrival of Project Zero, which mixes Japanese mythology, atmospheric graphics and freaky sound effects. Project Zero is the European version of the Japanese title Fatal Frame, and tells the tale of a young girl searching for her missing brother in a cursed mansion--all fairly straightforward stuff. Fans of the genre will feel right at home as the background story is quickly filled out, allowing the business of ghost-hunting to begin. In contrast to the comic lunacy of the GameCube's Luigi's Mansion, the spooks and spectres here are very adult in nature. The ghosts arrive to the sound of screaming and moaning and they don't shut up until they're "killed"--an act that requires a camera. Project Zero eschews pistols and shotguns in favour of a celluloid-death approach, which makes sense given that the opposition are well beyond the living to start with. In camera mode, the heroine's faithful Box Brownie pops up in a first-person style and it's necessary to keep the ghoul within the focusing reticule in order to drain maximum power from it. This process may sound a little lame, but in operation it works well. The plot development is nicely done and there are numerous puzzles to solve that are well balanced and never get too tough; but it's the graphics and sound that really make Project Zero special. Cut-scenes are rendered in a variety of styles that are designed to increase the tension and the sparse soundtrack works wonders. While this isn't the strongest title in the PS2's gaming arsenal it'll certainly keep survival-horror fans busy until the next instalment of Silent Hill. Remember though, it's best played with the sound up, in the dark, and on your own... --Chris Russell
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