Story.Like all good nightmares, Philip's begins with something all too real - his mother's death. The days following the funeral are characterized by nothing, save for an incessant feeling of abandonment. Until, that is, he receives a letter from a dead man.
Philip's father left before he was born, taking his reasons with him. Now, here he is, opening up the door from beyond the grave. That door leads to more questions, and those questions lead to Greenland. Philip follows the clues - they're all he has left.
On leaving the final signs of human civilization behind him, in search of the location mentioned in his father's ambiguous notes, Philip wonders if he's left some part of his humanity behind as well. Soon, that will be the least of his fears.
Now, Philip needs your help. He's found an inexplicable metal hatch, in the middle of a frozen wasteland. Inside, is something yet more unfathomable.
Step into the unknown.
The Game.Penumbra is a first person horror adventure focussing on story, immersion and puzzle solving. Violence and combat is hardly an option - the player has to use wits to guide Philip through his final test, and this makes the series unique in offering a truly dangerous and terrifying experience.
Played from a first person perspective and powered by a 3D engine utilising cutting edge technology, Penumbra is a true advancement to the adventure genre. The unique physics system allows for true environmental interaction: The player can open drawers, pull levers, pick up objects and manipulate those objects in 3D space - all using natural mouse movements, creating a highly interactive and immersive game world.
The Penumbra series' central character, Philip, is realistically vulnerable, while enemies are fierce and intelligent. Any object can be picked up and thrown in defence, but the end result might only be to buy some time, or more likely, anger enemies further. Avoiding, outwitting and sneaking past enemies entirely provide the best chance of survival.
Penumbra will put players on edge like never before as they explore bizarre and mysterious environments, the unknown awaiting them behind every corner. The world is detailed both in terms of graphical fidelity and narrative character - The Penumbra Series is a horrific experience that will grip players from its opening thrills to it chilling denouement.
While the game received mostly favorable reviews, it was criticized on a number of fronts, especially for its rather crude combat system and sometimes confusing or poorly implemented story elements, causing Eurogamer to comment that the game would "do better if it relied on its own inherent spookiness rather than trying to create artificial atmosphere by banging on about a character we don't have any real reason to care about, something about his dad, destiny and miners writing stupidly long notes to themselves about their imminent horrible deaths." It did however praise the character of Red, stating that he was "the most compelling element of the narrative, and wonderfully acted."
GameSpot in its review commented on the combat by saying that fights are often "so frenetic that it's almost impossible to control your movements" and that "it would have been much more sensible for the camera to lock on and move with enemies." It did however note that it did help differentiate Overture from more action oriented titles, saying that the "end result of the difficult combat is that you feel like an average Joe who wants to avoid zombie dogs with glowing eyes, not a video game superman out to stack dead canines like cordwood.
Linux Minimum Requirements:
Same hardware as Windows
Kernel 2.6 or higher(2.4 untested)
X11R6 with 3D acceleration
For x86_64 CPU, 32-bit environment
must be installed
Purchase InformationThe Penumbra Series consits of three games, all of which have been released and can be bought as digital downloads for Linux.
Penumbra: Overture is the first game in the series, Penumbra: Black Plague is the second title and Penumbra: Requiem is an expansion for Black Plague.
All three games can be purchased as a collection for about $20.