After several narrative continuations and strange side stories following the original Corpse Party, Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient finally seems to capture some of that spirit of disturbing moments, upsetting sound, and sickening, twisted story that the original had.
Ayame awakens in a seemingly abandoned hospital, but she won’t be alone for long. Strange things lurk in the halls – monsters that are pained by the light. Still, when the power is flickering on and off, you can’t rely much on illumination, and those creatures are more than happy to choke you dead.
A few friends might help you if you can keep them breathing. You’ll meet a handful of friendly characters as you wander, although many of them aren’t quite as stable as you’d hope. The decisions you make throughout the game might lead them to a breaking point or death, loading some unexpected moments with tension.
The characters, while only briefly introduced in this episode, for the most part, seem like an endearing group of teenagers. There isn’t quite enough time to flesh them out, but the carefully-crafted dialogue makes them into a believable group of buddies. Although some of the languages is way over-the-top. But at least it’s in a funny way.
While you might get them killed with bad decisions, you probably don’t have much to fear from the monsters. Zombie-like beings wander the gloomy hospital, and they’ll chase you if you get too close. The halls are wide and these monsters are a bit clumsy, though, so don’t expect to get caught often unless you’re in a rush. This sabotages some of the tension the game is working to build, as the monsters aren’t much of an actual threat – a far cry from the ghosts of the original game.
The game builds a great atmosphere through its story and character arcs, but it’s in its use of imagery, language, and sound that it ties your guts in knots. Unsettling details are gone through in painful detail, making you feel like you’re languishing in the horrors. Sound makes these moments come alive with a squishiness and slickness that adds a vileness to events. And the developers know just what to show players to burn a frightening image into their minds.
Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient, as the first in a series of episodes, ends abruptly, cutting its tension short. This may make it hard to keep rebuilding that tension as players hop into new episodes as they release, which leaves me wondering how well this structure will aid the game.
While only a short episode, Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient is a return to the sound, language, and character connections that made the original so compelling and disturbing.