ER: Patient Typhon is an adventure game where you play as a young woman. You wake up in a hospital, somewhere, without any memory of getting injured or getting to the hospital. Your arms were amputated, and you’re told that they needed to be because you had fallen off a cliff and your arms were mangled beyond repair. The doctor has given you, and all his patients, his own special drug saying it’ll cure you, but it’ll take time. The problem with this concept is that you quickly find out that other patients had limbs removed with the EXACT same story told to them about why, and none of you have any memories of your supposed accidents. Somethings hinkie as the almighty bae, Velma, from Scooby Doo would say. Well one night everything goes to hell, and monsters of unknown origin are all over the place, now you have to survive, figure out what’s going on, and get the fuck out of there.
The game is interesting in so much that the main character is a sick young woman, without arms, the concept is just interesting, instead she uses her feet or mouth to do things which is pretty cool as she shows off some impressive futbol skills. The doors in the game open via keycards or button pushes, she holds keycards in her mouth, and she pushes buttons with her head cause she’s a shorty too. She can run, but because she’s ill she runs out of stamina pretty quickly and like most people strenuous exercise makes her pretty damn hungry. Which comes into play mechanically. You can make her run but only for short distances, and afterwards she needs to catch her breath which causes her to stop moving for a while. On top of that, after she runs too many times, she gets hungry and at that point she can’t run anymore for a while anyways, you’ll regain some of your stamina naturally but only enough to run one short period of time, and then it takes a while to recharge it, or you can find food which gives you more stamina. The weird thing about food is… most of it she finds seems to be in mouse traps… she’s eating stuff put out for rats which is… well, you know. Sadly this all means the game involves you mostly walking everywhere at a very meandering pace at absolute best, which at the start is fine cause your in a normal doctor’s office, but once shit hits the fan, walking like 1 mile every few hours is maybe, you know, not a fucking good idea. Walking, I believe, also slowly expends stamina, I have no proof of this as there’s no stamina or hunger meters on screen, though in the save file there is a stamina number. However, it feels like if she eats a lot and I run, I’m able to run more times immediately than I can if she eats a lot, then I walk for a while, and then I run a bunch.
But as stated monsters are about and fucking with everything and bad shit is happening, because of this the game has a tons of ways for our young leading lady to die in it. Dying restarts you at a recent checkpoint which often isn’t too far away. The cool thing about this is that there’s one or more unique death animation for each thing that kills you, with most of them being interesting to watch. Monsters are the most fun way to die, usually there’s two different scenes based on whether you’re facing them or away from them when they get to you, but there’s also hazards in the hospital that can kill you from a fire that can kill you with smoke to poisonous gas even. That was like the most fun part of the game for me, just getting the character killed in various ways to see what happened.
There are some problems with it. The first set of issues are pretty obvious, running is limited, walking is slow, and running recharge rate without food is arduous at absolute best. This really slows the game down, it doesn’t give atmosphere, it just slows it to a fucking crawl. The other thing, which made me give up on the game is there are chase sequences in the game, and most of them are okay but there’s one that really sucks, super fucking bad. You’re running from this dog monster, and the character mostly walks just up, down, left, and right. the first part of the chase is diagonal with stuff in the way, it easy to get caught on the side of some of the objects and die, and it’s just hard to move through them efficiently because diagonal movement doesn’t work all that well. And then if you get through that part, you have to run, twice. But there’s barrels. in that running area. The problem with running is you click the button and the character runs in that direction until they’re done running. They keep running even if they run into something. you’ll just stay running into it until she’s done, that takes time. Then when you’re done running she stops and needs to catch her breath. If you pass the diagonal area which is annoying on it’s own, then you have to run passed one set of barrels, recover, move to a different side, and run passed the other barrels, recover, and move to the side to avoid the monster. The monster is catching up to you no matter what you do cause it’s faster than you. This chase is annoying and takes me a number of tries every time, and then it’s easy to die to other things afterwards which is a problem because the checkpoint is right before the chase. I’ve had to replay that fucking chase so many goddamn times, I gave up and quit the game, cause it pissed me off.
Another issue is you don’t know where you need to go to continue main game, which typically locks you out of the area you were just in, or explore-able areas. I want to see every part of the area but then get pulled into the next area which almost always has a checkpoint immediately so I lose the ability to check the old areas. There’s no chapter select no area selection, you don’t revisit the areas again. As such, to see the rest of that area, you have to restart the entire fucking game and then play a fairly slow game, up to that point again; it’s annoying as shit.
So… I would like to say I loved the game, cause most of the game I did generally like, there were some issues that really damaged my enjoyment fairly significantly. Exploring was fun, seeing the various deaths was fun, reading backstory from notes you find around to understand the story of the game better was fun, all things I really enjoyed, that they did really well. However, some bad checkpoints, no manual saving, not being able to revisit areas by going backwards, that chase I talked about in the above, how slow the walking is… there’s a lot of things that annoy me, some of which are significantly more upsetting than others, and it wasn’t for them this game would totally get the Seal. The parts of the game that I liked, made up most of the core parts of the game itself, the issues though, the bad ones, they ruined the game for me. However I’ll also point out that they are making two pieces of DLC and I believe they’ll both going to be free, the first one is already out and is free, in it you get to play as a monster which is actually fairly fun.
A review copy of the game was provided by the devs.
darkmikasonfire does not award ER: Patient Typhon the Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval.