I have to say first that this game is not likely to appeal to those who have a strong affection for games like Amnesia or Outlast, it's simply not that type of horror game. There is a total lack of jump scares which typifies the genre of horror game that people play per their normal routine. Most people expect within any game lumped into the horror genre for there to be a survival element.
This is not the case with "The Path" and the creators took it in an interesting and under-appreciated direction. Though the game is simple, and at times can seem clunky which is generally considered a drawback, I believe that these elements actually lend well to the type of aesthetic that they were hoping to achieve. There is no survival, there is fail or success, and you have to put in time to achieve either.
Dark and brooding, if you enjoy the sort of existential horror that only a few writers can touch, this game has hit the nail on the head. I enjoy minimalism; in music, in game play, in almost all aspects of life, so I do have a somewhat biased opinion toward my outlook of this game, in particular. It has very quickly become one of my favorites.
I think that calling it a twist on the classic Red Riding Hood story is a bit misleading. Other than the fact that the nightmares are referred to as wolves and you're essentially on a trip to your grandmother's house, there's not a whole lot of similarities. yes, these are the main tenants of the plot line of "Little Red Riding Hood", but that's not my point, here.
The point here is that each character has their own downfall, their own nightmare, and the endings are all due to self imposition. This game explores the concept that the worst things we experience in life, we bring on to ourselves - and it takes this view through the eyes of the various characters of the game. Rather than becoming a character or playing as a certain character, you are living vicariously through the character and witnessing their worst fear and what leads them to their own ultimate failure. I don't feel that any of the information here is a spoiler, because it's very unique in its approach.
I will admit that I watched some videos on YouTube of the game some time ago, and wasn't very interested in picking it up. When it was put up at a sale price, I picked it up. If I had known what I know now, I would have gladly paid the full price for the game.
I did not even mention the soundtrack beyond saying that I enjoy minimalist music - the more dissonant and noisy it is, the more I'm going to like it. Of course, the soundtrack to this game goes more in the dissonant and far-off category of reverb and chorus-soaked synthesizers and slightly off-key choirs. In the same way that David Lynch explores this type of sound in Eraserhead with the "In Heaven" scene, the score to this game explores the unsettling weird-stuff-falling-from-the-ceiling aesthetic.
In short, if you're at all interested in existential horror, and you're the type of person that enjoys seeing a slice of life of those who have experienced unfortunate circumstances that have ultimately led them to make poor decisions leading to their own personal nightmare, you will love this game. Be prepared to invest time and really focus on it to get the most out of it.
Posted: December 6th, 2013