Another weekend, another blog post!
So while I’m waiting for Zelda to arrive I thought I’d get on and play some more of the games on my list, and I was browsing through and saw Rule of Rose. I’d never heard of it, so I thought it would be an interesting one to look at next. I am a huge horror fan, played a lot psychological horror such as Project Zero, Amnesia, Outlast, Eternal Darkness – even played the Ju-on game! So I thought this would be a good pick for me.
It was pretty difficult to acquire it – it’s a PS2 game and from the brief research I did, I found out it was banned in the UK; I can see why as so far it’s horribly disturbing and I was pretty freaked out in the first hour of playing!
The game begins by telling you the story of Jennifer – the player character, whom was orphaned when both her parents passed away. You are sent away to a mansion, and on the bus journey you meet a small boy who hands you a book made up of child’s drawings. He asks you to read it to him, and as you do, it begins to tell your story and the pages after that are blank…
The creepy boy runs away while laughing manically and you are left to follow his path towards the decaying mansion. After a little search of the area and collecting a few items, you look through the mansion gates and see a disturbing sight. Two little girls, their heads covered with paper bags, beating a dog to death. The dog is in a sack, but you can hear it’s cries, the floor is covered in blood and they are laughing. If that isn’t messed up I don’t know what is… Something about the fact that nearly everyone in the game is a child makes everything 10 times worse, the creepy cackling, crying, the doll-like appearance and soulless eyes. Ughhhghghg D: <
After you explore the mansion, you are bundled into a box and you find yourself in what appears to be an airship high in the clouds. Someone has tied you up in a filthy room and begins to explain the ‘rules’ to you. Once you escape, you can find the door to the Aristocrat Club; it seems the little girls in the orphanage have established their own hierarchy and you, the new girl, are at the very bottom as the ‘Begger’. Thus, you must follow the ‘Rule of Rose,’ which states you bring the Aristocrat Club and item of their choosing every month. As the ghostly voice in the filthy room informs you, if you don’t follow the rules of the club, they will kill you without a second thought.
The gameplay is the traditional horror style – you can find items, examine them, and you have a basic inventory to store them. The game allows you to explore the airship and use items in the right context to progress. The controls are a little clunky but not difficult to master. There is also combat in the game, but the one and only encounter I had so far really sucked because you can’t aim properly and the camera angle remains the same as when you are exploring, which means sometimes your view of things is obscured. I’m hoping that doesn’t make up a big part of the game because it felt like a pointless addition or even an afterthought.
The game switches between jump scares (usually when opening a door you can’t pass through) and a general build up of disturbing imagery such as violent drawings and and upsetting cut-scenes which makes the atmosphere very tense. It helps that the game has aged fairly well, the environments look believable and the cinematics feature very detailed characters that compliment the story very well so far.
Another thing I don’t like is the sound effects; they often seem out of place and very repetitive which can break immersion a little. But the background music is very well put together so that almost makes up for the sound effect issues.
Overall, I really don’t know what to think of Rule of Rose so far. It’s definitely creepy and once you get used to the clunky controls that isn’t really a hindrance. I’m definitely intrigued to know where the story is going so I will be back when I’ve learnt a bit more of the narrative.
Thanks for reading as always ^-^