Home Game Reviews Erica: An Engaging Interactive Thriller with High Replayability

Erica: An Engaging Interactive Thriller with High Replayability

Erica FMV review

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Erica Feature Picture
Erica Feature Picture

Title: Erica
Developer: Flavourworks
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Released: August 19, 2019 (PS4), May 25, 2021 (PC)
Platforms Available: PlayStation 4, PC Game
Platform Reviewed: PlayStation 4
Article Reading Time: 6 minutes

Games like Until Dawn, Hidden Agenda, Heavy Rain, and Detroit Become Human have shown that console gamers are also interested in games where they can control the story and shape the fate of the main characters. The new Erica game tries to build on the abovementioned games, although it can’t boast such ambition or budget. But it makes up for it all with a distinctive and not-so-hackneyed style. It is not a game but rather an interactive film in which you control the main character’s actions. You can already tell this by the fact that the whole game is acted, has real actors and environments, and everything is handled in a completely believable way, which is greatly influenced by the excellent performances of the hired actors. The player is not just a passive spectator but directly intervenes in the game or instead in the story because he interacts with the objects, makes important decisions, and influences the events and fates of the characters, including the main character.

Story and Setting

The most important thing with Erica’s play is the story, which decides what it will be and how much she will like it. Story-wise, this is a classic B-grade thriller that doesn’t offend at all. It is exciting and well-written, keeping you hooked until the very finale. The main character is a young girl, Erica. She went through literally hell in her childhood when she found her father dead, with a mysterious bloody mark on his chest. When she grows up, she still suffers from nightmares, but little does she know that the worst is yet to come when she finds a box outside her apartment door containing the hands of a murdered man, which also has a mysterious mark on them. So, for her own safety, she is taken to the asylum where her parents also worked, but that’s when all hell breaks loose because everything is connected. I won’t reveal more because, of course, the game builds on Erica’s story, and it’s definitely better to enjoy it with a minimum amount of information. Considering the game’s focus, it’s definitely a shame that it’s not localized into English, as Sony’s habit lately has been. On the other hand, English is average, so if you know a little English, you shouldn’t have a problem.

FMV Genre Revival

Erica is a so-called FMV game. These have appeared in the past, especially in the 1990s. The attempt was to connect the world of video games with the world of film. Still, everything needed to be improved by the technology used and several obstacles back then. Nowadays, of course, the situation is entirely opposite, and everything works as it should, thanks to advanced technology. Especially the transitions between the film and the interactive parts are smooth and almost unnoticeable, which only adds to the overall experience. The developers had to put much work into this, but it was worth it.

Acting and Soundtrack

As did the performance of the actors. The unknown actress Holly Earl plays Erica perfectly. Her performance is compelling. You can see the constant fear and fright in her eyes as she gradually reveals her not-so-happy past. But it wasn’t just Holly Earl who played her character well. Every actor handled their roles professionally. What also helps the game is the quality soundtrack provided by composer Ten, who has a rich history with games. He has composed the soundtrack for Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Journey, and Abzû and contributed to the opening track for The Order: 1886. The tracks for Eric’s games complement each scene well. They make it even scarier or more suspenseful.

Control and Accessibility

PlayLink games like Erica have been built so that anyone can play them. Although they could be controlled using the classic Dualshock 4, they also supported control via the touch screen of a mobile phone. Still, you had to download a particular app to that first. Although Erica doesn’t belong in the PlayLink program, you can still see her roots and the fact that she was planning for it. On iOS or Android, you can download the app to your smartphone and control the game through it. In fact, the game is only controlled through the touchscreen, where you have to swipe your finger around it or select different options during conversations. This is definitely the best option. It’s true, though, that you can use the Dualshock 4, which is sufficient and a decent alternative. Still, the touchpad is sometimes tiny and needs to be more reasonably responded to appropriately. If you don’t have your phone handy, the Dualshock 4 serves relatively well, but it’s not the best choice for controlling a game.

Replayability and Final Thoughts

The first playthrough took me just under two hours, during which I didn’t get bored for even a tiny moment. It is, therefore, the perfect entertainment for an evening out. Moreover, I ran everything a few more times after finishing it because of the platinum trophy and because you need a chance to discover and discover everything during the first playthrough. Moreover, I wanted to test how much the situations will vary according to the different options, which are significant. They lead to several endings, so it’s definitely worth playing through everything again. The replayability is enormous in this case, just like with Quantic Dream’s games. You won’t regret the money spent.

Erica may lack the big ambitions we see in Quantic Dream’s games, but its quality is still intact. The story is intriguing, the blend of interactive passages with the cutscenes is practically flawless, and your decisions really matter, making the game worth playing more than once. If you like this type of game or enjoy trying something new, you will go right with your purchase. Erica deserves your attention; it is one of the best FMV affairs in years.

Where to buy Erica

  1. Steam (PC): Available for $11.99. You can purchase the game directly from Steam Store
  2. PlayStation Store (PS4): The game is priced at $9.99 or included for free in PlayStation Plus Plan. You can find it on the PlayStation Store

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