Unforgiving: A Northern Hymn is a terrifying first person survival horror adventure that draws inspiration from Swedish folklore as you attempt to escape a forest filled with trolls and other mythical beasts.
In Unforgiving: A Northern Hymn you wake up alone on the edge of a small river in a deep, dark forest. As you walk along the riverbank you try to ignore the strange noises coming from the woods behind you and focus on what may be your salvation – a small house just across the river. Needless to say things don’t go quite to plan, but you find a lantern with a box of matches inside which should help to light your way through the forest….
At first the box of matches seems like an odd design choice for a light source in a game as they don’t last long and can be prone to going out – but that’s actually what makes them so great. The few seconds you spend standing in pitch darkness each time your character attempts to light a new match is terrifying – thanks to the creepy audio design and the fact that once the match finally lights up there’s always the fear that it might illuminate something you’d rather not see!
Unforgiving: A Northern Hymn’s game world is very detailed and the creatures that you encounter throughout are genuinely terrifying – particularly within the cave sequence. The scares are all scripted, but they’re very well executed and some of the most unsettling sequences are more psychological – such as a particularly disturbing section when you have to remove an impasse in a cave.
Horror games inspired by Norse mythology are few and far between (the last one we came across was the excellent Through The Woods), but when they do arise they’re often very good indeed. Unforgiving: A Northern Hymn is no exception to this rule, with superb audio/visuals design and the rich Norse mythology adding a real sense of authenticity to the proceedings. The various creatures that roam the wilderness all feel like they belong there – you’re the intruder in their world, all you can hope to do is to survive it…