We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Post Trauma offers the old-school horror Silent Hill 2 remake can’t

As horror fans lament the latest Silent Hill 2 trailer, Post Trauma is a worthy alternative in the old-school psychological horror space.

A sorrowful man with long hair looks wistfully away. This is Roman, Post Trauma protagonist.

It doesn’t matter what manner of muscled killer, mannequin, or contorted flesh monster is running towards me at the end of the world, adrenaline is only carrying me so far – and I’m no Heather Mason or James Sunderland. Just once in a while, I’d like to play as a ‘hero’ I can see myself in and, while he may be a middle-aged man, I get Roman, Post Trauma’s beleaguered protagonist, as he slows and pants, bending in on himself, a hand on his chest.

Our out-of-shape lead man goes through this every time he runs out of stamina in the old-school horror game throwback Post Trauma. It’s such a simple thing, but, as I play the game in the House of Fury, the four-story residential building in Stockholm that houses publishing company Raw Fury, it’s one of the first things I notice, and one of many things that make this upcoming PC game so special.

YouTube Thumbnail

Much like Silent Hill 2, Post Trauma features an unstable and traumatized protagonist. This is a man who’s been through some serious shit, and this bleeds, literally and figuratively, into whatever is happening to him here. At HoF, associate game producer Linda Johansen tells me “he’s not a stereotypical hero. This is about trauma.” She continues, “Of course a fit hero can have trauma, but that’s not really what it’s about. He is disturbed… that’s why he’s the shape he is. It’s a bit different from the big muscly guy.”

Post Trauma goes back to classic tank controls and a fixed-camera perspective. It also features puzzle game elements, and you’ll need to navigate a winding map while collecting items and completing various brain-teasers to progress. Saving is done via a tape player in set locations, similar to Silent Hill 2’s red letters or Resi’s typewriters.

That said, Post Trauma is different. There’s our unfit protagonist for one, and unlike the classics, the puzzles here won’t stump you for long if you don’t want them to, as Johansen tells me that “every puzzle can be brute forced,” if you so please.

A chubby, grey-haired man stands in the corridor of a hospital, looking at an ominous symbol painted on the wall.

Then there’s the daunting atmosphere. As you stumble through the hospital section, the corridors feel cramped and oppressive, with Roman’s breathlessness enhancing the tension. There may be no fog, but our protagonist is forced to bend down to move under fleshy obstructions on the ceiling, giving a heightened sense of discomfort and claustrophobia – these halls are so small you can’t even stand up straight.

What’s more, interactive objects are not marked by an icon in the middle of the screen but instead by an eye in the top right-hand corner. This is far less invasive while remaining easily visible, allowing you to stay immersed in your surroundings. These seemingly small details show how well thought out Post Trauma is, and just how much passion for the genre the creators have.

It’s a great time for single-player horror games right now. The popularity of new releases like Crow Country shows that we crave the classics, their pacing, and their often challenging controls. Bloober Team’s Silent Hill 2 may impress visually, as do Capcom’s Resident Evil remakes, but these flashy, modernized takes arguably struggle to capture the feeling of the old days. If that’s what you’re looking for, keep an eye on Post Trauma, which is heading to Steam this fall.

You can follow us on Google News for daily PC games news, reviews, and guides, or grab our PCGN deals tracker to net yourself some bargains.