Fobia – St. Dinfna Hotel review for PlayStation, Xbox, PC

Platform: PS5
Also on: PC, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One
Publisher: Maximum Games
Developer: Pulsatrix Studios
Medium: Digital/Disc
Players: 1
Online: No

If you follow any team sport, you?re likely familiar with the idea of a role player. If not, the term is pretty self-explanatory: it?s a player who isn?t a star, but who fills a particular niche. They deserve to play, but they?re not someone who you?d build a team around.

I mention that because Fobia – St. Dinfna Hotel is basically the gaming equivalent of that. It?s a solid survival horror game. It?s not going to blow you away, and unless you?re really into the genre it?s probably not something you need to play, but it?s decent enough that if you?re a fan of Silent Hill and Resident Evil and all their descendants, then it?s definitely something you?ll want to at least check out.

To Fobia?s credit, it does this by simply having a lot of the right pieces. It?s got a creepy setting: the eponymous hotel that goes from vaguely unsettling to completely nightmarish in the blink of an eye. It?s got a decent plot: a journalist investigating said hotel, who quickly gets in way over his head. It?s got an interesting mechanic: in addition to your gun, you have a camera that helps you see different timelines. And, of course, it?s got a creepy girl in a gasmask who pops up every now and then on the edge of your vision just to make the game a tiny bit more unsettling.

What stops Fobia from being a great game in its own right is that the game never feels all that original. Whether you?re running from monsters (or trying to shoot them with somewhat ineffectual weapons), going from one floor of the hotel to another and back again to solve puzzles, or switching between timelines to uncover essential items, all of it feels like something that?s been done plenty of times before. Mind you, that?s a wholly subjective critique ? and as I said, if you?re fond of survival horror, then it may not bother you too much to see the game hit the genre beats so well.

Just about the only major, non-subjective critique of Fobia is that it has some technical issues. Literally every time the game went from a cutscene to gameplay, there?d be a pause of about ten seconds or so where the game freezes. For the most part, that?s just highly annoying ? but there were moments, where the game puts you in peril and you need to run away or shoot at something, where the freezing is the difference between life and death.

Still, if you can overlook that, Fobia – St. Dinfna Hotel provides some pretty solid chills. It?s not the sort of game that will wow you unless you?re already a fan of survival horror, but if you are a fan, it serves as a pretty solid reminder of the good things the genre has to offer.

Maximum Games provided us with a Fobia – St. Dinfna Hotel PS5 code for review purposes.

Grade: B+