Post Trauma preview - this psychological game was almost too much to handle

 Character walking through a doorway
Character walking through a doorway

Post Trauma is an upcoming psychological horror game that makes full use of its artistic and cinematic fixed camera angles to ensure that horror is at its maximum.

Post Trauma's story revolves around Roman, a tormented and tired train conductor who finds themself trapped in an ever-changing hellscape with seemingly no way out. This third-person horror title from Red Soul Games has more than a few scary moments, as well as presenting players with puzzle problems to solve.

My hands-on preview of Post Trauma led me through the dark, twisted, and confusing tunnels of a distorted reality. In 30 minutes, I encountered bloated infant monsters, bloody vein-ridden patients, and ominous pale ghosts.

Beautifully terrifying

Character looking into a giant monster
Character looking into a giant monster

When I first saw the trailer for Post Trauma, I was afraid that this psychological horror would be all bark and no bite, with its beautifully crafted locations taking center stage over any kind of terror. However, after my hands-on, I'm happy to say that this no longer seems to be the case. Especially, as I was left shaking in my seat after one blood-curdling experience with a veiny and bloated monster that snuck up on me.

While Post Trauma certainly wears its inspirations on its sleeve, they by no means define it. The fixed camera angles are very reminiscent of past genre-defining titles like Silent Hill, but thankfully, developer Red Soul Games pulls them off expertly. Every scene during my hands-on looked like they were hand-picked to get the absolute best out of every location.

Some angles built tension in a terrifying manner as they forbade you from peering around corners or seeing through doors meaning you never knew what lay in wait for you on the other side. Others drew the player's attention to particular objects, which could help with puzzle-solving. At times, I even found these fixed angles too much to handle.

Once, while navigating a particularly long and ominous hallway, I nearly jumped out of my own skin after a bloated monster crept around the corner to ambush me suddenly. This disgusting creature scared me so much that my scream managed to even terrify the lead dev sitting next to me. Despite being in one of the very well-lit and busy business halls at Gamescom, I had to take a few minutes to center myself before I could carry on my nerve-racking journey.

A puzzling experience

Camera angle from above looking down on a small room
Camera angle from above looking down on a small room

The puzzles scattered through Post Trauma range in difficulty and demand a lot of attention to detail. You can find the answers to various codes scattered around in letters and on computers in random rooms throughout the collapsing world.

While some may see it as cheating, the head developer encourages taking photos of various snippets of information that you can find around the map. The game won't remember these for you, so it's best to take a photo with your own phone if you don't think you can remember it.

This feature is slightly disappointing as a puzzle-focused horror game shouldn't rely on the player to document findings, especially when it throws you into stressful situations that can wipe your brain clean because of the fear in a mere second.

Hopefully, this isn't a characteristic that will haunt the game too much. Players should feel at ease in marveling at the beautifully twisted locations and getting scared out of their skin at the complex beasts that roam the decaying world without remembering several four-digit codes.

There's no word of a release date for Post Trauma as it stands, so while you wait, be sure to check out these terrifying horror games that you can scream your lungs out at right now.