Plastomorphosis is one of the best games you’ve never heard of. Alright, let’s whittle that down to tastes a bit before the following Plastomorphosis review becomes misleading: it’s fantastic if you like psychological horror, fixed cameras like Resident Evil, the upcoming Alisa Developer’s Cut, and the best one: Silent Hill.

Christ, how many times have you heard a reviewer refer to Silent Hill for a game, and it’s never been like it? Same here – I read/watch reviews and get irritated when one bit of fog gets linked to the horror classic. The reasoning here, however, is the ominous nature, the haunting soundtrack, and perhaps a little more literally, the mannequins.

Upon seeing the mannequins in Plastomorphosis, it came across as an initial cut and paste effort to save on game data and, predominantly, time. It’s not too different from the fog in Silent Hill 2. BUT: it works, and this game from VidyGames is the type of game I’d buy – yes, a review copy was supplied, but that hasn’t swayed me.

Plastomorphosis Review - The end
The end? Source: Steam

Put it in context that this is a small indie game on Steam, and nothing is misleading about it – you don’t know what to expect as everything is so ambigious! Hmmmm, my favourite. So let us start with our nameless hero, a budget third wheel of the band Daft Punk, riding the subway with a helmet covering their face.

We’re in Modern City, supposedly the safest city there is, and to be processed as a new citizen, you have to be screened for this dark energy type thing. The problem is, when you arrive, there’s nobody to greet you, just the darkness, titbit clues, and plenty of grunge. Plastomorphosis is super stylistic but has substance, too.

Anyone unfamiliar with the original Resident Evil control system will need to get used to it a little, though there are some configurations to assist. Initially, you’ll only have a flashlight, then a melee weapon, and later some guns, but they’ll all operate the same way where you have to hold a shoulder button to aim, which can be a little clunky if you’re used to modern titles.

Plastomorphosis Review - Fixie
Fixie. Source: Steam

The same applies to the camera angles. As a cinephile (look it up; it’s not rude), I adore these fixed-point cinematic angles you’re presented with, though they can be pretty unpredictable in new areas and whether you’re trying to evade a baddie, too. Screens can jump, and depending on your calibration, the controls may flip, resulting in unwanted commands. Again, you’ll be fine if you’re up-to-speed with games from the mid-90s. Just putting it out there as the movement isn’t sleek.

As a survival horrorPlastomorphosis wants you to conserve your gear whenever possible, so combat isn’t always on the cards. You will need to use your head though as there’s a fair amount of puzzles, which operate like the classic backtracking methods you’d see in a point and click. All the more reason to run down those poorly lit corridors, gawping at the way the action is framed.

Yes, I’m gushing over this indie a little as I’m a big Silent Hill and Resident Evil fan (the originals), so playing Plastomorphosis is like playing a very stable emulator, only this is a new game, and emulators are naughty. I’ve never seen one in my life. Honest. With that in context, this would be best-suited to retro fans and horror fans as the lighting is spot on, the ‘jumps’ well-balanced, and what with all the filters and claustrophobic framing… well, it’s just ace.

I played Plastomorphosis entirely on the Steam Deck, as it doesn’t need much to make it work. For the price, this is a no-brainer as a recommendation – all within what I touched on above: old school, super stylish, and a retro experience.