PLATFORM: PC, PS4, PS5 (REVIEWED), XBOX ONE, XBOX SERIES X, SWITCH | RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Following on from 2021’s remaster of Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water, Koei Tecmo has brought new life to another installment of the famous Japanese franchise “Fatal Frame” with an upscaled new-gen version of 2008’s Project Zero: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse.
Set on the fictional island of Rogetsu (and also during the earliest part of the overall timeline making it a prequel to the series), the story follows Ruka Minazuki; a young girl who as a child was held captive on the island along with four of her friends. Years later, Ruka and two of the surviving girls return to the island to try and uncover the secrets of the Mask of the Lunar Eclipse using the famous Camera Obscura to tackle the spirits that roam the landscape.
Although the fun gameplay mechanic of defeating ghosts with a camera (along with the DualSense motion controls on the reviewed PS5 version) is still of course ever present as it is the key selling point of the franchise, this latest remaster suffers with a lot of the same problems as the previous re-release did. The controls do feel a little easier to manage, albeit some of them still make no sense, but the main problem is the clunky tank controls (which can work when done right), slow pacing, and odd dialogue choices.
The upgrade and New Game+ allow for some great combinations and replayability especially with the map seeming a bit more fleshed out with lots of collectibles and lore, but it runs into problems again when having to constantly retread the same areas and corridors even when switching characters.
The game is still fun to play however, and the overall narrative is slightly stronger than the previous remaster which makes it compelling enough to play through again, but overall it feels a bit like a quick re-hash rather than a faithful remake that could truly bring this series to the modern gaming era rather than remaining “of its time”.