Review: The Bridge Curse 2: The Extrication Scares, but Could Be Shorter

3 weeks ago 36

The Bridge Curse 2: The Extrication is a Taiwanese horror game that plays very similarly to the average horror movie in that it starts out strong, has a promising middle, and then sort of peters out near the end. While its strong foundation in Chinese beliefs and culture help it to stand out from other horror games, it could have done with quite a bit of trimming before it could stand out from the crowd.

the bridge curse 2 storyScreenshot by Siliconera

The story of The Bridge Curse 2: The Extrication is technically a continuation of the first game, as well as the The Bridge Curse series of movies. You don’t need to play the first game or watch the movies to understand this though. It starts with reporter Sue Lian entering the school to investigate the mysterious disappearance of student Huang Ting-ting. The last known footage of Huang shows her in an elevator, with her jumping in and out and acting erratically much like the Elisa Lam elevator video. As Sue follows the clues and interviews the military sergeant in the school, she finds herself in a bizarre alternate dimension.

The scene then changes to three university students: Rich, A-Hai, and Doc. They want to film a movie based on a 1960 murder case in which the the daughter of the school’s headmaster was killed by her fiancé. They also find themselves in the same alternate dimension as Sue. Not only do these students need to reunite and escape, but they also need to solve the mysteries haunting Wen Hua University and rescue Sue as well.

the bridge curse 2 ghostScreenshot by Siliconera

It starts out strong, with Wen Hua University after hours serving as a perfect backdrop for a horror movie. The ambience is strong and unsettling, and the designs for the ballerina and female ghost being very memorable. However, the story is just too long for how much they actually show of it. The genre shift away from supernatural survival horror near the end also made the game feel less compelling. For reference, there are five chapters in total, with you controlling a different character each section. While the developers advertise them as distinct, they’re really not. Sue and A-Hai play virtually the same (relying on the Anima Lantern to solve puzzles and fend off enemies) while Rich and Doc have nothing except each other.

the bridge curse 2 ballerinasScreenshot by Siliconera

In my opinion, the second chapter featuring the Mad Ballerina was too strong. It made the rest of the game feel really bad in comparison. Her story itself wasn’t interesting since it seems episodic than connected to the grand picture, but playing red light green light against murderous mannequins in an intense ballet sequence is pretty awesome. It’s certainly more unique and challenging than the actual final boss of the game. The story could have been about half the length at only three chapters long. That would have been better. The villain didn’t seem to have a clear motive for doing what he did and his appearance was jarring, looking more like a bizarre Ent than the other ghosts. It’s unfortunate how he’s the last impression players get of the game.

My biggest issue with this game is the AI and “combat” difficulty. The final boss in particular has very little object permanence and often lost track of me even when I wasn’t doing any crazy jukes. A-Hai and Sue also have the Anima Lantern, which prevents a fatal attack once and then it needs a cooldown to charge up again. The thing is, enemies can’t crouch in this game apart from the final boss, who can destroy the tables you hide under. The Anima Lantern trivializes the game because of the ghosts’ inability to crouch and the university’s abundance of tables. You can employ a hit-and-away tactic in which you jump out, throw yourself at the ghost to stun them with the lantern’s counter, do whatever you need to do, and then hide under a table to let your lantern charge again.

dogScreenshot by Siliconera

The potential is there for The Bridge Curse 2: The Extrication. It could have been an amazing horror game between its beautiful graphics, interesting use of Chinese beliefs, and its memorable monster designs. Unfortunately, its overly long story and poor enemy AI weigh it down. That’s not to say the game isn’t scary, of course. It certainly took me much longer than necessary to beat it just because I needed to work up the nerve sometimes to enter certain rooms. If you want a scare and The Bridge Curse 2: The Extrication sounds up your alley, then I recommend playing until the end of the third chapter.

The Bridge Curse 2: The Extrication is readily available on the PS5, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PC. Windows PC version reviewed.

6

The Bridge Curse 2: The Extrication

Try to escape with your life in a first-person survival horror adventure. Play through the eyes of four distinct characters as you evade and confront terrifying ghosts, unravel mind-bending puzzles, and unearth a sinister conspiracy… Windows PC version reviewed. Review copy provided by company for testing purposes.

The atmospheric horror is sure to make shivers run down your spine, but it fails to maintain its momentum.

  • There are a lot of funny little references and little jokes throughout to keep the game from being TOO scary. The presence of these scenes and other Easter eggs is so whimsical.
  • Maybe it's because I didn't find all of the collectibles in the game but I actually had a lot of questions about the story after it ended. It could also be that I didn't play the first game or watch the movies though.
  • The localization is phenomenal.

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