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Project 13 Review

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Déjà vu – the phenomenon of feeling as though one has lived through the present situation before. 

Two-thirds of the population have described that feeling at some time in their lives and there are many theories surrounding this phrase, all since it was coined in the late 19th century. One of those is that of a collective consciousness, where we all share the same memories. 

In Project 13, déjà vu is something that is happening all the time. You are constantly in a state of repeating the same small journey, with the same things happening along the way. But occasionally there are anomalies. Can you spot them?

Project 13 review 1
You’ll be seeing a lot of this place

In Project 13 you play a test subject in a strange lab. Working in the first person, you walk down the corridor of a psychiatric ward. Here you see visitors and patients in rooms, posters on the wall, and paintings. There are vending machines and overhead fluorescent lighting that gives a soft glow.

As you turn a corner and reach the end of the corridor you happen upon the exit. There is a lever set there and you get the choice to pull it if you spot any anomalies. If you get this action right and spot the anomalies your walk is counted, leaving you to repeat again, looking out for any odd changes. If you get this wrong then the loop starts again…

That’s the setup of the game and the main focus of the challenge ahead of you. In fact, it is that which is the bulk of the game, as Project 13 comes across as a big ‘spot the difference’ puzzle book. The gameplay consists of you walking, looking at every detail in a room. You might spot a painting on the wall and there now seems to be in the smallest detail; a monster in the water. Or as you walk down the corridor a poster has changed from the face of a child to a skull. More obvious anomalies come in the shape of a monster eating something in one of the patient rooms. 

Project 13 review 2
How’s that walking going?

The lack of variety in the loop is the essence of the game, and whether you buy into that or not will determine how much enjoyment you get from this experience.

I was surprisingly obsessed, running the loop tens of times, as I looked to hunt all changes. But the loop itself will only take you twenty seconds or so to walk through, so it’s a quick game to play even when you do the loop many times. 

Visually and audio-wise it does a good job with what little it has. The corridor and the characters look good and when you see the anomalies appear they range from the subtle (a white rabbit hidden in the plants) to the massive (blood falling from the ceiling). It does create an overarching sense of dread every time you see something that is not quite right and the sound helps with this effect. 

Project 13 review 3
Oh…

But it does mean that Project 13 is a game that is quite different in its approach, working with a very simple concept. It’ll be whether you embrace it or not, as to whether it lives or dies. I personally liked the ‘spot the difference’ concept of the gameplay, fast becoming addicted. Just be aware, the endless loop is repetitive in its conception and so you may well start to get frustrated as multiple runs come about. Some of the anomalies are an absolute bugger to spot too, whilst starting again from scratch is very annoying after a while. 

However, if you have a keen eye for detail, then the changes of Project 13 might well be for you.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Spot the difference
  • Super addictive
Cons:
  • Can get frustrating
  • The same walk gets tiresome
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Dolores Entertainment
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5
  • Release date and price - 31 May 2024 | £4.99
Gareth Brierley
Gareth Brierleyhttp://www.garethbrierley.co.uk
I am an actor and a writer. I act quite a bit on stage, a little bit on tv and never on tuesdays. I have had some of my writing published and have written for TV and stage. I have been playing games since they begun and don't seem to be getting any better.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Spot the difference</li> <li>Super addictive</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Can get frustrating</li> <li>The same walk gets tiresome</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Dolores Entertainment</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5 <li>Release date and price - 31 May 2024 | £4.99</li> </ul>Project 13 Review
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