The Ritual on Weylyn Island Review: Great Story, Dated Graphics
The Ritual on Weylyn Island is advertised as a first-person survival horror game set in a remote island. You play Moira Weylyn, a 22-year-old visiting her grandfather’s remote island to meet with her family and hear the reading of his last will and testament.
Upon arrival, you quickly discover that all is not well on the island. Your goal: find your family and escape the horrors of Weylyn Island.
The story told throughout this game is pretty interesting. The heavy influence of classic horror stories is apparent, with a lot of the typical horror elements present.
You are alone, you have to venture through unknown territory in search of someone, and you are never safe.
The way the story is told comes off a bit rushed. From the moment you arrive at the island, the main plot points are laid out in the first five minutes of game play.
Gameplay is pretty standard for a first-person perspective title, however you will not be wielding any weapons here. Your interaction with the environment is limited to opening doors, picking up objects, and interacting with objects to make sure your survival.
One jarring element of gameplay involves the quasi-cutscenes where the character’s head is taken over by the game to direct the player’s view to match the narrative.
I found myself wanting to look around or focus on specific objects while the character was speaking, but this control is locked out so you end up just going along for the ride.
Bugs are clear throughout the game. Picking up a wallet and looking at the ID inside before putting it in your pocket may result in the wallet being left in suspended animation in mid-air.
Object choice is picky. You have to hover over the exact right spot for things to work.
Graphics are indicative of the games’s indie DNA. It would be leading in 1998. Blood has a density to it that sits on top of objects and not soak in or stain them.
That said, there is no less of a feeling of absolute urgency and horror when you are being chased through the house by what would seem to be crazed madmen.
The voiceover work in The Ritual on Weylyn Island is pretty good, but the sound mixing could use some work. As you enter the island your short conversation with the boatman is poorly mixed, taking you out of immersion for a moment.
You can hear microphone elements throughout the voiceovers, as well. At certain points, it becomes obvious that you are playing a game and not being immersed in this virtual world.
Sound effects, however, are well used. Hearing someone scratching at the door you’re praying doesn’t open, the sound of water and rain, etc. are well done. As long as no one is talking, I found myself becoming extremely immersed despite the simple graphics.
The Ritual on Weylyn Island achieves its goal of delivering an interesting story, an element of urgency and horror, and all this despite its outdated graphics and basic audio mixing.
At $9.99 this is a reasonably priced title. Unfortunately, it has to compete with a swarm of other horror indie games that feature better graphics, superior audio, and an equally gripping story.