Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water, also known as Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water, has finally been released on the Nintendo Wii U.
Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water takes place on the fictional Hikami Mountain, a place infamous for suicides and spiritual happenings connected with local bodies of water. In the past, resident shrine maidens would help guide people to a peaceful death, using a mind-reading ability to bring them peace. In time, they would grow too emotional to perform their abilities, and they would be sacrificed as an Eternal Flower to keep a malevolent power called Yomi at bay.
The story follows three different protagonists; Yuuri Kozukata, who has the ability to bring people back from the shadow world into the real world: Ren Hojo, an author and friend of Yuuri who goes to the mountain to research his new book: and Miu Hinasaki, the daughter of recurring Fatal Frame protagonist Miku Hinasaki.
Each character has their own reason to visit the treacherous mountain; however, to avoid spoilers, I will avoid detailing these out.
Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water takes players on a genuinely creepy, complicated, and well told adventure. While there is a lot going on in the initial storyline, which spans through different time periods and switches between 3 characters, everything essentially gets pieced together in the end without too much complication.
As this title essentially sits in the survival-horror category it is packed with genuinely frightening jump scares as well as some rather brutal and disturbing scenes. This what what makes Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water a great title as it does not hold back anything. It touches on subjects that other developers seem too nervous to touch upon. Overall, when it comes to story, Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water features a genuinely disturbing tale that is well worth experiencing on the Wii U.
While trudging through the dark and sinister set pieces players will encounter malevolent spirits that will need to be disposed of; however the only means of defense and attack for the characters is a device called the Camera Obscura. The Camera Obscura, which allows you to exorcise spirits by taking pictures of them, is an antique camera that is essentially controlled using the Wii U Gamepad.
Players will essentially have to place spirits within the view finder in order to deal damage. The highest damage is dealth when a player performs a fatal frame shot. While using the Wii U gamepad felt more like a gimmick at first, I was surprised that it actually worked rather well… even though it was a bit clunky at times. Players can also switch lenses on the Camera Obscura, which will allow for additional damage as well as secondary uses.
While controlling the Camera Obscura is a breeze, controlling the main characters is not. There were times where I would find myself running into violent spirits or entering and exiting rooms that I did not what to enter or exit at the time. Additionally navigating tight corridors felt slightly haphazard at times. While this won’t entirely ruin the overall experience, just bare in mind that mastering the controls is a must… if you intend on completing the 12 hour campaign.
While Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water may have a few movement issues, it does not fail to deliver in the graphics department. The set pieces, characters, and environments are well designed. To add to this, each area that you explore comes across as deep, dark, and genuinely creepy.
Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water is a great game overall. It utilises the Wii U Gamepad rather well and tells a story that is truly terrifying. To add to this, it’s no holds bard approach makes it a must play title for survival-horror fans.
Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water was reviewed by Darryl Linington