The camera can be a powerful tool. One that can take pictures to give us some of our fondest memories. A way to help tell the story simply by seeing the picture that was produced with a click of a button. But what if a picture could reveal more than thought possible from something not seen originally by the human eyes? Anything is possible and if used in the right setting, could possibly help with survival. So does developer, BLOODIOUS GAMES, show us what it’s like to explore our horizons while trying to come out alive? Let’s find out with MADiSON for the PS5.

MADiSON is a first-person, psychological horror game where you try to solve puzzles and figure out what is going on as you are forced to continue a ritual that was started decades ago in this immersive, but yet, terrifying experience. So before you go in and start pointing and shooting your way around, there are a few things that you should be aware of. First, get your favorite place to sit. Get comfortable. In fact, make sure it’s a place where if you jump, you will not damage those around you or yourself. Second, grab your favorite headset. You want to be able to hear the sounds around you in the best way possible. Third, make sure your DualSense controller is fully charged. You don’t want to be moving along only to be stuck with whatever may be possible all because you forgot to charge your controller. Fourth, I am not going to spoil anything for anyone as I am not going to show what happens as you will want to experience this for yourself. Finally, have some fun. With all that said…let’s continue…

In MADiSON, you play as a boy named Luca. What should be a normal family home environment, turns out quite different. When you first start, you wake up in a dark room. It would be ok, except for the hearing of the banging and cries from your father who blames you for what has happened. It’s when you look at the door and your hands that you notice the blood. This starts to raise more questions as you are trying to figure out what is going on. But the room itself is more of an escape room scenario as you have to try and figure out how to get out. This will result from drawers that can be open to items that can be read and found. So it’s a matter of looking anywhere and everywhere to find the answer to get out.

When you actually get out of that family room and start to experience other parts of the house that, at times, makes you wish you would have just stayed in the family room and had a good old therapy session with your father to at least make things seem better. It’s when you actually get the polaroid camera that you start to feel that this may be more a survival tool than you thought as it can do more than just take pictures.

If you are thinking what else can the camera do, well, it can help reveal puzzle clues, show hidden messages, and other things. I will say, the flash on the camera will come in more handy than you think, especially when things are dark. Just remember to shake the picture a few times to reveal what it caught. But there is something about the DualSensce haptic triggers that add to the experience of taking the pics that really need to be felt. Since the environment plays a major role in helping the story along from bumps to sounds, there are televisions and cassette tapes that are found throughout your adventure. These tapes help along with the audio portion to help you try and figure out what actually is going on, not only around you but to you.

Going through MADiSON is not a simple walk to point A to get to point B. There will be times that you feel like you cannot get out and you just might have to retrace your steps. Keep in mind that you can only hold a certain amount of items and if you want to hold more items, you will need to store them. But if you store the wrong item only to get to the point where you need to go and then realize what you need was stored, that can become a little frustrating at times. Some of your items can never be discarded or stored such as your camera or notebook. So backtracking again can become frustrating when things can get turned around behind your back. Again, it’s the environment that plays a big part here, but at the same time, it does add some extra time when playing that you may not have been expecting. When you have the right items and you progress in the story, things really start to pick up from the new puzzles you will be challenged with to areas that you wish had the lights on. Luca doesn’t really run that fast and at times you wish that he would, but one thing is for sure, the consistency with the horror of your surroundings that moves along with you.

Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. The graphics when playing on the PS5 are very good. From the type of lighting that is used in different areas from candlelight to just flashes of light in very dark ones, they play with your eyes in such a way that should be pleasant for everyone. The atmosphere of horror visuals is played throughout and when you add the sound which balanced out when it needed to, there was something about the timing with the jumpscares and just the different creaks and bangs that really helps balance things out that your ears will be pleased.

There are a few things that I would love to see added. For one, the ability for Luca to run faster. I get that he may have things going on, but some speed would be greatly appreciated at times. The second is the inventory system. I understand being able to only hold a certain amount of items but maybe adding a few more storage places would be beneficial. And last, is VR. This is a first-person psychological horror game and would benefit from a VR mode. Just think how much more the intensity could be raised here if you were immersed in Virtual Reality.

MADiSON isn’t afraid to put you in your place and make you face the horror. It adds the ability to scare when it needs to while just pulling the strings at the right pace to make you want more. We sometimes get so busy in our own lives that we want to go at our own speed without thinking of those around us. But sometimes it’s good to slow things down and just enjoy the environment that you are in.

MADiSON is out now digitally on the PlayStation Store for both the PS4 and PS5 and also as a physical release on the Perp Game Store. A review code was provided. To learn more about BLOODIOUS GAMES, please visit their site, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter. To learn more about Perp Games, please visit their sitelike them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.

In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I think I am going to see if I missed anything.