It would seem that the main man in Dementium: The Ward has suffered the same injury as the drummer from Def Leppard. Surely the only explanation for him being unable to carry a torch and a handgun at the same time is because he's lost an arm? Maybe it was chewed off by a zombie?
Whatever the reason, it's slightly annoying because the lights have gone out in this hospital and you can't see enemies in the distance without the aid of a torch. Yet if you want to shoot a zombie you'll have to put your torch away, equip your gun and either take a pot shot or wait for the beast to slowly crawl towards you. It's even worse when worms burst through air vents in the ceiling as, although you know they're in the vicinity, you have to wait until they're swarming around your ankles to shoot them down.
The Fright Stuff
Of course this cheap trick adds a great deal of suspense to proceedings. Walking around in a dark psychiatric hospital on your own would be creepy enough but when you can't actually see where you're going it is actually quite scary. Especially when all you can hear is the moans of zombies or the squelchy noise of worms wriggling along the blood-stained floors. What makes matters worse is that you don't actually know what you're doing there.
It starts with you being wheeled through some hospital doors. As you look around, you'll see a creepy-looking girl who could be an extra from Silent Hill and an army of Resident Evil-style zombies. Then the action switches to a hospital bed and your character jerks forward quickly as if awakening from a nightmare, but as you wander around the building it soon becomes apparent that this is no dream. You'll encounter violent zombies sporting open chest wounds while the mysterious girl appears cryptically for brief moments every now and then.
The mystery does add to the suspense and gives you a reason to carry on playing what is in fact a slightly plodding first person shooter.
This isn't an action-packed blast as you won't be cocking your shotgun every few seconds to blow another zombie's head off but that's not to say it can't be a bit scary. Especially when a zombie just appears out of the darkness as soon as you open a door, or some buzzing undead fly heads straight towards your face at full tilt.
If you're not made of strong stuff, Dementium will really make you jump and the limited ammo might see you running away from the enemies, desperately trying to make it to the next door.
All that you can ask of a survival horror game is that it scares you and while Dementium might not give you nightmares, it'll certainly put you on edge as you play it, which is enough to make you ignore some of the more annoying, pedestrian moments here.