Video Game Review – The Suffering (Nintendo) PS2,XBox

The Suffering
PS2, XBox

The Suffering is the goriest, most repulsive game ever released — and that’s meant in the nicest way possible. Unlike some of its predecessors, such as Manhunt, The Suffering finds a perfect balance between mind-numbing gore, shock value and (gasp) a good game. The Suffering, published by Midway, is a horror/survival game that plays along the lines of a Resident Evil. But with its engrossing story, multiple variations of gameplay and high replay value, The Suffering is in a class of its own. Players must be cautioned, however — this is not a game for the weak of heart, stomach or mind.


Set in Abbott State Penitentiary — a maximum security prison — the player assumes the role of Torque, an inmate on death row accused of murdering his son and wife, a crime he may or may not have committed. Torque contends that he had a blackout and has no recollection of what actually occurred. As if being on death row of a maximum security prison isn’t bad enough, this prison is haunted by its former inhabitants. On the eve of Torque’s impending execution the spirits awaken and wreak havoc amongst the jail slaughtering almost all of its populace.


The Suffering has a unique option of gameplay. It can be completed using two camera settings: third or first person view. The default camera angle is the third person but can easily be changed on a whim just by pressing the square button. This allows for a much more customizable experience during game play. The controls are extremely smooth and camera angles are well placed. The control scheme is fairly simple; the left analog controls movements while the right analog controls eyes. As far as shooting is concerned, aiming close to the target is enough because the auto aim control takes over. This becomes extremely helpful when there are 20 demons surrounding the main character only looking to rip out his spleen.


The graphics in The Suffering are above average but the lighting is what makes the game look so good. The dark light sets the mood and doesn’t compensate any of the visuals themselves — the gamer is still able to see exactly what’s going on around him. The music however, is almost completely negated by the sound of heavy breathing and a heartbeat constantly in the background. This adds to the intensity but the lack of music injures the game.


Torque, as noted in the game by one of his fellow inmates, is a killing machine. This, in itself, makes this game fun, but the fun really begins when his “insanity meter” reaches its peak. Torque has a special ability similar to that of The Hulk, where he fills with rage and transforms into a hideously powerful creature, destroying everything in his human version, however, is not exactly defenseless, either. The gamer can use more than 10 deadly weapons, from a shiv to a flamethrower, to survive this nightmare.

3 reasons The Suffering will have you dreaming of jail:

-Multiple endings. In the game, many situations forced the gamer to make a life-altering decision. Based on those decisions, there are three separate endings.

-Background voices. Throughout The Suffering, you will be tormented by voices trying to sway your alliances and drive you crazy. Should you ignore them? Follow them? That’s up to you.

-Sheer carnage. This game contains some of the nastiest stuff ever seen on a video game.

3 reasons The Suffering will have you wishing that you rented Gigli instead:

-Mutilation and f-bombs. Easily offended players who dislike dismemberment or yelling obscenities, will hate this game.

-Shortness. Granted, the game can be played three times for the different endings but…with only nine levels you’ll be able to beat the game within a week.

-Character animations. Where are the character animations? Let’s see some anger, some sadness, something on Tourque’s face. The lack of facial expression makes it hard to connect with him and leaves the gamer feeling a bit cold.

Contact Chase Kobrin at