Through the Woods
Through the Woods is a third-person Norse horror adventure set in a forest on the western shores of Norway that tells the story of a mother and her missing son. Through reactive narration, the player experiences the mother’s re-telling of the events surrounding her son’s disappearance. Players follow the path of a terrified woman who has forced herself to enter this terrible place for the sole purpose of finding her son, in a setting heavily influenced by Norse mythology and Norwegian folk tales.
Antagonist developers have really captured the feeling of the forest as it is seen through the eyes of children, with all the fear and mystery that comes from roaming through it alone. This is coupled with a powerful story and high-quality sound design, which in the darkness of the forest becomes a core mechanic. Through the Woods is a profound experience that directly delivers the feelings of loneliness and loss in a terrifying place.
I’ve played this game last year when it was a demo version so I will try to capture some of the main highlights of Through the Woods so that it will give you a better idea of what the game is all about. Through the Woods is a third-person horror, adventure by game developers, Antagonist. The game is set in a forest on the shores of Norway and is heavily influenced by Norse mythology and folklore, which it also takes some of its monsters from. The basic plot revolves around the kidnapping of a single mother’s son during a vacation on an island that turns out to be home to tons of things straight out of Norse mythology, the draugr’s, trolls, the Hird, and a bunch of fantastically obscure Nordic mythological creatures.
Searching the woods for your son, you will be playing as the mother, a female protagonist who is deceptively complex. At first, she shows sympathy but this soon passed as we discover more about her and her past through encounters and triggered dialogue in a kind of reverse-like character development. On occasion, I did find myself being pulled out of the narrative by questionable dialogue and extremely flat delivery. Things could have gotten lost in translation from the original Norweigan but I played the version after the mother’s voice had been re-recorded with a new actor.
I think it would be safe to say that Through the Woods is more of an interactive story than a game, but that really doesn’t matter much since the story itself is really good. The storyline starts out a little slow, and when I played it last year I wasn’t quite sure of exactly what I was meant to do at first, but I discovered that if I strayed from the right path I found myself walking into an invisible wall pretty quickly. That sort of snaps you out of the mood of the game. However, once the game gets going and you start piecing things together it becomes pretty darn good. It leans heavily into the supernatural which starts getting really good a few hours in. Much of the main gameplay revolves around simply trying not to die from all kinds of Nordic folklore. The game can also get pretty damn suspenseful and downright scary at times, but I don’t think I would label it as a horror game. It’s mostly suspense and the edge of your seat type creepy.
The game itself is pretty, with some really nice artwork, especially the forest and surrounding landscapes. The collectibles are hidden in the forest a little too well in my opinion, as they are the key to piecing together what is happening and why. I should say that even though I missed finding half of them I still loved this game. You also could consider using a guide to find them to get the most from the game.
Overall a gripping story and genuinely creepy encounters are enough to forgive mostly being a walking simulator. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a supernatural tale to unravel. There’s also little notes, diary entries while on my journey through the woods that gave tidbits of information about the monsters I’d be facing next. The monsters themselves were kind of creepy and the scenario with the wolves had an element of suspense but, despite dying a few times the game never really felt very challenging which I believe takes away from the horror element.
In ending, I really did like the game, and getting all the achievements were fun, Through the Woods was overall an enjoyable experience and interesting addition to the horror genre despite it’s few flaws. I recommend the game, and I think it’s fair to add that you really should wait on buying this game for a sale to come along. Either way, I’m sure you will enjoy the game none the less.
About the product
- Explore stunning environments and experience stories inspired by Norse mythology, Norwegian art, and nature
- Uncover dark tales of the past and present through reactive narration
- Creative use of light and darkness generate deceptive environments
- A frightening journey, accompanied by grim, beautiful sound design
Title: Through the Woods
Genre: Horror Adventure
Release Date: October 27, 2016
Game Engine: Unity
Platforms: MS Windows, Steam
Mode(s): Single Player
Reviewed by: Kathryn Price
Our Rating: 3.0 /5
What did you think about this Game? Tell us below.
Or discuss it with us in our Horror Group!
*This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase or sign up for a program, Grim Magazine may earn a very small commission. This is at no additional cost to you. The small fee goes toward keeping our website free of advertisements and other product banners. It also helps in funding our contests and giveaways, and pay compensation to our content contributors for their reviews, articles, and stories. Please don’t hesitate to use our affiliate links!