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The Bridge Curse 2: The Extrication Review (PC, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch)

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The Bridge Curse 2: The Extrication review

Something about Taiwanese horror will always send chills running through my bones. The terrifying tales of hunted ghosts, often rooted in age-old folklore, have a haunting quality that lingers long after the stories are told. This is the foundation on which Softstar Entertainment chooses to build its games. The developers gave us The Bridge Curse: Road to Salvation, a fright fest with intriguing characters and a solid mystery-filled tale. 

Now we are back to the creepy visuals and atmospheric settings in The Bridge Curse 2: The Extrication. The title is not a direct sequel but contains many familiar yet unsettling elements. If you are a horror fan with a deep thirst for genuine great scares, this is a game you should try. But first, let's peel back the layers as we unpack the good, the bad, and the ugly, if any, in our The Bridge Curse 2: The Extrication review.

A Carnival of Horrors

Man with shovel moving towards girl inside a lift

The Bridge Curse 2: The Extrication sticks to traditional fashion and sees a group of students investigate a haunting legendary tale. The film club at Wen Hua University is looking to bolster its ranks with new recruits. So, what better way to do this than by investigating local chilling tales about the university? Sure, everyone at the school has heard about the tales, but no one is brave enough to speak, let alone find out what happened. 

Wen Hua University is a school like any other, but it has deep mysteries, and it's here that our tale unfolds. The year is 1960. A girl is murdered in the university's Da Ren building. The film club seizes this opportunity to reenact a film during the school's annual Ghost Month celebration. They released a trailer of the event, which gained instant popularity in the school, and everyone is looking forward to it. But unbeknownst to the film club members, there is trouble brewing at the bottom of the pot. 

But before that, the game gives us a glimpse of the horror to expect. A prologue, if you may call it. We meet the valiant reporter and lead anchor at United News, Sue Lian. Sue takes up the job of investigating the same horrific event at Wen Hua University. As journalists are roped into a juicy story like moths are attracted to light, Sue Lian braves the eerie corridors of the school, uncovering some mysteries. Here, the game introduces you to some of its gameplay techniques, including puzzle solving. It sets the right tone for the chilling moments that await ahead.

Little House of Horrors

Girl talking on Lift phone

Wen Hua University harbors plenty of mysteries. Many of them come to light as you explore the different buildings. Much like its predecessor, the game thrusts you into the shoes of four distinct characters, each offering a unique perspective on the unfolding mysteries. Like any other horror archetype, the game's characters are bursting with different personalities. You have your jokester, the skeptical character, and the everyman. 

As the game treats you to some jump scare, it also immerses us in the entangling and complicated relationships among the cast. The striking feature is that the characters experience things differently, like hearing voices while the others don't, forcing you to go on a solo investigation. 

The chilling adventure begins after Doc, Richie Chen, and A-Hai start filming the reenactment. The three are the show's stars, but an eerie specter takes this moment as his own and haunts the victims individually. Each character experiences their own haunting moment after a mysterious disappearance, leaving you to investigate where the other two are. What unfolds next is a harrowing journey fraught with chilling discoveries and hair-raising encounters at every turn.

The Writings on The Wall

Writing on the wall

In its proper element, The Bridge Curse 2: The Extrication is a horror game with plenty of ghastly entities out to get you. The game is generous enough to give a background to their story before encountering these specters. We first meet the dead girl whose head is tilted backward, setting the tone for what lies ahead. These ghosts do not fire projectiles or spew toxic sludge that melts the skin off your bones. Instead, they go after you with the goal of killing you. This means you'll be doing plenty of running and hiding. There are instances where you'll need to carefully move away from a trio of ghost ballerinas. At this point, the game introduces another ghastly apparition, the mad ballerina. 

The trick is to move while not in their line of sight. Not doing so results in your immediate death. 

Thankfully, the game has frequent save points where you spawn back to the immediate level or your moment of death. Admittedly, each encounter is a harrowing experience once you dive deep into the storyline. I appreciated the reenactment of events where the urban legends are briefly brought to life. This bit does more than shed light; it immerses you further into the never-ending ordeals each character experiences. 

Besides the ghost encounters, puzzle-solving forms part of the gameplay. The puzzles are light and add to the wholesome experience of uncovering mystery. Plus, they are not brain-wracking to the point of giving up. For instance, you'll need a four-number combination to unlock a safe. Adjacent to the safe is an abstract photo, which reveals the number combination upon picking up and titling. See, quite easy?

Why So Serious?

Ahai holding a piece of paper

Beyond the chilling moments, The Bridge Curse 2: The Extrication has some goofy episodes that give a light break from the intense gameplay. I was particularly floored by the mimicry of popular franchises, where you have Gurex, which clearly is a mispronunciation of Durex. Then there is KGG, which doesn't need a genius to figure out; it's an alteration of KFC. I mean, the logo has an image of Colonel Sanders, but he does seem younger. There is also Starhorse, an ode to the famous coffeehouse Starbucks. 

But it's not just these clever references that elevate the experience. The game also introduces charming interaction moments that add to the immersive gameplay. Interacting with the ghost dog gives you items to add to your collection. For instance, placing a soda can in the dog's bowl turns it into canned dog food. While seemingly minor, these interactions contribute valuable pieces to the overarching puzzle, enhancing the sense of discovery and immersion. Plus, the game doesn't hold your hand on this. You must piece things together by yourself. 

A Cultural Expedition

Girl dancing

When it comes to interactive elements, The Bridge Curse 2: The Extrication embodies every aspect with delicate precision, from cryptic messages on torn pieces of parchment to phone messages and calls that add to the horrifying atmosphere. These elements point to Taiwanese culture with some cultic references that, although fictional, bear the foundations of the cultural nuances that shape their tradition. Take, for instance, the Anima Lantern, which protects the characters from ghost attacks. Beyond that, it illuminates objects, revealing hidden images and even vanquishing lingering spirits.  

This is a nod to Taiwanese culture, where the lanterns hold significant symbolic meaning. They are believed to ward off evil spirits and bring blessings to those who light them. 

Similarly, the game delves into the concept of Yin-Yang, embodying the delicate balance between opposing forces of good and evil that underpin the game's narrative arc. This cultural reference adds depth to the storyline, emphasizing the eternal struggle between light and shadow.

Another compelling facet is the interaction with the Five Phases Stone Tablet. The tablet is a crucial cultural artifact, representing traditional Chinese cosmology and philosophy. The Five Phases, representing Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water, symbolize the fundamental elements that govern the natural world. In the game, Doc's manipulation of these elements unlocks profound revelations, enriching the gameplay experience with layers of cultural significance and philosophical depth.

The Good

Sergeant Huang

The Bridge Curse 2: The Extrication has some good, frightening moments that might startle you. The game's seamless blend of cutscenes and gameplay adds to the overall wholesome experience and intensifies the gripping moments. The character's models are also impressively detailed and emotive, adding depth to the narrative. 

Moreover, the atmospheric design goes a long way in setting a frightening scene to keep you on edge. All this is wrapped in a compelling narrative supported by real-life flashbacks that add to the immersive experience. At some point, it felt like I was watching a movie while playing the game. It reminds me a lot about Incantation, the Netflix hit horror movie. 

The Bad

Girls eye pops out

While repetitive gameplay elements exist, the jump scares briefly refresh your experience. Also, if you don't have enough patience, the game might tire you out as you wait for a ghost to leave the room. Since direct engagement or combat isn't an option, there's a sense of helplessness when you're forced to hide under a table, especially after the adrenaline rush of a scare, and you want nothing more but to bash a ghost's head in.  But hey, not even the pope can do that, so you remain hiding in the shadows before you can run towards the nearest exit. 


Sergeant Huang with dead girl

The Bridge Curse 2: The Extrication delivers a refreshing, horrific experience with a blend of creative puzzle-solving elements. The title sticks to its precedence, giving gamers yet another dose of Taiwanese culture with suspenseful and wacky moments that add to the delightful experience. With few issues to rage on about, The Bridge Curse 2: The Extrication is an easy game to recommend. 

The Bridge Curse 2: The Extrication Review (PC, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch)

Where Horror Meets Delight

If you enjoyed The Bridge Curse: Road to Salvation, you will love The Bridge Curse 2: The Extrication. The game is a first-person psychological horror where the mystery and investigation call for bravery. With plenty of ghosts lurking in every corner, will you survive the night?

Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.