The subset genre of first-person video games with a horror vibe which psychologically evaluate the player while they play it is not the most crowded one, but, yet, it is still more crowded than one might think. New to the family is Perfection, a student game made by Yasmin Curren, Tiffany Derbyshire, Tabitha Beresford-Owen, Merrell Facets, and Jaime Aldous of HoriZen Productions.
Perfection puts you into the role of a patient of Neverbetter, a company set out to help people overcome their personal issues and reach perfection. Sort of. We never actually meet any employee of Neverbetter, as the clinic appears abandoned.
The clinic is where Perfection starts you out after a full-motion video introductory sequence – without scanlines, but with a nice 1950s aesthetic. Once in the actual game, you get to explore the Neverbetter clinic. The reception desk is empty, leaving you with only one option: digging through other people’s files and peeping into various rooms.
This gross violation of patient confidentiality (which Neverbetter admittedly started by just leaving the files there in the first place) is Perfection’s core mechanic. On your way through the clinic, it’s possible to intrude on other people’s privacy to whatever extent you like.
At the end of Perfection — which can be reached in about twenty minutes — you get your very own dossier, telling you something about yourself. Or maybe about the peeping Tom fantasies you like to live out while playing video games.
Perfection has a little more to offer than that. It is a horror game at its core, so expect a number of scares while exploring the mostly linear clinic. None of it is groundbreaking, but Perfection narrowly manages to dodge the ‘Steam first-person horror game’ category — partially because it is not on Steam in the first place.
Overall, Perfection delivers a short horror experience that manages to stand out a little bit due to its somewhat unique psychological evaluation mechanic. Oh, and you can see your character’s feet when you look down. Details like that count.
Perfection is now available for PC via Itch.io.