Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water didn’t appear in the Nintendo E3 Digital Event, but that doesn’t mean the game was completely neglected. A brand new trailer for Maiden of Black Water was released earlier at E3, and then, just today, the folks at Nintendo Treehouse Live spent nearly an entire 30 minutes showcasing gameplay footage and discussing different aspects about the game.

Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water is a survival horror title that deals with a lot of heavy and emotional material. For instance, depictions of suicide and murder were both very prominent throughout what was shown during the livestream. However, according the Treehouse member demoing Maiden of Black Water, a lot of the game’s horror aspects come from the story progression, but, even so, the game is not for the faint of heart.

The live demo starts out in open of the early chapters of the game, following a protagonist who is out searching for her missing friends. The search leads her to a haunted Japanese suicide forest where ghosts may be the cause for all of the suicides. The demo shows the protagonist finding one of her missing friends named Himino-san, and then a cutscene appears showing a group-suicide attempt that Himino-san somehow survived. Then, horrifyingly enough, Himino-san slits her own throat in front of you and you are faced with a boss battle where you fight your now-dead friend.

There are three playable characters in the game, with two being female and one being male. Each character will have to fight through different horrific experiences. You can also unlock a multitude of costumes for each character.

The gameplay is centered on the use of a camera as a weapon against the ghosts and supernatural forces your character will face. You can equip your camera with different kinds of film as you progress through the game, but in order to achieve the maximum amount of damage you have to wait until the enemy is right in your face before you snap a picture. There are also things called “spirit photographs,” which are photos you take of non-lethal ghosts throughout the game world. These spirit photos help you rack up points which are used to upgrade your camera. The Wii U GamePad and its gyroscopic capabilities are used to mimic the the use of the camera, which therefore leads to a much more immersive experience.

There are some other interesting gameplay mechanics as well. Some of these mechanics are more focused on your own semi-paranormal skills, while others are hazards that can impede or slow down your progress. Regarding the hazards, the world is filled with items you can find, but occasionally a ghost will reach up to grab your arm and deal damage to you. As you fight off ghosts, they will occasionally leave you with some sort of status effect. One such effect is wetness. This effect can come from either ghosts or the rain, and it is monitored using a “wetness gauge.” The wetter you become, the lower your defenses get.

On the semi-paranormal side of the mechanics, you have the ability to use “psychometry,” which allows you to see which direction your objective is. However, you can still explore the game world as much as you like. Another interesting semi-paranormal mechanic is the “Fatal Glance.” This allows you to look into and watch the final moments leading up to a ghost’s death.

That about wraps up all of the information from the demo. This game is personally one of my favorite offerings from Nintendo this year, so I definitely recommend you watch the video above. Once you’ve finished, make sure to let us know what you think of this upcoming Nintendo title!

Source: Nintendo Treehouse Live @ E3

Our Verdict


Ethan V.
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