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Crow Country Review: A Retro Survival Horror Revival That Flies High

Crow Country brings back everything we love about PS1-era survival horror like Resident Evil and Silent Hill.
Crow Country Review: A Retro Survival Horror Revival That Flies High
(Picture: SFB Games)

Resident Evil and Silent Hill are franchises that come close to my heart as a huge fan of survival horror, and, even as those series age and the original games get older and older, it's hard to find anything that comes close. That's not to say there haven't been any great horror releases in the past few years - but the original Silent Hill and Resident Evil games are in a league all their own, especially as many games have shifted away from inventory management and psychological terror to a more action-adventure-oriented approach in the past few decades, leaving survival horror an arguably dying genre. Crow Country might just be the first game in a while to not only attempt to revive that genre, but to live up to the expectations set by Silent Hill and Resident Evil.

I know, it's bold praise: a modern survival horror game that's on par with the very games that defined the genre back in the late '90s? Is that even possible? SFB Games' newest release proves that it is.

crow country
Crow Country's graphics pay homage to older games but are also distinctly unique. (Picture: SFB Games)

Crow Country Is Survival Horror Done Right

That's because Crow Country does more than just pay homage to the nostalgic graphics of the PS1 era, although it does that very well. It's clear that the developers understand everything that makes classic survival horror so riveting and terrifying to its fans: the feelings of suspense, an environment that feels like it's out to get you, and enemies that are downright unsettling.

But none of what Crow Country does feels derivative in a bad way; it takes what older survival horror games did, and puts its own spin on them.


Enemies & Environments: Terror From Every Angle

As you explore Crow Country, you'll encounter chandeliers that suddenly fall from the ceiling, keeping you on edge, while poison-emitting crows around the park remind you that the amusement park itself is a threat. Even seemingly innocent doorways will have spikes suddenly emerge from them, dealing damage if you aren't careful. Various different types of enemies look eerie in their own ways and approach you differently, with smaller ones speeding toward you at high speeds or larger, lanky ones slowly looming toward you.

Unlocking new areas won't just put you face-to-face with more enemies; you'll also find staff notes and magazine pages. These give you context about the lore of the story, letting you piece it together and leading you closer to answers about this confusing place, and also provide tips for how to succeed in the game.


Speaking of those notes that give you some puzzle hints, another thing does make Crow Country stand out from predecessors in its genre is that it's explicitly welcoming to beginners and those who are just interested in the puzzles. Silent Hill and Resident Evil are both known for being quite hard, especially the older games; beating them requires careful item management, keeping track of saves, and pathing out the best approaches to avoiding enemies.

Crow Country lets you forego all of that, if you choose - the game offers an Exploration Mode, which will allow you to complete the levels at your own leisure, solving the puzzles without needing to fight or dodge any monsters. This means that even if you're not up for the challenge that most survival horror games pose, you'll still be able to experience Crow Country. This is an awesome new feature that will no doubt allow new fans to dive into the genre and experience the story.  

Crow Country Review Verdict

Crow Country is a modern survival horror title that draws from the best aspects of Silent Hill and Resident Evil to create an immersive, fun experience that will draw in both devoted fans of the genre and those who have never tried it before. From its story to its graphics, it brings back the elements of survival horror that we love the most, while putting its own unique spin on the classics.

Review Score: 9/10