Originally developed by Softstar Entertainment and released on consoles by EastAsiaSoft Limited, The Bridge Curse: Road to Salvation is an Asian cinematic horror game. The Bridge Curse: Road to Salvation was originally released on PC by Softstar Entertainment back in August 2022 and now a year after its PC debut, EastAsiaSoft Limited has released the game on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox platforms. Based on the horror film, The Bridge Curse: Road to Salvation is based loosely on the film of the same name and it includes the Taiwanese urban legend of the bridge curse of Tunghu University. This is our review of the PS5 release of The Bridge Curse: Road to Salvation in which we explore a haunted university and try to solve a curse that has haunted a bridge for centuries.
The game starts off pretty basic inside the university campus where you have to explore around a bit and find your friends. Similar to the movie it is based on, The Bridge Curse: Road to Salvation has six different characters who are trying to replicate a ritual for a real-world Taiwanese legend where a girl committed suicide after waiting for her boyfriend who was supposed to marry her. She died and her ghost has since haunted the bridge and now the six students must face the horrors left behind. The ritual goes bad and now all students have to face their own fears and survive whatever is coming for them.
During the main story of the game, you will mostly play the main character HsinChiao Chao. However, you will continuously switch between all six characters and see the story unfold from their perspective as well. Each of the students has their own cell phone where you can see different details about what they need to do in the game and how they can progress further. The students will remain in touch via this phone as well. Apart from the phone, there is very little guidance on what needs to be done and where you have to go. While the game is not necessarily an open world, you have to explore some environments and figure out what to do next.
The gameplay mostly involves either running away from ghosts and hiding or finding a certain item to solve a puzzle. There are different puzzles in the game that you will need to solve before moving on to the next one. The chase sequences are pretty basic with the ghost appearing suddenly in a random place and you have to hide from them in portable washrooms or anything else that you can find. In these chase sequences, there is a fixed path that you have to follow in order to escape them and anything will just result in failure. This makes the chase sequences a little dull and annoying because you will keep failing until you find that ‘perfect run’.
In other parts of the game, you will be finding different objects for puzzles or progression. There is plenty of backtracking in the game as well especially while you are looking for these items. There are different instances in the game where you will return to a previously explored area or building to find an item and then head back to progress further. This certainly increases the exploration time, but the overall map of the game is not that big. The entire story takes around 7 hours to complete if you take your time. Once you understand how different in-game mechanics work, you are fairly good at completing anything that the game throws at you. The gameplay starts to feel repetitive after sometime because despite switching to new characters, the mechanics are exactly the same for all of them and there is not much to do apart from collecting items and hiding from ghosts.
Probably my favorite thing about The Bridge Curse: Road to Salvation is the visuals and the ghost designs. The university campus looks really good, and the visuals are bright and crispy. I enjoyed exploring the university and checking out its different areas because the visuals are really good. They are not Raytracing good, but the game is really pleasant to look at, especially during the outside sections. On the other hand, the characters, and NPCs in the game look fairly dead and they give little to no expression based on the things happening around them. The character design is not that bad, but the animations and their facial expressions are really bad. The ghosts on the other hand look pretty cool and I like the fact that each of the students has to run from a different type of ghost instead of the same ghost haunting every one of them however do not expect them to do different things.
The Bridge Curse: Road to Salvation runs pretty well on the PS5 console and the release is pretty stable as well. There are no performance hiccups or any sort of gameplay bugs in it that would break the gameplay for you. Both the visual aesthetics and sound design of the game are fairly decent however there are a few translation problems here and there. The English voiceovers seem too energetic for a horror game and sometimes the characters sound a little too excited to be chased by a terrifying ghost. There are some mistakes in the English subtitles as well and sometimes, the translation misses a few texts in the game. I noticed some of the in-game posters were also in Chinese, but they are not that of a bother unless you really have to know every text line in the game.
The Bridge Curse: Road to Salvation follows the traditional cat-and-mouse chase gameplay that most horror games used back in the 2010s and somehow fails to deliver that same level of excitement and horror as those horror games. The world of The Bridge Curse: Road to Salvation does not feel scary at all even during its most tense sequences and the gameplay is mostly you running away from different types of ghosts. I like that we get to experience the same curse through different perspectives and switching between the students gives a unique perspective for your first playthrough but once you have completed the game, there is not much to do in it. If you like horror games where you have to escape from the horrors and be sneaky, you can give The Bridge Curse: Road to Salvation a chance but if you are looking for something a little scarier, I will steer clear of it.
Final Score: 6.5/10