PlayStation PlayStation 5

The Chant Gives Me Hope For Indie Horror Games


The Chant

Publisher: Prime Matter
Release Date: November 3, 2022
Available as: Digital and Physical

In previous "indie survival horror" titles, I've stressed the importance of keeping things fresh within the genre. Even in my previous coverage, Charon's Staircase, did I mention that there's more to "survival horror" than being force-fed a narrative? I don't care how great the plot gets three hours in. Sometimes, I just wish to play a game to get my heart racing and fight legendary demons while also being a distressed adult woman. Well, "adult woman" may be a stretch it could be any gender I don't care. The point is, The Chant surprised me in many different aspects.

For starters, the protagonist is relatable at least in my eyes. The Chant stars Jessica Briars, a young woman in biometrics who has trauma from her teenage years. Sharing the tragedy with her distant friend, Kim, she accepts Kim's offer to join her on a spiritual island retreat. What we know from the prologue that isn't known to Jessica is that there was a woman who escaped the circle, having second thoughts from being pregnant. She gets chased along the island and eventually jumps to her apparent death. This took place on the same island during the 1970s and it'd be a shame if something similar happened in the present day.

Within the first chapter, the player is introduced to several characters within the camp as well as Jessica's abilities. There are three stats, the mind, the body, and the spirit. The mind is the main form of damage taken as Jessica's fears affect her mental health. It's quickly revealed that she has an incredible fear of flies, arguably related to seeing her friend's corpse decaying by flies in her teenage years. Regardless, fending off flies requires the usage of burning sage, which is enough to swat the flies away.

While the flies themselves don't deal physical damage, it's her mental health that arguably means more as the lower it is, the sooner Jessica enters a panic attack. During a panic attack, Jessica can't use any of her spiritual abilities or defend herself. All she can do is run away from the aggressor and if she gets caught it generally ends in death. Think old-school Clock Tower games where your main source of health is determined by your heart rate. The higher the rate the most likely to get caught and killed.


Jessica can restore her mental health by finding consumables like lavender, ginger for her body, and spirit shards for the spirit. Spirit is used for spells as well as meditation. Meditating transfers spirit into mental health, but without spirit, Jessica can't use her powerful "get-out-of-jail-free" spells. Eventually, she'll come across some physical opponents who will shrug off her attacks. She can use her spells, like Stasis, to freeze enemies in place and form an escape.

In The Chant, you'll fight supernatural horrors including a Mandragora, various spirits, and other abominations. So long as they are weak against sacred and spiritual attacks, the sage should be enough to fight back. They can also attack your mental health and your sage can burn but for so long so be careful. By the end of the second chapter, I've played enough to know the gist of the story as well as the flow of combat. Each chapter flows seamlessly so it's not uncommon to find yourself glued to this crazy mess of an action game.


I wouldn't call The Chant a "survival horror" but more like an "action horror supernatural" type game. It's hard to generalize the game toa specific genre, but whatever it is I am in full support of it. Sometimes you want to feel like you're in a Scooby Doo episode, getting chased by several evil ghouls all at once, take a breather, and continue the advance. Don't get me wrong, I like things slow, but this game definitely puts a pep in your step.

The Chant is now available on the PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC.

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