Sacnoth’s oft-forgotten PSOne Shadow Hearts precursor is both rich in storytelling and poor in gameplay. Koudelka presents a gothic victorian-age ghost story unraveled by the reluctant cooperation of three unlikely companions: a Romani psychic, a callous priest, and a wayward aristocrat. The fantastic voice-work and riveting plot are marred by the game’s strange genre mash-up (equal parts survival horror and tactical RPG) and bogged down by clunky mechanics, tedious battle system, and overall lack of difficulty. Koudelka may be far from a perfect gaming experience – but potentially worth the gamble for curious adventurers in search of a mature adventure.

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