Review – Silver Chains (PS4)

Late January 2021 saw the release of a very important piece of horror entertainment; a juicy demo for the upcoming Resident Evil: Village. This was arguably the first piece of software to truly feel like a proper showcase of what the next generation of consoles is capable of. Sadly, the demo is currently only available to owners of a PlayStation 5, a console as rare as a unicorn. If you’re still in the mood for a “new” horror experience, there’s a consolation prize of sorts. The PS4 version of Silver Chains, originally released for PC in 2019, is finally out. Let’s see if this one is worth a look.

Silver Chains

That’s a very normal and totally welcoming thing to see inside someone’s house.

Silver Chains starts off in your typical horror game fashion. You suffer a car accident right in front of a haunted mansion. You try to look for help, but pass out and wake up inside of the building, with no idea of what’s going on. Your initial objective is to simply escape, but as the plot thickens, your priorities will change, as there more to this unfriendly building than meets the eye. Story-wise, Silver Chains is decent. There is nothing innovative about the plot and you can see the twists coming from a mile away, but it gets the job done. It is well written to the point of making you want to keep playing the damn thing, at least.

I feared that Silver Chains was going to be your typical Bloober-esque horror game. The kind of game that is nothing more than just a walking simulator with some wacky imagery and a terrible jump scare every now and then. Thankfully, I was (partially) wrong: this is a game centered around exploring the derelict mansion and solving simple, but effective puzzles. There are a few enemies who’ll occasionally show up to try to kill you, and all you can do is run away at hide. Those are scripted set pieces, however, so all you really need to do is hide and wait for the soundtrack to stop acting completely bonkers. That means you’re good to go.

Silver Chains

Super Mario 64 taught me to never trust pianos inside haunted mansions.

The sound design is this game’s biggest letdown. While the voice acting is actually good, although sparse, Silver Chains is one of those horror games. You know the kind, the one that doesn’t know how to be subtle, instead relying on tons of annoying jump scares and loud noises. The game has some somber imagery, but every time I started feeling invested in its setting and story, a jump scare followed by a loud bang would proceed to obliterate any semblance of immersion. I’d stop feeling uneasy, I’d just start feeling angry.

Another issue with the game is that, sadly, it’s quite short. It might look like a much longer title than it actually is, but that’s because there’s a lot of backtracking, as well as some poorly explained puzzles that might make you run around the mansion in circles trying to find that one item needed to open a door, or that one interactable object that will trigger a cutscene or new set piece. If you know what you’re doing, you can beat it in two hours, even less if you’re lucky with the inconsistent enemy AI.

The thrift shop Spencer mansion.

That doesn’t mean that Silver Chains doesn’t have some strong positives in its favor. Despite clearly being a low budget indie, this game is actually really good looking, with excellent lighting and shadow effects, as well as a fantastic framerate. The game kept running at 60fps from beginning to end, without ever slowing down or crashing. Textures were also quite impressive. The only negative about its visuals is that the few NPCs featured in here are poorly animated, looking and acting more doll-like than the actual dolls scattered throughout the entire game.

Slappy wanted to show up in a (slightly) better horror game after being part of last year’s abysmal Goosebumps Dead of Night.

Silver Chains is actually decent, but it would have been a much more enjoyable horror title if it wasn’t for its short run time and overabundance of irritating jump scares. All the ingredients are here: its graphics are surprisingly good, its framerate is rock-solid, its story is engaging (but predictable), and some of its puzzles are quite interesting. There are much worse horror titles out there, though. It’s still worth checking out if you’re in dire need of a brand new horror game and you don’t have a PS5 in order to enjoy the Resident Evil: Village demo.


Graphics: 8.0

If anything, Silver Chains is actually a pretty gorgeous horror game that runs surprisingly well on the PS4’s hardware. Lighting effects are the game’s highlight. Character models, well, not so much…

Gameplay: 6.5

Your standard first-person horror gameplay loop comprised of puzzle solving and hiding away from enemies. Puzzles are simple yet effective, and the good framerate helps with immersion.

Sound: 4.5

In theory, it’s not all terrible: voice acting is passable, some sound effects are decent, and the pause menu theme song is equally somber and beautiful. But everything is ruined by the game’s reliance on jump scares and screeches.

Fun Factor: 5.5

Silver Chains would have been a much more enjoyable horror title if it wasn’t for its short run time and overabundance of irritating jump scares. The ingredients for a great horror game are here, but the game missed the mark in its execution.

Final Verdict: 6.5

Silver Chains is available now on PS4, PC, and Switch.

Reviewed on PS4.

A copy of Silver Chains was provided by the publisher.