Michigan: Report from Hell
|a game by
|Grasshopper Manufacture Inc.
|Playstation 2 (2004)
|5/10, based on 1 review
|9.3/10 - 6 votes
|Rate this game:
Michigan: Report from Hell is a lesser-known first-person horror game where you play as an unnamed cameraman covering a supernatural event occurring in the American Midwest. Sent by your bosses at the ZaKa corporation, you and your team of news reporters must uncover the truth behind the madness as you explore a town of increasingly deranged citizens. With nowhere to turn as the town decays into chaos, it's up to you and your trusty team to make it out alive. While not every aspect of Michigan: Report from Hell is a success, it's still an inventive horror game with some great ideas and concepts.
Main Gameplay Features
- Unique first-person horror gameplay
- Multiple story endings
- Choice-based level progression
Despite its title, this silly and campy horror story takes place in Chicago, where the city has been overtaken by a mysterious fog. Playing as the cameraman for a local news crew, you set out into the disaster-ridden streets in pursuit of the truth. Unfortunately, things soon go sideways, as the fog begins to mutate civilians into grotesque and gory monsters. Armed with only some camera gear and a lousy pistol, the reporter, cameraman, and sound engineer must survive the night. Packed with hilariously bad voice acting, cheesy characters, and an over-the-top plot, Michigan: Report from Hell is far from a narrative masterpiece. That said, there's some charm to the messy madness, giving it a B-movie vibe that's fun for fans of the genre.
Since your entire time in Michigan: Report from Hell takes place behind a camera, the gameplay can feel pretty passive at times. Your objective in each level is to document the events unfolding before you, sending you and your team on a wild adventure across the city. You can freely explore the stage looking for notes that provide extra backstory, but you'll need to stick close to your crew, as monsters can pop out at any moment. In these instances, you must tag the monsters with your camera vision, prompting the reporter to shoot at them. This tagging system is also used for almost all interactions, with your tags directing the reporter to objects of interest, doors to open, and more.
The game has four endings that are based on how you choose to film the game's events. There are three types of filming styles: suspense, erotic, and immoral. Suspense points are gained when filming key moments of terror, immortal points come from focusing on gore and violence, and erotic points are awarded for shamefully filming the reporter's body. While the found-footage gameplay is reminiscent of superior horror games like Fatal Frame, there's just not that much to do, leaving the gameplay feeling pretty stale.
Michigan: Report from Hell is creative, ambitious, and atmospheric, but it blunders in a lot of ways. While the story has some true moments of suspense, the painfully bad voice acting and ridiculous story eliminates any sense of action dread. Playing the entire game from the perspective of a cameraman is a cool idea, but there's not enough variety in gameplay to keep things interesting.
While the campy experience can be entertaining in its own weird way, it lacks any sort of traditional first-person gameplay, so go in with tempered expectations. Either way, Michigan: Report from Hell is notably unique, but not in the ways it tries to be.
- Smart concept
- Cool found-footage visual style
- Some decent replayability
- Gameplay is very limited
- Controls are clunky
- Laughably bad voice acting