Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water Review – More of the Eerie, Less of the Scare

Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water is the latest addition to the Fatal Frame franchise. The plot of the game centers on horror stories that are found deep within Japanese myth and tradition. The main mechanic, as always, uses an in-game camera to ward off the ghosts that are coming after you. However, fans of the videogame title may feel a bit disappointed with this latest iteration. While there are elements of eeriness and the survival horror category can still be felt, it has now become a paper-thin narrative that feels clunky, and even frustrating at times.

Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water Review - More of the Eerie, Less of the Scare

Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water Fails to Scare

The story of Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water takes place in a small rural Japanese town as well as on Mt. Hikami, which is a neighboring landmark. This mountain has become a famous place for young women to (you guessed it) commit suicide. Across the mountain, there are a number of dilapidated building. There is also a shrine that was filled with pious maidens back in the ancient days. Lo and behold, everything is haunted.

Most of the game, you take control of Yuri, a young woman who has the ability to see dead people and even view their memories. She then decides to take on the quest to fund the people who have gone missing within the haunted mountain and lead them back to safety. Furthermore, and even more unsurprisingly, is that her altruism uncovers the mountain’s greatest ghost story.

Aside from Yuri, players will also be able to take control of two other playable characters throughout the story within Maiden of Black Water. These are Ren, which is a miserable young man with even equally miserable facial hair, and Miu, a troubled teen. They also get caught up in all the mystery surrounding the place and they even have their specific problems to deal with.

Even though the story mostly focuses on Yuri and the other two characters, their character development is very shallow. The story as well lacks depth. It is very hard to care about anyone within the game because, truthfully, no one acts like they care either.

The game as well is pretty much straightforward with little areas of secrecy involved. It will keep you firmly on a path until you reach end-game. Graphics aren’t the sharpest, but you may feel that the developers did this in purpose to set the sorrowful and eerie tone of each of the game’s areas.

With these being said, there is little to be found “scary” or even exciting about Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water. Those who are already familiar with the franchise will know exactly what to do to reach the story’s end – move around and take pictures of ghosts.


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