Prequel Daymare: 1994 – Sandcastle from Leonardo Interactive and Invader Studio is ready for you on PS5. Learn more about it in our Daymare: 1994 – Sandcastle review!
Prequel Daymare: 1994 – Sandcastle from Leonardo Interactive and Invader Studio is ready for you on PlayStation 5. It’s a game that presents to us events that took place years before Daymare: 1998, a game that I got a chance to review on PlayStation 4. It’s a third-person survival horror game that pays homage to the Resident Evil series by giving us an old-school style experience, now on Sony’s PlayStation 5.
This game will have you taking on the role of special agent Dalila Reyes, a former government spy who now works for a special unit known as H.A.D.E.S. (Hexacore Advanced Division for Extraction and Search). While playing through Daymare: 1998 is not needed for playing through Daymare: 1994 – Sandcastle, knowing what happens in that game will allow you to appreciate what is going on in this new adventure set in the past.
The game can be played in one of three difficulty settings: Story, Normal, and Nightmare. Story is for those of you who might be unfamiliar with action games and want to have an easier time enjoying the story. While playing in Story, enemies are a bit weaker and are slower to react, there are more available resources, and the Frost Grip will be more efficient – more on this one in a bit. Normal offers the standard gameplay experience for those of you who have some experience with third-person action games.
And then, there’s the Hardcore difficulty option. This one is best reserved for expert players who don’t shy away from a proper challenge. When playing in Hardcore, enemies are much stronger – and deadlier – with a faster reaction time. There will be a bit fewer resources for you to collect, and the enemies you defeat will no longer drop additional ammo. On top of that, resources won’t be highlighted in the environment, so you’ll have to really pay attention to locate them as you explore each area.
You can customize your experience right after selecting a difficulty option. You can activate or deactivate auto-reload for when your clip is empty, decide if the HUD is always visible, or even activate aim assist – which is not available when playing in the Hardcore difficulty setting. There’s also the possibility of activating or deactivating in-game hints or deciding if running should be a toggle option. You can also change the camera’s behavior for the X-axis and Y-axis, as well as activate or deactivate the subtitles.
Once the starting cutscene is over, you’ll gain control of Dalila Reyes. She’ll walk with the left analog stick while the right one is used to look around. Pressing in on the left analog stick will make her jog. Pressing the L2 button will allow you to aim your weapon, which can be used with the R2 button. You can switch between weapons by using the D-Pad, switching between, say, a fast-paced SMG to a slower but more powerful shotgun, which is great for attacking from a shorter range. If you have a first aid kit, you can use it with the Circle button to heal your wounds.
And then, there’s the Frost Grip. You’ll acquire it during Chapter 5 when exploring Area 51. It’s a very special device that uses liquid nitrogen to get things done. You’ll aim it with the L2 button and shoot its frost spray with the R1 button. This can be used to put out fires that would otherwise be blocking your way, as well as to freeze the red enemies that can’t be defeated with bullets alone. If you tap the R1 button, you’ll shoot out a Frost Bullet.
You can’t just use the frost grip forever since its fuel will run out in no time. This is why you’ll need to collect fuel canisters for the Frost Grip so that you can fill it up with the L1 button. You can also refill the Frost Grip when you find a nitrogen tank. Once you’ve used enough nitrogen to freeze an enemy, you can get closer to it and press the R2 button for a powerful melee attack that will completely shatter it. Do know that this attack will consume a good chunk of the Frost Grips’ nitrogen reserves, so be ready to refill the tank!
There are plenty of items for you to collect, with many of these being considered collectibles that are needed for trying to get the Platinum trophy for Daymare: 1994 – Sandcastle – more on trophies in a bit. Any item or document you collect will be added to your inventory, which you can check by pressing the Touchpad on the DualSense. Items will sometimes need to be examined to reveal more about them, such as, for example, taking what looks like a small switchblade, interacting with it, and having it turn out to be a security key. As for documents, they will be split into actual documents, scanner entries, and audiologs.
You can unlock infinite ammo for the different weapons you’ll be using during your time with Daymare: 1994 – Sandcastle, but this will require you to complete specific objectives. For example, to gain unlimited ammo for the MPG 510-K, you’ll have to complete the Special Agent challenge, which asks that you finish the game with an A Rank. To gain unlimited ammo for the Frost Grip, you’ll need to complete the Highlander challenge, which, as you can probably guess, requires you to complete the game without dying. And yes, these challenges are also tied to trophies!
The game has a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy for you to add to your collection. The list includes 16 Bronze trophies, 9 Silver trophies, and 5 Gold trophies for you to work on. Some trophies will pop as you progress through the game’s story, as well as when you finish the game. Do know that you also need to finish it with an A Rank, beat the game with an S rank, finish the game without dying, and finish the game while playing in Hardcore Mode. Oh, and you also need to find all documents and audio logs, get all scanner entries, and find all alien collectibles. If you need some extra help, you can check out this Daymare: 1994 – Sandcastle Trophy Guide.
Daymare: 1994 – Sandcastle is a prequel that gives us a chance to explore some of the events leading up to Daymare: 1998. While playing Daymar: 1998 is not mandatory for enjoying this new release, knowing what happens in that game certainly won’t hurt. I did want to mention I ran into some visual hiccups during cutscenes, with models and lighting cutting in and out for no reason. Cutscenes also have a bit of slowdown, which is odd since I didn’t experience that during the gameplay sections.
Daymare: 1994 – Sandcastle is available on PS5 with a $34.99 price tag. There’s also a PlayStation 4 version available for the same price as a separate purchase. You can also check out the game’s physical release with PS4 and PS5 versions, as well as the Daymare: 1994 – Sandcastle Collector’s Edition, which you can pre-order right now. This one includes either a physical PS4 or PS5 copy of the game, a collectible pin set, character cards, and stickers, all inside a limited numbered collector’s box, with only 5,000 copies in total.
This Daymare: 1994 – Sandcastle review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by GS2 Games.