Alisa Developer’s Cut from Top Hat Studios and Casper Croes is a 1990s-style horror-themed experience on PlayStation 5. Learn more in our Alisa Developer’s Cut review!
Alisa Developer’s Cut from Top Hat Studios and Casper Croes is a 1990s-style horror-themed experience on PlayStation 5. The game is set in a 1920s-inspired fantasy universe, and you’ll be taking on the role of Alisa, an Elite Royal Agent who has been tasked with chasing after a wanted criminal. While following a lead, she ends up in an old Victorian mansion. As expected, this is bad news since the mansion is haunted by mechanized entities. You’ll now have to find a way to escape the Dollhouse!
The game goes all-in on its inspirations, with games such as the original Resident Evil trilogy being particularly important for its development. You’ll be exploring pre-rendered areas just as we did back in the day, with characters and monsters presented with a low poly look. Even the voice acting feels like it could fit a game on the original PlayStation from, say, the year 1996. Another source of inspiration is director Jan Švankmajer’s version of the classic story of Alice.
This project had a Kickstarter campaign back in 2020, asking for €20,000 in funding to be able to complete its development. Thanks to the support of 761 backers, once the crowdfunding campaign was over, it managed to reach over €28,000 in funding. The game got a Steam release in 2021, and now, with Top Hat Studios as publisher, it’s getting a release on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
You’ll control Alisa with the left analog stick or the D-Pad. You have the option of going with 1990s tank controls for that extra bit of authenticity, or you can switch to modern analog input controls. The L2 button can be pressed and held for Alisa to run. Actions are mapped to the X button, which includes things such as going up or down stairs, opening doors, collecting items, or interacting as needed. Since danger can be around every corner, you’ll have to ready your weapon by pressing the R1 or R2 buttons. If you run out of bullets, you’ll be able to reload by pressing the L2 button while your weapon is drawn.
You can change weapons with the triangle button. You’ll always have two weapons on you, which will help you take on the different bizarre creatures you’ll run into. You’ll also have to consider the dresses you wear since they will not only change Alisa’s overall look but also have an effect on her stats. As you defeat enemies, you’ll obtain Toothwheels, which will act as the in-game currency. You can find a merchant known as Pol, from whom you can obtain some useful items to help you escape this mansion.
Pol the merchant can be found in safe rooms, where you can also save your progress. Pol is a hand puppet, and he seems to be one of the good guys in this whole mess. What can you buy from Pol? You could get yourself a powerful Blunderbuss or a saber for close-range combat. You could buy a military uniform to boost Alisa’s defense and reload speed. You can also buy ammo for each gun type you obtain. Or you might want to get a medkit refill so that you can use it to heal your wounds. By interacting with the large dresser in a safe room – which is known as Charlotte – you’ll be able to store stuff so that you can grab it and take it with you by interacting with Charlotte in another safe room.
And now, let’s talk about the trophies! The game has a full trophy list with a Platinum waiting for you. And since this one is a Cross-Buy title, if you have a PS5 console, you can download both the PS4 and PS5 versions of the game, and each one will have its own trophy list. Said list will include 12 Bronze trophies, 5 Silver trophies, and 8 Gold trophies. There are trophies for beating each of the bosses, along with some missable trophies for completing miscellaneous objectives. These include, for example, completing a specific puzzle in less than a minute, catching a fish, collecting all dresses, finding all weapons, and reading all notes. Oh, and you’ll also need to finish the game during an NG+ run!
Since this is the Developer’s Cut, that means there’s new stuff that has been added to Alisa, right? That would be correct! Along with some bug squashing, we’re getting new weapons, dresses, enemies, cutscenes, items, and even shops. There are also new endings to aim for, a fishing mini-game, and even an auto-aim option that can help you during your time with Alisa Developer’s Cut. And once you finish the game, you can do it all over again in an NG+ run.
Alisa Developer’s Cut is a 1990s-style horror-themed experience on PlayStation 5. It pays homage to classics such as the Resident Evil series on the original PlayStation console, as well as director Jan Švankmajer’s version of the classic story of Alice. After chasing a wanted criminal and finding yourself stuck at a mysterious mansion, you’ll run into a variety of mechanized monsters that all want you dead. Will you be able to escape from the Dollhouse before it’s too late? Alisa Developer’s Cut is available with a $17.99 price tag. Since it’s a Cross-Buy title, your purchase will allow you to download the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 versions of the game at no extra cost.
This Alisa Developer’s Cut review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by Top Hat Studios.