Trenches – World War 1 Horror Survival Game review (PS5)

Trenches, or “Trenches – World War 1 Horror Survival Game” as it’s called in full, is a title that first appeared on Steam in Early Access form. Developer Steelkrill Studio joined forces with Ratalaika in order to bring the game to consoles as well though, letting us try out the PS5 version.

Few video games have titles that are as descriptive as this one, but the prospect of doing a horror game inside the tight confines of World War 1 trenches is certainly an interesting one. With claustrophobia always a factor and the enemy lurking above ground, it feels like a situation anyone would be happy to escape – especially in this game, where supernatural dangers are more prevalent than enemy soldiers.


The goal in Trenches feels a bit arbitrary in nature when you consider the World War 1 theme that serves as a backdrop. As you explore the trenches, you have to locate nine dolls while a supernatural enemy is trying to hunt you down – with a bunch of jump scares to keep you on your toes. It’s a rather formulaic approach to horror games, and one that doesn’t seem to make the most out of its clever setting – this is a setup that we could easily see being done in yet another haunted mansion.

It’s a relatively short game as well, and because of this the developers have made it rather unforgiving – get caught and you’ll have to start your quest for the nine dolls all over again. It’s generally quite doable to just hide from danger though, and it helps to keep the volume cranked up – footsteps will alert you of his presence. Do this right, and Trenches will only last about an hour or so.


What would’ve made Trenches a much better experience, besides a different gameplay approach, is a better sense of atmosphere. For some reason the PlayStation 5 version of the game looks markedly worse that the screenshots and footage of the PC version, both in terms of visual detail and lighting effects. At the same time, it would have been nice if the game has a richer audioscape, giving you the sense that you were amidst a horrible war while also battling this horror foe.

As a result Trenches is a lot more formulaic than we had expected and hoped, and with its short runtime it’s a horror game you’ll want to pick up if you need a quick survival horror fix for an evening that you’ll forget about soon after.

Score: 5.2/10

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