Michigan: Report from Hell is a 2004 Survival Horror video game developed by Grasshopper Manufacture for the PlayStation 2. The player controls a cameraman of the Zaka TV news crew who are investigating the strange goings on in Chicago after it's covered by a mysterious fog along with sound engineer Jean-Philippe Brisco and one of six reporters.The game is played from the first person perspective as the cameraman, rather than take actions himself, highlights objects for the reporter to interact with, or enemies for her to shoot. If the reporter is killed, the game will skip to the next level where you meet with a new reporter.Despite some graphical hiccups, God-awful voice acting and a mediocre story, the camera viewfinder perspective adds a level of immersion, and the game serves as a fairly unique experience, as expected of a Suda51 game.
This series provides examples of:
Action Girl: Nina actually brags about killing a bear at one point.
Artistic License - Geography: There is a level that takes place in a camping lodge on the mountains somewhere in Chicago. While it is a big city, the nearest mountain range to Chicago is a few hundred miles away, in the east parts of Ohio and Kentucky (and even there, it's a stretch).
If it's taking place in Chicago, it's not in Michigan.
"Michigan" refers to Lake Michigan. For some reason.
Chronic Hero Syndrome: The reporters tend to be this way, putting themselves In Harm's Way to try and help others as well as searching for a story. Lampshaded by Brisco, who doesn't share either sentiment and would rather just get out of Chicago alive.
Contrived Coincidence/Dangerously Genre Savvy: Some people note that the characters just seem so aware of their surroundings, to the point that, in a part where Justine, a woman you're trying to save, is shackled to a billiard table, everyone immediately comes to the conclusion that they have to put in missing billiard balls to help release Justine. Their course of action was correct.
Didn't Think This Through: During the tutorial, Brisco offers to let you practice ramming on him. He does realize that might not have been the best idea before you actually attempt it, but won't rescind the offer, instead asking that you just be careful.
Downer Ending: No matter what ending you get, the protagonist dies via assassination (the only difference is his attitude toward the whole thing), leaving the entire thing unexplained and information undisclosed.
Driven to Suicide: The owner of the hotel you stay in at one point, after an infectee guest mutated and killed his wife.
Jump Scare: Appears in the Evil ending complete with forewarning Shmuck Bait: "Look closely... It's me. It's me, see?!"
Justified Tutorial: Your cameraman is a rookie, so Brisco and Pamela take some time before the first shoot to help him practice.
Karma Meter: Do you go for suspenseful footage, or erotic shots? A meter measures how far you move in either direction. If you choose to shove people around, let your reporter die or film strangers in mortal peril rather than trying to help, you also earn "Immoral Points", turning your meter from a simple gray bar to rusty barbed wire.
Karmic Death: If the cameraman allows it, Ann can wind up being Eaten Alive shortly after complaining about how they didn't keep filming somebody else suffering the same fate.
Manipulative Bitch: Deborah. At one point, your reporter and Brisco go into her office furious and mistrustful, about to make her account for sending innocent reporters to a a hellhole like Chicago, but a few chosen words later, and they're both (if not entirely on her side) at least following her orders to continue investigating. Brisco thinks she may have a Compelling Voice, but neither he or the reporters are overly bright, so it seems unlikely.
Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The game implies it's genetic tampering causing the monsters, but you see several signs of the supernatural, as well.
Mega Corp.: It's not exactly clear what the ZaKa corporation does, officially, but at the least, they have their fingers in bioengineering and entertainment.
Nothing Is Scarier: A lot of the horror part of the game comes from the fact that there's mostly nothing there.
Obfuscating Stupidity: Paula appears to be an idiot, but the secret videos indicate that there may a lot more to her than there seems. (Note that the "Mysterious Man" mentioned on the page is pretty clearly her.)
Ominous Fog: Which is actually what Pamela's been sent to report on when the game starts.
Synthetic Plague: Gagne is an experimental bioweapon that was developed in a consortium by the ZaKa Conglomerate, the U.S. Government, and the U.S. Military.
This Loser Is You/You Bastard: Used for The Reveal of the cameraman's identity, which changes based on your actions. Focus on Erotic Shots, for instance, and they turn out to be a sniveling, creepy nerd who asks the viewer if they enjoyed his special footage.
Timed Mission: The player has until his film runs out to complete each level, but since they are usually given just over 30 minutes per level, it's rarely an issue.
The Un Reveal: The cameraman is shot before he can disclose who's behind everything,
Ungrateful Bastard: If you save Ann from her potential Karmic Death, she promptly starts chewing Brisco and the cameraman out again for not shooting more footage.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: While in the nursing home, neither Brisco or your reporter care to comment on the room full of bloody handprints. Brisco does react to the child's specter inside, but decides he's seeing things.
Vagina Dentata: A prominent monster type appears to be this, although some of the corpses it's attached to are male.
Videogame Cruelty Potential: Choosing to film someone's gruesome death instead of acting to prevent it. Even worse, you can actually use your ramming technique to knock people into danger.
Villain Protagonist: Earn so many Immoral points that they vastly outweigh the others, and the cameraman claims he's the one behind everything.
What the Hell, Hero?: If the cameraman chooses to keep filming instead of acting to save somebody, Brisco will usually call him on it. Inverted by Ann, who chews him out for not keeping the camera running.
Zombie Infectee: Brisco at the end. Also implied to be what happens to the cameraman in the Evil ending.