Archive for Horror video games

Review: Outlast & Outlast: Whistleblower DLC (Video Game)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2016 by Lilliandra Winters

Dev/Pub: Red Barrels
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS
Release Date: September 4, 2013 (DLC: May 6, 2014)

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Outlast Original Game:

You are a journalist armed with a camcorder who is investigating an insane asylum after you were given leads that would indicate abuse and neglect of patients, among other possible atrocities. You wander into the hospital, only to find murderous scenes before you. Hoping for the best, you continue on and soon learn that the whole institution has become a bloody shit show, complete with viscera and entrails strung about the place. The threats are abundant and smarter than you’d think.

As you traverse this gruesome landscape, your senses are almost constantly assaulted with screams, yells, creeks, eerie music, drips and drops, grunts and groans or the blood, gore, body parts, destroyed hallways, random medical equipment, fires, notes written on the wall and all the disturbing information you read about in the files you pick up as you go. It’s dark, dirty and deeply disturbing. As if finding body parts or bodies in various stages of ripped up or dissected aren’t bad enough, sometimes they are still alive, which obviously indicates experiments on living inmates. There isn’t a single thing about this game that isn’t a true horror show.

Outlast is by far one of the most terrifying video games I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. The ambiance, the graphics, the twists and turns, the gore, and the dialog are all terrifying. Even for an older game, the graphics are haunting. I can’t tell you how many times I jumped, cried out and had issues sleeping. You can’t fight, you can only run, hide, or die. You’re equipped with just your camcorder, which you can use to zoom in and out. However, it is mostly used for the night vision (as long as you have batteries), helping you maneuver the maze of the nearly destroyed hospital which is mostly in pitch black.

If you are interested in playing this game, sit down because you have hours of gameplay to get through. This isn’t a quick game. It is a well thought out series of mind fucks, high tension, and not always random creepy music. The best part is that not everyone you run into is hostile, but good luck telling the good from the bad and holy crap are they creepy as fuck. You couldn’t pay me enough to do any of this crap.

This game has more elements than I could even do proper justice. It isn’t just about insanity, it is far more complicated. Initially, I went in thinking that insanity was all that was offered; however, there are parts of the story that dabble in the supernatural and scientific. Those lines felt blurred to me, though, and – please correct me if I am wrong – the ending felt weird. It was as if the story that you followed most of the way through was a strong misdirection and the actual story wasn’t explained until the very end of the game. The story made the beginning part of the game… moot, pointless.

I am torn about the ending. It wasn’t a bad ending by any means, but a little confusing. I think that it could have been integrated into the story better instead of being slapped on at the end. That being said, it is a phenomenal game that you have to play. It’s well put together with amazing game mechanics, interesting twists and turns, and enough terror and jump scares to give you some sleepless nights. Simply a wonderful and enjoyable game.

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Outlast: Whistleblower DLC:

If you didn’t think that Outlast could get better or more grotesque, I have news for you. The Whistleblower DLC tells you the story behind Waylon Park, the gentleman who sent you the original email in the first place. You get to see everything that happened after that email was sent and is it an amazingly crazy ride. I won’t delve too much into it, but here is what I will tell you.

The story continues to be amazing and a treat to experience. You run into new and old characters throughout the gameplay. It is definately worth the price; it adds so much to the game, which is what you look for in a DLC. I actually walked away from this DLC with a sour stomach, which is so hard, but there are a few scenes that even made me cringe, and for good reason. Actually, I think not cringing says more about you than it does the game, but not as much as the person who thought it all up. My mind was blown on more than one occasion.

I cannot stress enough how much this DLC added to the game and could have almost been a stand alone game itself. If you played Outlast without the DLC, you are seriously missing out! Now I’m going to scrub my brain with bleach.

WintersOver4

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Review: Emily Wants to Play (Video Game)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2016 by Lilliandra Winters

Dev.: Shawn Hitchcock
Pub.: SKH Apps
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Android, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, iOS, Mac OS
Release Date: Dec. 10, 2015

**This review contains SPOILERS**

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If you didn’t like dolls before, this will make you hate those fuckers with the passion of a thousand fiery hells. If dolls terrify you, turn around and walk away from your computer or go look at pictures of fluffy kittens. I won’t mind, promise. Go ahead.

Still here? Well, I warned you. You are a pizza delivery driver who is answering an online order to this random ass house in the middle of the night. This game warns all delivery drivers to never open the fucking door if no one answers. Seriously, dude, yeah you reading this. You don’t get paid enough for this bullshit. Anyway, the delivery driver opens the door and walks in to call out that he has arrived and the door shuts behind him and cannot be opened again. I would have thrown the fucking couch through the front window, but that’s me.

You wander around a house that appears to be devoid of people in some state of packed. You hear a story about a murdered couple found in a house with the door wide open and you find creepy ass notes around. If you are interested in playing this game, and I will tell you that you should, it is amazingly full of jump scares that rival Five Nights at Freddy’s and an interesting story. Sorry to give away my feelings so soon, but if you want to play, I will give you one tip: do the opposite of what the white board in the kitchen tells you. Now stop reading.

The first doll that you will encounter is Kiki. Kiki looks like me on a good goth day. She is a small white doll with black hair and a black dress. She giggles when she is around you. You have to turn and stare her down until she disappears with another giggle. Next, Mr. Tatters, the clown, (oh yeah, that’s right, there’s a fucking clown doll) will laugh. Don’t move! Don’t even turn to look! He will make a curious noise and then a disappointed noise. After the last noise, you can move as normal. Chester, the next doll, will laugh and you have to run the fuck out of the room. He looks like the typical old school ventriloquist dummy. He’s fucking terrifying. They are all terrifying.

This is by far one of the best horror games I’ve come across. The story is even disturbing: the family moves into this house and their daughter Emily starts acting strange; so strange that she begins acting out violently and is eventually kicked out of school. They lock her in the basement (this is a weird leap in the story), where she finds dolls and begins talking to them as if they can respond. Soon, Emily dies suspiciously. She has no marks and nobody has any idea how. After she dies, however, the dolls start moving around the house by themselves until the parents are eventually found dead.

I adore this game. Each jump scare, each doll, each rule. All of it. The story is a little odd. I would have worded it a bit differently and I don’t see why Emily had to be locked in the basement. There seems that there could be a better way to have done it, but it is literally the only thing I would have changed. I won’t spoil all of it, there are some things I am leaving out so you’ll have to play to find out. Tell me what you think and make sure you watch your own dolls.

Review: Dead End Road (Video Game)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2016 by Lilliandra Winters

Dev: DDD Wares
Release Date: July 8, 2016

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What the fuck? So, nevermind that the graphics are old school pixels, I don’t care about that. Some amazing games are pixel-based. I even enjoy the premise: you are trying to complete a dark ritual to achieve your ultimate goal. I’m down. Deal with the devil. Crossroads pact. I get it. How you are magically teleported across the county is confusing, but okay, I’m trying to follow your logic here. So, you have to drive to different cities to find a book, a bell and a candle and something to light them with? Okay, I’m still with you.

Why the hell does the middle feel like a driving simulator from hell? I get the point, it is very obviously a challenge to make sure you are worthy or have the strength of whatever cliche you want to throw at me. That’s fine, but it could make a little more sense. It could be structured better. It would be amazing if every time you screwed up, you didn’t have to start the whole fucking game over again! What bullshit is that? You could just start at the last town back or something like that instead of having to start the whole annoying process over again, especially since the last drive makes going to hell seem like a simple task.

And please don’t get me wrong, I am all for hard. Make me work for it, don’t just hand me the ending, I want to earn it. By the time you finally get to the end of this game, you would rather throw your computer out the window because that would feel a shit load more satisfying. It took every ounce of my being to not type that out all in caps and I am sure you appreciate that I didn’t, but HOLY SHIT did it feel impossible and anti-climatic when the game was finally beat. Two of the endings I encountered were both disappointing and making me wish for all that time back.

Let me know what you think. Am I utterly wrong or filled with righteous rage quit?

WintersOver4

Review: Dead Man’s Journey (Video Game)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2016 by Xander Woolf

Dev: Turnvex
Release Date: April 9, 2016

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You’ve done something horrible. You are dead and stuck in purgatory. You are greeted by the voice typically used in the Saw movies and kidnapping videos. After a bit of a confusing start, you are ushered into a P.T. Silent Hills type of industrial area. Dark and ominous, there is only emergency/flood lights to guide your way. Quickly, sounds begin off in the distance and the jump scares are well deserved.

As you venture further, you receive a night vision camera so that you can continue on your journey. You also realize that they could have used an editor or at least spell check. Notes and news clippings appear, attempting to explain the story of what happened when you were alive and why you’ve ended up here, in purgatory. The voice will chime in all judgmental and better than you. Each loop reveals a new part of the story, which just becomes more and more confusing as you continue on. Just when you think the voice is going straighten the story out, that fucker only makes it more confusing. If you play the game, for the love of the maker, explain the fucking story to me.

The ‘thing’ that you keep seeing is a bit confusing in its form. It doesn’t look like you’d expect, which only adds to the confusion. You are eventually guided to make a choice, not that choices ever really matter in horror games.

I enjoy the concept of this game. The graphics are great; the atmosphere is stellar, but there are plenty of plot holes and story confusion. I can’t call this a good or a bad game. It has some awesome elements that would make for an excellent game if not for the poor story line. Give it a go and tell me what you think.

WintersOver4

Review: Eternal Walk (Video Game)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2016 by Lilliandra Winters

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Early Access release date: May 1, 2016

Eternal Walk is a Slender Man type indie horror game that is currently in Early Access. There is no explanation of what you need to do. You are given your controls and dropped into a dungeon. You are walking through a maze of wet-looking stone walls while your arm is extended before you, holding a lantern, which gives off the least amount of light possible.

This maze has no rhyme or reason, so as you are walking around looking for cassettes, you have no possibility of finding the exit. I also have an issue with them looking like VHS tapes and being called cassettes. I know, I’m weird.

So you have to find these 8 cassettes – I have no idea why or what for – and avoid the ghosts? Monsters? I have no idea what these things are. They appear at random and are impossible to avoid, creating a few good jump scares. However, you have no way to defend yourself and most of the time have to run through them.

The graphics are fair at best and it is really hard to see anything. You are honestly playing the game at the bottom center of your screen. Oddly enough, I do like their sound effects, but it all sounds like throw backs to 80s horror movies.

If you do die, which will happen often, you have to start over from the beginning, which is rage inducing. I never saw the end of this game and I doubt I ever will. It’s by far not the worst game, so play if you dare and let me know what you think.

WintersOver4

Review: Outlast 2 Demo (VIDEO GAME)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2016 by Lilliandra Winters

Developer: Red Barrels
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: October

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Firstly, I have never played Outlast, so jumping head first into the demo for the sequel was interesting.

This demo throws creepy at you from the start. You are one of two investigative journalists following up on the murder of a pregnant woman, Jane Doe.

The first thing I noticed, besides the stellar graphics, was the fact that you are using a camcorder. I know it has been used in other games before, but it is still a wonderful mechanic. The night vision afforded by the camera is both helpful and eerie, creating a more terrifying environment than you can imagine. One thing I love, which apparently is an addition in this sequel, is the camcorder’s ability to determine if sounds are coming from the right or left of you, which I am sure will be instrumental when hiding.

You are wondering around in the woods, after your transportation crashed, looking for your counterpart. You come across a ‘town’ in the black of night, which is where the night vision comes in. Exploring this ‘town,’ you come across dead bodies, a load of flies (well done on the insects), screaming, talking and people walking about in the creepiest fucking manor possible. It looks so incredibly cult-like that you feel you have some idea what’s going on.

That is, until you are dragged into a well.

This lands you in an air duct that drops you in a school? What the hell. Walking down the halls of a school at night is enough to fill your nightmares, but they found a way to make it worse. Running from things you can’t see, lockers opening and slamming closed (don’t forget to keep getting batteries for your camcorder). There are enough jump scares to give you heart problems. I do love how, when things get really intense, you get all out of sorts, just like in Amnesia.

You are thrown back into the ‘town’ that you previously escaped from, as if you are in shifting realities. Running from what I can only imagine are rednecks from hell, you stumble through a cornfield, trying to hide and escape all at the same time. The cornfield was an amazing touch and stirred all my memories of Children of the Corn in a wonderful way.

Of course, horror games throw rules out the windows. So, I am interested in seeing how the shifting realities pans out in the long run. It could be an amazing way to keep you on your toes or rip the rug right out from under you repeatedly. It seems that, in the ‘town,’ your enemy is the people, but, in the school, there is this unknown force that is chasing you. I know not every demo reflects how the finished game runs and they want to give you the best bits of the game and keep you salivating for more; however, the ending of the demo is amazing and a must see.

Outlast 2 is due out in October of this year. I’m sure we will catch more of a glimpse at E3. Right now, I have to check out Outlast.

WintersOver4

On the Cancellation of Allison Road

Posted in Opinion with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2016 by Lilliandra Winters

I sit down at my computer with a huge case of insomnia.allison I am disappointed to find out that another amazing horror game has been cancelled. Allison Road, a first-person horror game, has been tossed out the window. I am still trying to recover from having my heart ripped out by the loss of Silent Hills and it begs me to wonder, what the hell is happening to horror?

Mind you, I share a very different view of horror; we all have our personal descriptions of genres. However, with the exception of Layers of Fear, I am hard pressed to find horror games that are the next masterpiece, the next Nightmare on Elmstreet of the gaming community.

Two games that looked to be my very nightmares come to life (both with playable trailers/demos) have been ripped out of our grasps and I feel like we should have pitchforks and torches in the town square demanding answers or a dead werewolf at least! We have nothing to show for all of our excitement and wonder. For both demos, I was a terrified child in a wonderland of horror and fear that threatened to frighten me to death! Now my hopes and dreams are broken and I wonder why.

At the moment we know that…
1. We lost Silent Hills cause people can’t play nice, so we can’t have nice things.
2. Allison Road was the ‘spiritual successor’ to Silent Hills P.T.
3. Allison Road has been cancelled; as of now we have no idea why.

And that information is depressing! These games spoke to that primal fear that resides deep down within. Something that so rarely happens. You can ask Xander, I don’t scare easy, but holy hell were these both terrifying. I’m sure that someone is screaming to me in the comments, ‘But there are other amazing horror games!’ and I’m sure there are but none that evoke the same emotions in me.

It’s like that scene you see so common in horror movies (and some games) where the protagonist is in some dark/desolate/desperate place and they hear some tribal like music and sound and fire is usually involved and they feel some ancient Deity stirring under it all waiting to be released, only to do horrible things you could never imagine and they have no way to stop it. THAT! That terror right there was at my fingertips and is now torn away from me, from us!

Maybe this is just a rant and I’ll go read some conspiracy article about the coincidence of them both being cancelled and finally get some sleep, or maybe I am just depressed and disappointed that something that looked so incredibly amazing was shut down.

It is a true shame when fantastic artwork and hard work is gone to waste, like it was here.

I hope someone changes their mind. I hope egos are dropped and fences are mended and we get two terrifying games instead of more disappointing news.

Is there a horror game I’m missing out on? Let me know in the comments.

WintersOver4