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Little Nightmares 2

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Generally speaking, childhood is an unfathomable nightmare full of dark mystery and morbid misunderstanding. See, when you’re a kid, you don’t understand how the world works, don’t fully grasp the insidious banality that infects the human condition, so you tend to view things in the shadowy, mysterious manner of a creepy fairy tale.

Game devs, Tarsier Studios, know this only too well. It’s why their previous title Little Nightmares was so effective at getting under your skin and lowkey spooking you out. They continue this proud and rather morbid tradition with Little Nightmares 2, a sequel that maintains its predecessor’s quality but perhaps doesn’t innovate as much as one might like.

Plot-wise, Little Nightmares 2 is light on detail and heavy on atmosphere. You play a masked boy named Mono who needs to wend his way through poorly-lit, scary as hell environments, solving light puzzles under duress. Sometimes you’ll come across terrifying adult characters, all of whom want to kill you, and either flee from them or kill/trap them in some fashion. Shortly after the beginning of the tale, you’ll join up with Six (the protagonist from the first game) and she will assist you along the way.

Over the four or so hours of play, Little Nightmares 2 sustains a genuinely uncomfortable, eerie vibe that becomes increasingly twisted and warped, particularly in the final third. The puzzles themselves are serviceable, although occasionally a bit repetitive, and the ending appropriately dark, but it’s the little details and genuinely imaginative monsters that remain with you after the credits roll.

One creature in fact – a squawking schoolteacher beast whose neck extends endlessly like “Sweet Henrietta” from Evil Dead 2 – is easily the most disturbing creature you will see this year, certainly a scarier proposition than most recent movie monsters. So, if your loins are sufficiently girded for discomfort, and you’re okay with the relatively short length, Little Nightmares 2 offers a grim and disturbing look back at the dark side of being a confused, lost child haunted by things beyond understanding.

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Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

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Somewhere during the Assassin’s Creed series’ 20-something games, your humble reviewer found himself checking out of the series. Not completely, mind you. There were still highpoints. 2013’s Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag was a good ‘un and 2015’s Assassin’s Creed Syndicate was not without its charms, however the emphasis on janky combat over stealthy assassinations, of vast but oddly repetitive environments over smaller but more detailed locations, and the increasingly level-gated content, that all but required seemingly endless grinding (looking at you AC: Origins and Odyssey) put the series firmly in the “it’s just not for me” basket. It’s a surprise then, that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, despite suffering from some of the above-listed afflictions (but we’ll get to that later) has gone down as easy as a frosty horn of mead and a cheerful after-dinner pillage.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla tells the story of Eivor, a young (female or male, player’s choice) viking in AD 873 who leaves Norway to establish new lands in Anglo-Saxon England. Eivor is joined by bestie, and would-be king, Sigurd, his wife Randvi and a host of other Nordic chums, all with their own personalities and agendas. Over the course of the 60-something hour adventure, friends will become enemies, enemies will become friends and – of course – a mysterious ancient order of “Hidden Ones” will appear, giving the meta story its contractually mandated due. The thing is, the story is a really good one. Eivor is an intriguing lead and the RPG-light style of choices with consequences you’ll come across, add a new layer of player agency to the proceedings. This means, you’ll likely find yourself genuinely invested in the story, particularly in the relationship between Eivor and Siguard, a pairing that in true Shakespearean tradition, appears doomed from the beginning thanks to an early prophetic dream. In fact, the experience of playing the game feels a bit like binging a season of a surprisingly decent historical drama, even if some of the beats are a tad predictable.

In practical terms, Valhalla’s combat feels more grounded than Odyssey, with a pleasing sense of brutality and viciousness that feels appropriate for the subject matter. As vikings, you will pillage monasteries, burn enemies’ houses and flog anything shiny that isn’t tied down, which at the very least is a little morally ambiguous. You’ll forge alliances with various factions in England, performing tasks and solving problems, and slowly upgrade your homebase as you seek more and more power. It’s engaging, exciting stuff, which is somewhat undone by the ubiquitous Ubisoft second act that just drags on a bit too long. Other less than positive wrinkles are the bugs that, while tolerable, feel a bit out of place in a full price AAA game. Nothing breaks immersion like watching your horse fly off into the distance like a rapidly deflating equine dirigible.

Still and all, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a big return to form for the series. A fascinating period of history gorgeously realised in a massive, expansive – but nuanced – environment with a solid story and intriguing characters. If you’re even vaguely interested in viking culture, and can handle a bit of grit and gore, Valhalla is a worthy longship ride into glory.

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The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope

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Creating a game that becomes a huge hit is a blessing and a curse. Just ask Supermassive Games, who are responsible for the very unexpectedly successful Until Dawn. See, Until Dawn gave players the chance to essentially direct their own slasher movie, attempting to save the likable characters, to kill the annoying ones and see what impact their decisions would have. It was a hoot of a game, particularly effective when played half drunk with your mates peppered around the loungeroom, and it was inevitable more of the type would be made. The first of these “Dark Pictures Anthology” games was Man of Medan, which had its moments but was undone by a rather pedestrian third act twist. The latest iteration is Little Hope and while it has its charms, unfortunately it’s not quite the classic it needs to be to get this series back on track.

Little Hope tells the tale of five characters who, after a bus crash, find themselves trapped in the creepy hamlet from which this game gets its name. Little Hope is a town with a dark past, involving witch trials, murder and all manner of macabre shenanigans, many of which you’ll experience as flashbacks, jump scares and dream sequences. This is prime material for a horror yarn, and the early minutes of the game are intriguing, however, as the story wears on, a lack of structure and identity creep in.

Until Dawn worked because it was mostly set in a creepy abandoned ski resort and large house. Man of Medan worked (up until the end at least) because it was mostly taking place on an abandoned boat. Little Hope has some good moments, but utilising a whole town in the context of a story like this feels too vague and formless. Similarly, the voice acting feels oddly disengaged and inconsistent, with even good actors like Will Poulter sounding wooden and listless in their delivery.

That’s not to say that there isn’t fun to be had in Little Hope. Remember that loungeroom with your mates scenario? That remains delightfully fun, you can even do online co-op which is dandy with a headset handy. However, a game like this shouldn’t require the addition of boozy sarcasm to be fun or scary, and sadly, it’s just not all that engaging a narrative.

Visually gorgeous, sonically okay, occasionally spooky but just too inconsistent, Little Hope is serviceable but more of a reminder of the lighting-in-a-bottle experience that was Until Dawn.

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Watch Dogs: Legion

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Tell you what, there must have been some champagne corks a-popping over at Ubisoft HQ when Cyberpunk 2077 was delayed yet again. The latest (and hopefully final) delay has shoved CD Projekt Red’s insanely anticipated title back to December 10, from a much-touted November 19 launch day. That means that November of this hell year of 2020 has just one plucky cyberpunky game on the block, and that game is Watch Dogs: Legion.

The Watch Dogs series has always been an odd duck, brimming with potential that has never entirely been realised, but with Legion – set in the near-future in an Orwellian London – they’ve definitely had a red hot go this time around and created the best title in the series so far.

Watch Dogs: Legion tells the story of the London branch of hacktivist group, DedSec. In the opening minutes of the game, the group is almost completely destroyed and blamed for a savage act of terrorism. Since that day, security group Albion has turned London into a police state and it’s up to the loosely affiliated remains of DedSec to set things right, using their hacking skills, combat abilities and Pommy accents so broad they’d make Dick Van Dyke blush.

Watch Dogs: Legion’s story, while seasoned with a pinch of future dystopia ala Black Mirror, is still very much business as usual. You’ll have enemies to vanquish, computers to hack, civilians to convert and loads of busywork to complete. The gameplay, too, while engaging on a minute by minute basis isn’t exactly revolutionary. No, what sets Legion apart from other Watch Dogs titles is that you can recruit and then control any and every NPC that wanders around in the game’s massive map. Just think about that for a second: Every. Single. NPC. You see someone you like the look of, or scan them and realise that their skills will be useful, you can chat with them, do a short mission for them and then assume control of them, swelling the DedSec ranks with skills that are useful in certain situations, or perhaps you just thought their trousers were nice.

For instance, you recruit a tradie so you never get questioned when walking around a building site. Or perhaps you recruit a tidy fighter, if you need to get all kicky-punchy with some folks. Or a gun nut. Or a lady who can summon a construction drone you can ride like a hoverboard. Or a bloke who has weaponised cyber bees (no kidding, this actually exists). It’s impossible to overstate what a seismic shift this mechanic represents, and the near-endless options it gives you in accomplishing your goals.

Of course, playing as anyone diffuses the already overly familiar story, and it also means that most characters sound the same, which is unfortunately all a bit “oo-er guvna, let’s smash the system and ‘ave some fish and chips, by crikey”. It’s also a little hard to take the frothing anti-capitalist banter seriously when the Ubisoft store has a perpetually tumescent prompt, swollen with its desire to separate the player from their hard earned dosh.

Still and all, wonky dialogue and corporate greed aside, Watch Dogs: Legion took a big risk with its recruitment mechanic and it’s certainly paid off. And while it’s not a perfect game, and one wishes Ubisoft would push the narrative envelope a little harder, it’s a memorable, engaging romp through near-future London with oodles of systems to muck about with and trouble to start against the forces of oppression. So if you want to scratch that cyberpunk itch, and enjoy a memorable game in its own right, Watch Dogs: Legion has you covered. So quicksticks ‘op on this one and take back London, innit!

 

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The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gordon

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The Outer Worlds was released just under a year ago, in that ancient halcyon age of 2019. Critical consensus (including our own) was that while the game was imperfect, it captured much of the black humour, RPG mechanics and interesting, nuanced story that wasn’t on display in the latest iterations of Fallout or Mass Effect. Yes, some of the action was a bit repetitive, and the enemy variety a tad lacking, but there was a lot to like about the title. Peril on Gorgon represents the first major DLC drop for the game and the result, honestly, is a bit of a disappointment.

Peril on Gorgon tells a mostly self-contained story that predominantly takes place on the Gorgon asteroid, and it involves (yet again) a science experiment gone terribly wrong. You’ll need to explore the rather drab asteroid as you piece together what happened and choose what to do with that information, which is fine, in theory, but the final revelation is profoundly underwhelming. In fact, the whole DLC feels like a retelling of the plot of Joss Whedon’s Firefly movie, Serenity. That flick’s a lot of fun, don’t get us wrong, but it does make the narrative lose its mystique once you’ve worked out what’s happening.

Peril on Gorgon makes its first mistake right out of the gate. It’s DLC that exists after the beginning of the game but before the ending, so if you don’t have a save file in that area, it’s tough titty, my friend, you’ll have to start a whole new game. Happily, your humble reviewer had a save in the sweet spot, but it couldn’t help but make the entire DLC feel like cut content from the main game. Perhaps, if this 4-6 hour digression had appeared in the vanilla campaign, it would have felt more at home, however as a DLC it seems slight and half baked. The player level cap is raised to 33, there are a handful of new weapons and armour, but a total lack of new abilities or companions can’t help but hammer home the feeling of half arsedness. And the fact that you’re fighting predominantly the same old enemies, that you got bored of in the main game, is just a bummer.

The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon, fundamentally, is just a very average experience. While it does offer more Outer Worlds, which is welcome in theory, it also provides poor level design, samey encounters and an overall sense of been there, done that. If you haven’t played The Outer Worlds yet (and you absolutely should) it might fatten out the campaign, but otherwise you’d have to be pretty hard-up to peer into the eyes of this gorgon.

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Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2

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It’s hard to explain to the younger generations just how much the Tony Hawk games dominated loungerooms in the late ’90s/early 2000s. Afternoons, evenings, post-club kick ons and even cheeky sick days were spent mastering the bird man’s trickier moves, usually shrouded in a haze of bong smoke and concentration sweat. That sense of baked camaraderie, combined with the “just one more go” addiction spiral, made these games indelible parts of the video game landscape. Of course, the party couldn’t go on forever, and while it’s debatable which Hawk game finally sunk the franchise, things had well and truly died in the arse by the time the execrable Pro Skater 5 plopped out in 2015. It seemed that those halcyon days were well and truly over and then Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 dropped in and it’s like the ’90s have returned, except this time we’re old.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is much more than your typical remaster. It is, in fact, a ground up remake of the first two Pro Skater titles with gorgeous graphics, slick animation, familiar but tweaked gameplay and the original game’s steep learning curve very much present. In fact, due to the animation being so slick, and the frame rate so high, the game’s actually significantly faster than you might remember, which may well give your entropy-dulled reflexes a work out. All the great locations from the first two games are present, with some reimagined and tweaked elements (The Mall now looks like a post apocalyptic, deserted hellscape) and the tricks from later games – manuals, reverts, wall plants etc. – have been added. There’s also a robust Create-A-Skater mode, the character then able to be used across both games and online, and the Create-A-Park mode, which is a hoot for the very patient.

About the only misstep in this entire game involves its multiplayer modes. See, while you can link up with a mate and run through online challenges (like trick attack) with a bunch of randoms, you can’t just bum around a location that’s exclusive to the pair of you. No private matches, no co-op play through freshly unlocked levels and not even any bloody HORSE! It’s probably a tad churlish to complain about a feature missing that sure as hell wasn’t in the original, but in 2020 to not have that level of online interactivity seems a disappointing omission and something that would be wise to correct in this or future entries.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 probably won’t blow away newbies, and honestly, Skate was a better pure skating game (remaster or sequel, please, EA) but if you loved these games back in the day there’s a better-than-average chance you’ll love them anew here. Disappointing online selection aside, this is a near-perfect remaster and a delicious slice of rose-tinted nostalgia done right.

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Wasteland 3

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It’s while I’m attacking the Gippers that I’m reminded of that Mitchell and Webb sketch about the self-aware Nazis. You know, the one where they ask, “are we the baddies?”, after realising that they’re very much on the wrong side of history. The reason it springs to mind, as I cover the floor with zealot blood and guts, is because what started out with the best of intentions has become a massacre. And while the Gippers are as mad as a sackful of rats – worshipping the memory of pre-apocalypse president Ronald Reagan and calling everyone “commies” – I’m not sure that they deserve this fate. When I exit the front doors of the Western White House, now spattered red, the Godfishers are waiting for me. I made a deal with them, you see. Told the lunatics I’d let them kill the Gippers in exchange for access to their territory, a promise I have very clearly broken. So, as my six strong squad of rangers readies itself for another battle, I can’t help but wonder: are we the baddies?

Welcome to Wasteland 3, the long-awaited post-apocalyptic RPG from inXile Entertainment, that puts the emphasis on tough choices, decisions that have genuine consequences and moral ambiguity that will haunt your non-playing hours.

Wasteland 3 puts you in the boots of two rangers, pre-made or user generated, the only survivors of an ill-advised journey to the frozen hell of Colorado. Once you’ve checked in with local leader The Patriarch, you’ll need to add to your team, take on missions, upgrade your HQ and – most importantly – decide where you stand, morally-speaking. Will you side with the Patriarch’s authoritarian rule or do you think that there are worthier leaders waiting in the wings? Will you bring peace and prosperity to Colorado or would you just rather shoot and loot your way through the various communities. Do you want a better world, or would you prefer to just watch it burn? All of these disparate concepts are viable options and the range of choices you can make is genuinely dizzying. Most RPGs, even the very good ones, deliver nothing more than the illusion of choice, but Wasteland 3 raises the bar, making the game one of the best pure RPG experiences currently available.

Played from an isometric point of view, Wasteland 3 certainly isn’t the prettiest game around. The backgrounds are often drab, the character models a little stiff and while the many turn-based battles that you’ll take part in look perfectly fine, this won’t be a game that knocks your socks off in terms of presentation. The voice acting, however, is very decent, with most of the dialogue voiced and the writing is stellar, with none of the bloat you usually find in this type of game. Performance-wise, it has to be said, the game does have a few bugs at launch. Animation glitches, some audio dropouts and even a few hard crashes to desktop (playing on a PS4 Pro), however, they’re likely to be patched soon. Pleasingly, load times are quite tolerable, particularly compared to the likes of Pillars of Eternity and Divinity: Original Sin 2.

Ultimately, however, Wasteland 3 is all about the choices you make and the paths you take. Before you know it, you’ll be part of a civil war, unearthing conspiracies or, you know, accidentally wiping out two entire communities of religious fanatics because you prioritised mission success over human lives. Despite the game’s often lunatic sense of humour (with toey robot prostitutes and suicide bomber pigs), these decisions will weigh on you, have you thinking about them and probably inform a second or third playthrough. It’s rough around the edges, and needs a little patience at the beginning, but Wasteland 3 is one of the best RPGs in years and an absolute must-play title during these bizarre, dystopian times.

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Pathfinder: Kingmaker Definitive Edition

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Pathfinder: Kingmaker is the latest PC RPG to make the leap to consoles, transplanting keyboard and mouse gameplay into the realm of the casual couch and comfy trackie-daks. This has been going on for a while, with the likes of Pillars of Eternity and Divinity: Original Sin forging the way to much success, particularly in the case of the latter. That’s not to say Pathfinder is more of the same, mind you, because while there are many superficial similarities with others, this epic title from Russian developer Owlcat Games offers unique twists on a now familiar formula.

Pathfinder is set in the Stolen Lands, and casts you in the boots of a character – either self generated or preset – who will need to gather a party, grow in strength, take on increasingly tough missions and eventually defeat a tough boss. Sounds familiar, right? And it is, with a lot of generic high fantasy tropes executed in a solid but unexceptional fashion. However, once you beat the baddie, a particularly nasty wanker called the Stag Lord, you’re handed a barony and new responsibilities that involve managing funds, building the right structures and keeping the populace happy and safe.

They’ve gone and put a bloody town management game in your RPG! You’ll still be required to go on epic quests, mind you, but now you’ll need to manage your increasing lands as well. It’s… kind of a lot, to be honest, and those who’d rather just dungeon crawl without reading the instructions should possibly look elsewhere.

That said, if you’re up for the challenge (and able to watch a few Youtube videos before you even begin), Pathfinder is an absolute game changer. One of the best aspects is the combat. Is it turn-based or real time with pause? It’s both. And unlike Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire, you can switch between the two on the fly. Mid-dungeon fighting weak arse trash mobs of low level spiders or skeletons? Put it on RTWP and let the AI do the work. Come up against a tough boss that requires a little more strategy and finesse? Notch it back to turn-based and conquer.

It’s a brilliant addition to the genre and one that would be great to see embraced by other developers. Add to that a dizzying array of difficulty customisation options – wherein you can change the level of AI, the fail states and even switch the kingdom management to “automatic” if that sort of fiddly nonsense isn’t your bag – and you’ve got a game that feels like it can be honed to your specific style of play.

The graphics are crisp and colourful, the sound and music solid and even the load times, the inexplicable bane of this genre’s console ports, are better than most. On the downside, the story and script never really rise much above the level of perfectly adequate. You’ll have fun, you’ll be engaged but you’re unlikely to be shocked by something creative and unexpected like Divinity: Original Sin 2. Difficulty spikes can be an issue too, although there’s usually a lateral, albeit nerdy, solution to most problems. The Stag Lord, for instance. Rather than face him head on, you can turn half his lieutenants against him, kill those who won’t be convinced and even rope in his pet bear to join the boot party.

Pathfinder: Kingmaker Definitive Edition comes packaged with all the DLCs, offering literally hundreds of hours of gameplay. While it doesn’t deliver the easiest experience for old school style RPG noobs, careful and patient investigation and experimentation will have your party feeling powerful and ripping through dungeons in no time. Once you get your head around the multifarious systems, Pathfinder: Kingmaker reveals itself to be one of the most nuanced and satisfying RPGs of 2020 and a delightful surprise for those with the patience and time to really hook in.

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Ghost of Tsushima

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The samurai genre is rivalled only by the western for the dubious honour of earning the ‘least utilised’ guernsey in the modern gaming era. Certainly, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Desperados III paid memorable homage to the latter, but the former has been woefully neglected. Oh sure, we’ve had borderline entries like the Niohs 1 and 2 or FromSoftware’s punishing Sekiro, but those titles utilised fantasy elements to spice up the narrative. No, in terms of pure Kurosawa-esque samurai gear, it’s down to developers Sucker Punch Productions to finally bring the goods with Ghost of Tsushima, a beautiful game that plays it a little safe.

Ghost of Tsushima tells the tale of Jin Sakai, a young samurai who joins his uncle, Lord Shimura, in defending the Japanese island of Tsushima against the Mongol invasion of 1274. The spectacular opening battle goes poorly, leaving Shimura captured and Sakai left for dead. It’s then up to you, the player, to find allies for Jin, improve his combat skills, weapons and armour, and mount a campaign to save his uncle and then rid Tsushima of the Mongol threat.

The first thing you’re likely to notice about Ghost is that it’s simply beautiful. The poetic Japanese scenery, the appealing character models, the warm sun glinting off sword blades and even the blood-drenched outdoor abattoir of a post-battle landscape all combine for a rich, immersive environment that never fails to captivate. Add to this an intuitive, robust photo mode and you’re likely to spend a surprising amount of time just taking in the sumptuous visuals this game has to offer. Movement too is smooth and slick, with Jin slowly but surely learning new combat stances, gracefully spinning and attacking around the battlefield, leaving many dead foes in his wake.

So far so good, right? Well… mostly. See, while Ghost of Tsushima is practically flawless in terms of presentation, the actual gameplay is at times a tad pedestrian. The combat is great mind you, particularly if you avoid the rather wonky stealth and go for straight up front-on battles, but the gameplay between these encounters is desperately familiar. If you’ve played Horizon: Zero Dawn, Days Gone, recent Far Cry or Assassin’s Creed entries or, hell, it seems like most AAA games these days, you’ve played Ghost. Areas to unlock, resources to farm for crafting purposes, main missions, side missions and collectibles. It’s not bad, mind you, it’s just very generic and overly familiar. There was an opportunity to innovate here and instead Ghost plays it very safe.

The main story and Jin’s character in general are also… fine. Intriguing enough to keep your interest for the duration, but not exactly mind-blowing or profoundly emotionally resonant. You’re unlikely to shed a tear here, unlike Red Dead Redemption 2 or The Last of Us. Interestingly, however, Ghost also comes equipped with some of the best side quests – which deepen your knowledge and relationship of existing characters – and Mythic Quests – that explore some borderline supernatural element and always end with you acquiring a fancy piece of gear or weapon. These clever, often beautifully written vignettes showcase Ghost’s best moments and almost make up for the lack of ambition in other quarters.

Ultimately, Ghost of Tsushima is a gorgeous game, an epic love letter to Akira Kurosawa and the cinematic samurai genre he arguably perfected, and the best Assassin’s Creed title in years… despite not actually being an Assassin’s Creed title. Slick combat combines with predictable exploration but with enough twists and turns to keep your armchair samurai adventure a worthy and honourable one.

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Carrion

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Even the most casual gamer will have spent hours of their in-game lives hunting and destroying monsters. Whether the setting is a pristine laboratory, an abandoned warehouse or sinister factory, it’s likely you’ll have splattered an irate organism or cranky xenomorph across it many times over. But what if you weren’t the heroic human in the story? What if, in fact, you were the slime-slicked creature crawling through the vents? That is the premise of Carrion, a game that really shows how much difference a change of perspective can make.

Carrion puts you in the pulsating biomass of a nameless beastie being experimented on in a laboratory. At the beginning of the game you manage to escape from a canister as a small but swift critter, and then it’s time to evolve, increase in size and power, and find your freedom. Oh, and you’ll massacre and absorb a metric tonne of quivering, screaming, terror-scented human flesh along the way.

Of all the many things Carrion does right, its best element by far is the way the monster feels to play. The rapid, slithering, tentacular movement remains exhilarating from minute one to the conclusion four or five hours later. Sweeping out of vents to grab scientists and rip them in half, punching through obstructions like a tumescent wrecking ball and letting out a roar before you engulf multiple victims like a wave of malignant meat is just… wonderful. If you’re of a slightly demented mindset like your humble reviewer, you’ll likely spend much of the game cackling like a cartoon banshee, much to the chagrin of flatmates and cats.

The graphics too, in a crisp engaging pixel art style, tickle all the right retro gaming receptors and are a joy to behold. Slightly less successful is some of the exploration, with a few of the environments reading too similarly to deliver legible landmarks, which can lead to some frustrating and confusing navigation loops, compounded by the lack of a map. Also, players expecting a strong narrative or enticing backstory will likely be left a little cold, because it’s pretty threadbare.

Still and all, the story is not what Carrion is about. This is the type of clever indie game that saw the incredible third act of Playdead’s Inside and went “yeah, let’s do a whole game of that!” and it’s as giddy and satisfying as that sounds. Certainly, the short length and repetitive gameplay will give some pause, but for those who always felt like The Thing from John Carpenter’s The Thing got a raw deal, Carrion will provide splattery catharsis. And in the end, it turns out ol’ mate Friedrich Nietzsche was right: when fighting monsters you yourself do become a monster… and it’s a fucken hoot!

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