• Lust For Darkness review by Rick Moscatello

    If you like jump scares, you’ll love this!

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    Horror games are not a genre for everyone. Their biggest problem isn’t the gore (today’s graphics see to that), or even the scares (because nobody expects to be truly terrified). Story is the big problem, more so than any other type of game. You can have a decent RPG (hi Diablo!) or shooter (hi Doom!), or just about any wargame (hi anything set in WW2!) with a minimal story, but a horror game without a story is…nothing.

    Lust for Darkness comes through in spades here. Not to give much away, but the tale is slathered heavily with themes from Eyes Wide Shut and the Cthulhu mythos of H.P. Lovecraft. I give a big time shout-out to the artistry here, the renderings are consistently good, with real talent displayed throughout. I’m reluctant to use the word “beautiful,” because some of the imagery really isn’t intended to be so, but it’s quite often impressive.

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    Garden with art deco statuary? Of course!

    A prologue has you take the role of the victim, a kidnapped wife, and it also serves as tutorial for what little you need to know to play. You (she?) awaken in a dungeon, with her first goal to get out. It’s a simple matter to open a box, get the key, and open the door, but there’s also a note, inviting her on a date. A few more simple tasks later and she’s in the bedroom…a place littered with sexually themed toys and objects. Then she’s jumped, and it’s off to the real part of the game.

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    Weird displays of oddly sexual things? Sure!

    I’m a little reluctant to show screenshots from the game…let’s just suffice it to say you’ll be seeing things here you don’t see every day (unless you work in an adult superstore), and certainly not in a game.

    Again, it’s a great story, and the sexuality is quite justified in the context of the dark world being presented here.

    The “main” game has you as the husband, though the game doesn’t do a great job of presenting much of the backstory, beyond stacks of “missing woman” posters in the house. You’ll follow some easy clues leading you to a gothic mansion…and then the story begins in detail, with the usual cast of characters you’ll find in any “cultists led by an evil magic user” story. Ok, maybe it’s not a truly original story, but it’s well done all the same.

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    It's not all about the statues here.

    Although the game is presented in first person mode, there will be no fighting. You’ll sneak around quite a bit, and run for your life from time to time, but you’ll never grab a weapon or anything like that. When you screw up (and you will do so often), you die, often with a splash of loud music and maybe an evil glare from an NPC. There are plenty of “jump scares” like this in the game, and the directions instruct you to maximize the effect by playing in a darkened room with headphones (good advice, though I was startled sufficiently without such additional “immersion”). Every death has you reload the beginning of whatever you need to do next, and these “save points” are so heavy you rarely lose more than 60 seconds.

    This is a Kickstarter game, so it has the usual pitfalls of “develop fast on a fixed budget” game. There’s not much of an inventory system, your character can’t do much beyond walk, crouch, and run, and the world is only minimally interactive—just what you need to do for the game, and nothing else. This is a great game for what it is, but there’s a definite “if you like that sort of thing” vibe here. There’s also the problem of any story-dependent game, in that there’s not much in the way of replay value. In this case, the problem is confounded by the game being a little on the short side (again, the Kickstarter system of games rears its head), I don’t see anyone taking much beyond 5 hours to finish this.

    That said, the game is far superior to about 99% of the horror movies on Amazon and about 90% of the movies on Netflix. Perhaps I’ve set the bar too low, but Lust For Darkness is still well worth the price of admission if you know what you’re getting.

    Overall Rating: 84
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Lust For Darkness review by Rick Moscatello started by Doom View original post