Horror games to watch: Carrion , where you are the monster.
Did you see the trailer for Carrion at E3? The game from Phobia Game Studio is a horror game that I would recommend keeping an eye out for when it releases. So, what’s the big deal about a quirky, indie 2d side scroller? Well, let me tell you:
Unleash the Monster Within
The main interest in the game is that you yourself get to cause the horror by playing as the monster. I know this has been done before in games such as Dead by Daylight, or if you go out of your way to make an evil slasher in Fallout games (like I did here), but it still feels like a relatively fresh concept. You’re a lovable slimeball in a scientific facility where you’ve been poked and prodded for years, and it’s time to get revenge, and feed. Two birds, one stone eh?
As you’ll see from the trailer, there’s an incredible fluidity to the way your monster is able to move around the lab to exact it’s revenge on the scientists. It looks as if there are a variety of environmental hazards which you can also
2D is the new 3D
I’m not at all suggesting that 3D is going the way of the dodo, and we’re going to see it replaced entirely by the side scrollers of days gone by. I’m not even suggesting that we’ll see a decent amount of 2D games in coming years. I mean that 2D has become a novelty, and a marketable one at that. It’s similar to how when The Artist came out in 2011, it was widely applauded for adopting the modes of silent cinema; it’s retrospective and something a little different in an arms race to make things look ultra realistic and simultaneously though contradictingly fantastical. In terms of gaming, look at Cuphead. The game is beautifully. Absolutely stunning, but at its core it’s old-school hand drawn animation layered over a challenging 2d shoot-em-up. And that’s fantastic, I think there’s a universal recognition of the amount of effort and talent that went into making Cuphead, even if some couldn’t get past the first level.
With Carrion, we’re back in the 2D hot seat, and it feels good in small indie games like this. I’m not one of those ‘graphics are everything’ kinds of people, I don’t pine for realism, instead I hope that games can focus on what makes you want to play; being fun. It certainly looks like there is some to be had from Carrion.
Why’s there a section on graphics Ed? Didn’t you just say that you’re not one of those people?
Touché. But I wanted to raise a point about the way the game looks anyway despite the glaring hypocrisy. This game really reminds me, visually, of Abe’s Odyssey and Exodus. Oddworld games are amongst my favourite ever made, so i’m happy to be returned to an industrial , dark setting in this game. I think the rusted metal aesthetic that we see in the trailer fits this game perfectly. This is principally because of the powerful contrast it allows between the dark grey and the vibrant reds of both the creature and the blood of it’s enemies.
Variety is the Spice of life
If the point of the game is to kill everything else in the game, then make it entertaining, and for this you need variety. I can imagine getting bored very quickly of there only being one simple way of killing the scientists in the compound. Sure it would look cool, but once you’ve seen it hundreds of times, the novelty might wear off. However, it looks like the good folks at Phobia Game Studios have taken this into account as there seems to be possibilities involving the painful death of scientists to keep that little extra spice in life.
Carrion is due to release on Steam in 2020, with whispers of a console release as well.
What do you think of Carrion? Let me know on twitter!