My reviews are primarily on the silly side (because I am a buffoon), but for this game I think I've got time to sit down grab a brew and do a full review.
I got this game waaay back when it initially released, with it's 1 monster (Lurker) and 4 maps. (Back then, I was heavily into Amnesia: The Dark Descent and the mods being created for Amnesia; so horror was my Wheaties, couldn't start the day without it). So suffice it to say, when this game came to my attention I was like "Heck yeah, horror gaming with friends! GIMME!". So I sat myself down, enveloped in complete darkness with no source of light save for my monitor, and played...
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the game plays much like Amnesia! Hell yeah! Albeit, a somewhat less intuitive version, still fun though. The game goes essentially like this, find lousy keys to open doors to find better keys that open doors that lead to a silver key that goes to a door that leads to your freedom (along the way you'll want to find a crowbar or something to unblock the escape door, meh). All the while listening for sound cues to let you know whether the monster is nearby or not.
Upon finishing a session, my friends were somewhat dismissive, whilst I saw the potential in this game and could ignore the rough edges (random crashing, Amnesia click and drag bugginess). I continued playing the game month after month, update after update, and found my experience never altering; to this day I keep thinking to myself "This game has potential". And that's where I am today, while this game has seen the additions of two more monsters (Phantom, and Mary) and is now at a total of 12 maps, has added the 'Insanity' mechanic (seeing things that aren't there), and has come out of Early Access, I still feel that so much more can be done with this game. In fact, I think at the end of this review I will whip up a list of additions and alterations that I believe would improve this game.
But before that, I would like to say,
As it stands this game is indeed worth buying if you are a true fan of horror genre gaming, and to those that ARE NOT, wait till a Summer Sale or something because the $19.99 price tag might be a little high for most people.
Overall, this game gets my stamp of approval (for what it's worth), good job 9Heads Game Studios! You proved that a multiplayer horror experience IS possible.
Oh good, you're still here! You're probably here for my personal Additions and Alterations That Would Improve This Game ( aka. AATWITG, working title).
1. Why Lurker No Go "Here's Johnny" On That Door?
I think that considering that the Phantom and Mary are just straight up more dangerous than the Lurker, that giving him the ability to break down doors would add to the primal terror of a vicious creature that wants your innards to be outtards. I mean his hands don't even look like they can even grasp a door handle let alone turn it.
2. Insanity, I See Goofy Faces...
Overall, I love the Insanity system, I love it to death. But the faces, those goofy looking faces are just silly! Have you ever walked around in the dark, and had a sensation that you were about to come face to face with something, like you think you can see something that is just out of sight and out of focus, when all of a sudden it's right up in your face like a deranged dermatologist! You couldn't tell what it was, you just know it gave you semi-whiplash. Yeah that, do that!
3. Insanity, Why My Legs Be Broken?
Okay, this one is a little finicky. But sometimes when your Insanity reachs the point where you can't move or see, is alright, accept when you're trying to escape a monster! I get it, you see arms coming out of the walls grabbing at you, you slow down and think about your life, but when a monster wants to push your ♥♥♥♥ in! I think you got bigger problems. (Disable Insanity temporarily when in danger, that's all I'm saying GG).
4. Insanity Addition: Tunnel-Vision.
Some horror games are doing it! Damned sure as shootin' can! You know that optical illusion that causes you to percieve the room or floor or what have you to stretch out further and further away. Yep that's a winner!
5. Need Me a Little Pick-Me-Up.
This just a suggestion, but how about the ability to revive buddies? Like a chance that they survived the attack from a monster and are knocked unconscious, whilst unconscious the incapacitated player engages a nightmare scenario that they have to beat in order to wake up or wait until an other player resuscitates them. However, if blood begins to pool, that is a sure sign that the victim is beyond saving.
6. More Scenarios for Success.
Escape is a fine solution, but for those more brave souls why not include an alternative. Excorsism, Slay the Monster (aka. Monster Bane), Sacrifice (appease the monster). I don't know suggest your own! I just think that more can be done here.
That's all I can think of at the moment, add your own suggestions if you want to. Thank you dear reader, for listening to me babble! You're good people.