There you are, alone, in your safe house with nothing but the darkness for company. Then all of a sudden, you hear a scream, and what's that? Your furniture is moving all by itself. It's ok though, you're safe, in your barricaded room and there's only another few minutes of night time left. Oh, wait, they're knocking on your door, you can see the barricade splinter...It's fine, daylight will save you. Argh, but here they come, relentlessly banging on your door and it's one hit away from being broken. Phew, daylight is here, but you have no wood left to barricade yourself in when night time comes again. You have no weapon so you need to go out into the woods to scavenge and prepare yourself, but you know they're lurking out there too.
Darkwood does this brilliantly, it builds up so much tension that even when nothing is going on, you're still on edge. Sure, there are a few bugs still in the game, but it's an early Alpha release, and the devs have acknowledged that a few things here and there need to be fixed.
Don't let the bugs take away from what is a stunning survival game, and a survival game that builds up the horror through it's atmosphere like no other that I've played recently. Reminiscent of the old Silent Hill games in the way that it builds tension, it builds you up and then knocks you down but it's not frustrating. You don't mind meeting your maker, even though you lose your precious mushrooms, because you learn a little each time you die.
The game looks beautiful, the lighting is glorious and really helps set the tone when you're out to discover new things. Your cone of vision can either help you out or destroy you if you're not vigilant enough, but it's something you get used to after a while.
The crafting system works nicely, and is clear and easy to use, but sometimes the amount that you can carry becomes a little bit of a problem, that said, it doesn't take away too much from the experience. If anything, the frustration is outweighed by the fear that you won't have enough to survive the night, making the game more tense.
The world is randomly generated on each play through so you will never get tired of exploring the same old places again and again.
The characters in the game thus far have enough depth to influence how you behave toward them, but enough mystery that you never really know what to expect from them the NPCs are great fun to come up against whether you're ready to fight them or not.
Darkwood is something that any survival horror fan should try out and if at first it seems a little slow, I'm sure that it will grow on you and eventually you will approach each night filled with terror and worry that you've missed something and they can get in your safe house while you're completely defenseless because you didn't have time to craft a new weapon before you had to lock yourself in.
If you're still unsure whether to get the game or not, then please check out my playthrough and see how I experienced the night terrors (and the day terrors for that matter) and then form your own opinions, and hopefully learn from my mistakes if you do decide to get the game!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu_isSnkgGw&list=PLsbPERuyqhxzTT5boLH8lsNwG6W7NYllF&index=1