Monday, July 9, 2012

Slender Review

Console: PC  

           Ah Slender the current talk of the talk. Being hailed as a horror game with a scare factor similar to Amnesia, Slender seeks out to horrify you with its dark and creepy atmosphere. Grown men have been known to break down and cry or wet themselves while playing this game but does it live up to the hype? After hearing about Slender on Reddit I decided to give the game a shot. If you have been on r/gaming then you have no doubt heard of the fear and complete heart pounding horror this game unleashes from your computer.
I cautiously downloaded a copy, dimmed the lights and popped on a pair of headphones. Now for those of you who don't know about Slender the basic premise is that you are lost in the woods looking for book pages. You play a female protagonist with basically a flashlight and no real sense of direction. After aimless wandering through the woods I found my first page. The page was childlike with a simple drawing of forest trees. After grabbing the first page the atmosphere pulled a 180. What was once a quiet, serene forest was filled with a ballad of evil music and static. I quickly grabbed any pages I could find unsure of what was chasing me or what I was running from. As I ran through the trees, I caught glimpses of a menacing figure in the woods. I quickly whipped around was greeted by what should one of the most horrifying creatures the Slenderman however this is not what I was not what I imagined. Slenderman looked like a mere cardboard cutout dressed up in a black suit and wearing a blank face. His presence was completely out of place in the dark forest and seeing him just appear reminded me of mannequins from other horror games. I expected him to lunge forward at me but instead he remained lifeless and unmoving. I crept closer and realized that the Slenderman will not move as long as he is visible on the screen. Another interesting issue is that the game only ends if you look directly at him directly for an extended period of time. As long as your "crosshairs" are not over him he will be stuck motionless in his goofy pose. The only time the Slenderman will "chase" you is if you get to far away from him or go around a corner.  This glaring issue really nullifies the fear factor and kills the mood completely and even though the more pages you collect the faster and closer he supposedly gets the game just feels off without him attacking you.
Overall the experience achieves what it sets out to do. If you are able to fully immerse yourself in the game and feel a sense of looming dread this game can deliver decent scares. The game still is in a very rough version and hopefully the Slenderman and story will be fleshed out. Slender delivers a decent scare but is definitely a one trick pony and never progresses past grab the pages. If you are looking for a horror game that has a good story go to Amnesia the Dark Descent however if you want a free scare get Slender and enjoy.

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