Each week our resident Indie Gamer Nicholas takes a look at a different Indie Game that you may or may not have heard about. Join him on his adventures as he sifts through the rubbish to find The Indie Game of the Week.
One area where survival horror often tends to fail is making the player feel hunted. They're missing that general-purpose feeling of dread; that all-encompassing anxiety that comes with having to constantly look over one's shoulder.They fall somewhat short, relying more on jump scares and scripted sequences.
I'm happy to report that the developers of this week's indie game - SCP: Containment Breach - did no such thing.
There's a website tucked away in a dark corner of the web known as the SCP Foundation. Essentially, it's a collaborative collection of creepy, disturbing, and downright terrifying stories pertaining to the supernatural. As with many elements of Internet subculture, it originated on 4Chan. It tells the story of a secret organization founded to contain and research anomalous artifacts and lifeforms.
Containment Breach is set in the world established by this site, and puts you in the shoes of a rather unfortunate Subject D-9341. Not much is known about this subject, save that they may have been a criminal before making their way to the facility. It's also somewhat heavily implied that they're an unwilling participant in the facility's research: willing subjects generally don't need to be escorted by armed guards.
9341 is assigned for testing with SCP 173: a murderous, somewhat goofy-looking statue. Naturally, everything goes pear shaped shortly thereafter. Most of the critical systems in the facility are shut down, and several dangerous creatures break free to begin slaughtering the inhabitants. Your goal from here is simple: survive, and escape.
Not so much. See, although 173 can't move if you maintain direct line of sight with it, your character needs to blink every few seconds. When you blink, it can move closer. If it reaches you, you're dead. Worse, it's not the only thing that's hunting you. As you make your way through the facility, you'll encounter other, equally distressing creatures, all of whom seem to have a vested interest in making sure you don't get out alive. Most are completely silent save for a few subtle audio cues.
To call it a harrowing experience would be a gross understatement. It's positively terrifying: at one point, I actually ended up having to step back from my computer for a moment to regain my wits. No horror game has done that to me before: not even Amnesia.
Only when one considers how dated Containment Breach's graphics are does it become clear just why this is such an accomplishment. Somehow, with graphics that look like they hail from 1999, it still manages to be more frightening than at least 90% of modern horror titles. The key lies in how it manipulates light and darkness, how it toys with your mind using sound, and how it forces you to mind something so seemingly-insignificant as blinking.
You can pick up Containment Breach here. It's completely free, and the developers are still adding content to it on a regular basis. As for me? I'll finish Containment Breach eventually. But for now, I think I'll find something relaxing with which to occupy myself. I don't think I'll be sleeping tonight.
Five Reasons To Love (And Hate) Free To Play
"Free To Play" is the phrase that's been on everyone's lips lately, particularly in the world of MMOs. It's the new business model that every production executive is cooing over; the model that many have come to hate with a burning, fiery passion. But is it really so bad?
Ten Things Rockstar Did Right With GTA Online
So...by now, most of you are probably aware that Rockstar kind of botched the launch of GTA Online. I mean, they seriously botched it. To the point that it was completely unplayable. At the same time, though...they handled the situation masterfully - there's a lot of stuff they actually did right.
Five Reasons To Look Forward To League's Fourth Season
With this year's LCS drawn to a close, a new season of League of Legends is just about upon us. It's bringing with it some very, very big changes. Trust me when I say they're something to be very, very excited for.
Indie Game Of The Week: Magicka
This week, I'm revisiting an old favorite of mine - and one that I desperately hope you've heard of. Magicka tells the tale of one to four homicidal, sociopathic wizards, their not-vampire instructor, and an eldritch abomination that threatens to destroy the whole world. Did I mention you can blow up pretty near anything you've a mind to?
Indie Game of The Week: Huntsman: The Orphanage
This week, I'll be taking a look at Huntsman: The Orphanage; a rather fresh take on the horror genre that manages to convey fear and anxiety without any violence or gore whatsoever. It's actually pretty impressive.
Ten Ways Social Media Has Changed The MMO
Social networks have effectively changed the way we...well, do pretty much everything. We interact differently, work differently, and even view the world differently since the birth of Facebook - there's even talk that it's bringing about a fundamental change in the way we think. It should thus come as no surprise that they've also had a considerable impact on the world of MMOs.
Indie Game of The Week: Outlast
This week, we'll be taking a look at Outlast, a horror game that tosses you into the shoes of independent journalist Miles Upshur as he explores the sinister Mount Massive Asylum. Spoiler alert: it doesn't go so well for dear Miles.
Indie Game Of The Week: The Bridge
This week, we're going to take a look at puzzle platformer "The Bridge," a rather esoteric game about a mad scientist, impossible geometry, and a reckless disregard for the laws of time, space, physics, and gravity. Shall we get started?
League: Ten Tips To Help You Be A Better Support
Historically, support has kind of been the butt-monkey role of League of Legends. In spite of being one of the most valuable and vital roles in the game, few people ever seem to want to play it. As a result...there aren't all that many people who can actually play it well. We need to change that.
Indie Game Of The Week: Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs
For those of you who've been living under a rock, I've some news: Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs has finally released. It's about as terrifying as everyone expected it to be, but for entirely different reasons.