Title: Slender: The Arrival
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One (Reviewed), Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows, Wii U, Mac OS
Developer: Blue Isle Studios
Publisher: Blue Isle Studios
Release date: Out Now
Family Focus: Click here for more information.
Way before your Alien: Isolations and your VR horror-houses like Affected, there was one small game that developed its own cult following.
Slender, in its various guise and components, was designed to be short experiences. The most popular one is quite simple: collect eight pages whilst a tall faceless man tries to catch you. On first release, that particular version of Slender is called Slender: The Eight Pages. This release ties together all of the various iterations and appearances of ‘Slender Man’ and strings them together to form a story that flows through them.
A story there may be, but the design priority with Slender: The Arrival is to do one thing…
Freak you the f**k out
It’s a horror game, and it’s all about building those scares up and up then popping that over-inflated balloon with a needle. All of this is done to maximise its effect.
Or to put it into a shorter form: jump scares!
Despite being released on the modern consoles, Slender: The Arrival, the reliance of jump scares makes the game show its age a little bit. Since its original release, the Horror genre has progressed to go beyond simple acute fear and modifying the gradual curve of the horror to accentuate its effect.
I’ll use craft beer as an analogy (a particular interest of mine). There are some beers that hit you with the taste fast, but falters as soon as it goes down your throat. Then there are some beers where the taste still hits you hard, but the taste teeters off more slowly. In some cases, it might still remain even when you lift the glass for another drink. Slender is very much like the former. Modern Horror games have learned the art of delivering more than just the spooks. The now-vanished P.T being one of the best and most recent examples.
In a way, playing Slender: The Arrival reminded me of how far Horror games have come since their resurgence from games such as itself and Amnesia. Granted, Slender will still provide some good value spooks at £8. However if you come in to the game and expect an experience similar to P.T, you will be left perhaps a little bit disappointed.
If you want a throwback to one of the games that helped kickstart the horror genre back into action, then Slender: The Arrival is worth a look. For that £8, it’s value can be perceived to be decent. Otherwise, best to save that money for the latest and greatest in a now well-established genre.
What Rocks! :)
- Good value for eight chunky ‘mini-games’
- Story segments tie together the eight separate games.
What Sucks :(
- The jump scares eventually become a bit ‘samey’
- This type of horror makes the game show its age a little bit.
It’s nightmare fuel. Gonnae no dae that.