Full Review of Slender: The Arrival - the night is dark and full of clichés...
It's been a while since Slender Man - a ghostly figure from the urbanistic folklore crept his way into the hearts of the horror-game genre fans. Slender: The Arrival is another installment dedicated to that horrific character. But in all honesty it's hard to say what is scarier: the Slender Man himself or an inescapable circle of horror-clichés added to the awkward gameplay.
Okay, from this point of view - graphics and sound effects in Slender: The Arrival are quite a decent work.
It has many beautifully designed locations:
· Abandoned, run-down houses.
· Creepy desolated mines.
· Dark forests adorned with nostalgically yellow autumn foliage.
And so on.
I like all the work that the game's creators did to make the surroundings as authentic as possible. For instance, inside an empty house, you'll see items "left" by previous inhabitants: old furniture, broken toys, old yellowish wallpapers with scary inscriptions on them related to the horrors that you're trying to escape.
The sound design is pretty impressive as well - your deep immersion into the nightmarish atmosphere will be ensured by ghastly quiet whispers, squeaking sounds of rusty metal, mysterious taps and knocks and the footsteps made by someone invisible, right behind your back.
You will enjoy the visual/sound aspect of the game - unquestionably. But there is something that can ruin your experience…
Gameplay is, perchance, the scariest thing that Slender: The Arrival has to offer. It's just so tedious and horrific, especially when it comes to the carnival of repetitive and dull objectives: find a fragment of a note/key/any other item. By the end of the first hour, you'll find yourself helplessly trapped in that vicious cycle. And there's no glimpse of hope for escaping!
But my "favorite" part of the gameplay is, of course, the poor balance between your defensive abilities and your enemies' deadliness. For instance, there's nothing in this game that could guarantee your safeness from a weird-looking kid running around with a pair of safety scissors or knife.
He's got a remarkable ability to show up right behind you when you least expect it and tragically end the game for you. This is, by chance, the only reason why Slender: The Arrival has gameplay of 6-8 hours instead of just little 30 minutes. Because you know - the missions and their objectives are quite insipid and undemanding.
Manipulating your in-game avatar is nothing challenging. Apart from the moments, you have to run lickety-split from Slender Man himself or one of his merciless minions. You'll get bored at some point though from pushing the direction/movement buttons constantly.
Replay Value: 1.5
No. Not happening. I'm not replaying this and not because the game is super-frightful - I replayed Dead Space 3 two times in a row for crying out loud! The reason behind my lack of enthusiasm is the unimaginative, uncreative gameplay and unfair advantage that my demonic antagonists have.
The game slowly but steadily turns into drudgery. By the time you're about to reach the finale of that macabre saga the only thing that'll haunt your mind will be: "Is this over yet?" Even amazing atmospheric effects do not help that much.
The debut game about Slender Man When Slender: The Eight Pages was much more fascinating than its unfortunate sequel. Honestly, if you want to ruin a great thing and turn it from a work of talent into a second-rate product, commercialize it as much as you can. The pitiful results will be forthcoming.
- Good visuals.
- Great sound design.
- Well-developed locations.
- Authentic atmosphere.
- Scary figure of Slender Man.
- Boring missions.
- Unfairly tough enemies.
- Repetitive objectives.
- Short cyclic gameplay.