Now, I’ve not played the original free Slenderman game circulating on the Internet because I’m busy with other games and the hype didn’t catch up with me. After all, I completed Amnesia: The Dark Descent and I proudly proclaim myself as having mastered a game considered to be the pinnacle of horror games. Taking on the challenge, I played Slender: The Arrival. This is an entirely new game developed by Blue Isle Studios, furthering the story from The Eight Pages.
The Unity engine brings the world of Slender: The Arrival to life. It is simply a dark game yet visually beautiful. When you first step foot in the world, you will be awed. Near the end, you will have a treat of the gorgeous scenery with a full view of a dense forest. The mood here is on par with Dear Esther, Alan Wake and Amnesia, games I considered to be excellent in storytelling and atmosphere. It even brings a Blair-Witch feel to it with you playing through the lens of a camcorder. It starts off in typical horror movie fashion, and the story is easy to digest overall. There’s numerous in-game stuff to pick up for your scrapbook, giving you a deeper insight to the area and current events surrounding it.
The gameplay here is strictly based on scares, and boy did I get the fright of my life more than I can count. The game is perfectly executed like a horror movie. From the moment you pick up the first page, the music dictates the tempo of the game. The chills start to build, your screen and audio distorts, and you see a shadowy figure in the distant tree, The Slenderman. This game has a tendency to throw you in the deep end, since you don’t get much help on what to do if you haven’t have the faintest idea of the Slenderman lore. It relies on your self-experimentation, scrambling over and over to collect the 8 pages and finding out more about the figure always watching and following you. Can you kill it? Can you make it disappear? That’s up to you to discover.
The level locations and pages do change randomly every time you play, and it took me numerous tries on the very first chapter to find landmarks and bolt to the nearest light source. I’m terrible at directions, and walking around lost in circles in the middle of a forest is not a very good thing. The next chapter (Slight spoilers here) throws you a new nemesis, and another familiar face (Insert faceless joke here).
The game seems to be unfair at times, with the AI deliberately spawning in your path to block you from reaching another area.
That being said, Slender: The Arrival is one of the scariest game I have ever played, and it looks this masterpiece could give people heart attacks and cause relapse in patients. It’s that frightening.
This game is the perfect example of a time spent entirely based on jumping you, teasing you then giving you the final peek-a-boo of death. Personally, this is the top horror game I’ve played so far. It’s short, but the game makes up for its excellent moments. Get this and scare yourself.