So after much reaction video watching, I finally downloaded and played Parsec Productions’ Slender: The Eight Pages.
For the three people who aren’t in the know. S:TEP plonks you in the middle of a creepy-ass forest and makes you run around collecting…. you guessed it, 8 pages. The opposing force in the game is the mythical Slender Man, a meme originating on the Something Awful forums back in 2009. Slender Man appears as a man with no face, wearing a suit. If he catches you (and avoiding this gets more and more difficult), the game ends.
That’s…. pretty much it. You aren’t given any context as to WHY you’re collecting pages, or WHY Slender Man is following you, however included in the game is a nifty link to the Slender Man mythos for those wishing to know more about that which the ‘net hath spawned.
At first I thought “okay, I’ve seen that Tobuscus video about twice now, along with a few others. It can’t possibly be that scary, could it? I’ve basically spoiled it for myself! I know what happens! I might as well not bother!”
Oh, how wrong I was.
The dark forest, the inevitably-crap flashlight that makes Alan Wake’s weapon of choice look like the BFG-9000, the limited sprinting, all of this inevitably builds the game up so much that only the most desensitized people ’round this series of tubes would leave without even the tiniest jump from their seats.
What annoys me about the game also -for better or worse, works in its favour. The fact it is impossible not to get disoriented, no context or story or any other trimmings I prefer in other games don’t take away from the game at all -so much so that I wonder if the game would work without it.
Granted, in terms of thrills you certainly get what you pay for. Other titles such as Amnesia: The Dark Descent do the pants-shitting-fear thing that Slender aims for much better. However, Slender is genuinely creepy and as an indie title based on an internet meme, you can’t get much better. It’s an awesome little casual game that -while somewhat rough around the edges, is certainly worth a download.
Just…. please, internet. Nobody give Pedobear a game. I beg of you.