|System: Xbox One, PS4*|
|Dev: Blue Isle Studios|
|Pub: Midnight City|
|Release: March 24, 2015|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Violence, Blood|
As for the music and sound effects, that's where this game really shines. Well, not so much with the sound effects, but most definitely with the music and the overall ambience that the audio for this game creates. Musically, Slender plays out like a Hitchcock film, which I can appreciate. It’s pretty classic in the respect that moments of intrigue, fright, or even sheer terror are emphasized by the soundtrack. But don’t get the wrong idea about it. It’s not like the cheesy soundtracks from a B-movie where they telegraph all their punches by the soundtrack. This game makes expert use of the minimalistic music approach employed to get maximum frights out of each scenario. But sadly, as awesome as the musical aspect of the game is, the voice acting leaves a lot to be desired. The voice actors are flat and stiff – a far cry from the voice work you would get on a bigger budget game. But again, this game is ten bucks, so I guess you really do get what you pay for.
As far as playability is concerned, this is truly a one-and-done game. At no point throughout my playthrough did I think to myself, “yeah. I think I could do this again, but without unlimited stamina and a battery that dies every ten seconds in my flashlight.” Honestly, it was a chore at times to make it through the game at all. There are vast chasms of time and space between significant events. There was a lot of aimless wandering and a lot of, “exactly where in the hell am I?” All in all, the levels were populated by sparse “jump moments” that made you do just that. But there weren’t any really drawn out scenes of true terror except for near the end. The saddest part is that you can play through the entire game in under two hours with no real problem, even if you tend to be more of a scavenger like me. I took my time, looked around, and still managed to complete it at around the 1:55:00 mark. So if you have a few hours to kill, you could probably roll through this game twice in the time it would take you to play through your average shooter title.
Overall, Slender: The Arrival was pretty well done. It has issues. Make no mistake. There were a lot of glitches (unintentional ones), a lot of scaling and framerate issues, as well as limited controls, vast amounts of dead space, and a story that could still be fleshed out more before being a contender. It needs a graphics update and some good voice actors as well. Again, this game is ten bucks and two hours long, so I wasn’t really expecting a massive surprise of awesomeness. But even my innate fear of the Slender Man mythos wasn’t enough to keep me invested enough in this game to want or even try a second playthrough. I am a huge fan of psychological thrillers. But for what this game has in its psychological scare tactics, it totally lacks in the things that make a game one that you’d want to come back to and play again and again. So as the title implies, this game truly is thick on scares but slender on everything else.
Date: March 25, 2015