Another Preview vid and written report that varies a lot haha. I just find it easier when talking about these games, and giving a report to mostly just make it up as I go. To discuss the interesting points that I’m thinking about rather than reading an already written report. Feels more natural too.
Ok continue ON
Darkwood is another early access I’ve been playing lately that I have had for a while and have been watching with high hopes. It’s a rather interesting story based survival game with strong horror themes. It probably isn’t my style of game though as most times my sensibilities fail me just due to how well it taps those elements of horror that build inside you and make you scared, paranoid and nervous… I can do it for a little while but then after a few heightened moments I have to just walk away for a bit to recover haha.
It has some of the similar mechanics survival game do. You scavenge around the area looking for supplies, food and random crafting stuff that then gets used to further your character and progression. There isn’t a huge variety of things here but it seems enough to support the game’s focus.
That focus is of course the strong story elements that guide progress throughout. There is a story to uncover about aspects of the world, about the other characters and about yourself that constantly drives you. It does a good job of guiding you through this story, constantly giving you new map markers to aim towards and explore.
Unfortunately navigating the map is often a more difficult point as, while there are certain points of interest that show up it never places down your own position. when you know where you are it isn’t too bad but after dying and then being dumped somewhere random within these dark woods it gets much harder to know. You end up just fumbling around for a while trying to understand your surroundings again although, I’m not sure if that is part of how the game works to build tension or just an oversight.
That tension is superb though. What Darkwood does best is building this atmosphere to create an environment of darkness, of tension and an overwhelming sense of oppression. It’s incredible just how well they get this horror atmosphere right. There are no, well not many jump scares there (that mainly come from the environment) but it still gets that feeling perfect. It’s the visuals and lighting, the sounds of the environment and your own actions, that feeling of helplessness at times and also just paranoia. Your constantly jumping at shadows and every little noise wondering what’s out there and trying to kill you. It’s just that base feeling of dread you get from the dark, that psychological impact you feel from the unknown.
The game is still in early access, there are a few bugs but still a very polished feeling experienced. The story isn’t finished yet but what’s there is interesting enough to keep you playing. I get the feeling though that it just won’t have the replayability there unless they add additional play types. Once you’ve finished the story once or twice, and learned how to survive well enough (still not there yet haha) then I don’t think there would be much else there for you.
It is still a fun ride and a rather interesting experience, one that does that feeling of horror so well so I think it could be worth a look for those interested in this style, or maybe enough to see how the story and mechanics unfold.
And here’s the Vid