Everyone remembers the first video game that truly scared them. I’m not talking about the feeling you had when you were in first place in Mario Kart and there was a Blue Shell on the loose. I’m talking about REAL terror. The kind that makes you turn off the television, check your underwear and sleep with the lights on. For me, that terror first reared its head while playing Resident Evil on my original Playstation (I’m old, I know). The combination of atmosphere, jump scares and, most importantly, your own fragility made that game a horrifying experience. Song of Horror, a new game from developer Protocol Games and Badland Publishing, wants to be your next and greatest horror game experience.
You begin the game as Daniel, just a regular dude thrust into the middle of a mystery that threatens to completely destroy him. Daniel is not your only companion on this journey, however, as there are 16 different characters available. These are just ordinary folks, no superhuman killing machines or crazy-athletic plumbers among them. You will use these characters to explore an array of locations, solving riddles while trying to avoid an untimely end. Which of them will make all the way out? Will any of them survive?
Song of Horror has a couple of things that separate it from other titles in the genre. First of all, your characters do not have a “health” bar. The only thing that matters is if they can carry on. If they cannot continue, then the next person gets tagged in and tries to complete the game. This leads to my favorite detail of the game for if your character cannot continue, then they are permanently dead. There aren’t any health packs or scantily-clad ladies using a turn to cast “Curaga” in your direction. Your character is gone and you have to move on with another.
Finally, Song of Horror is not a first-person shooter, which is beneficial for old farts like me that spend 90% of my Call of Duty time staring at either the sky or the ground. It’s a cinematic third-person survival game that focuses on atmosphere and storytelling to drive the game forward. According to the game’s official website, “There are no enemies, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t being hunted”. So, you may not be running through the halls of a haunted mansion with a Gatling gun, but that doesn’t mean that you wont have to fight to survive.
As of right now, Song of Horror has yet to announce a release date, but all signs point to early 2018. Keep an eye on us here at Nightmare on Film Street and we will update you with any release information as it becomes available. In the mean time, what was the last time you were truly scared by a video game? Are you excited to play Song of Horror? Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Twitter.