If you’ve got a bad heart then avoid this game like the plague. The developers recommend playing it in a dark room with headphones, but I say no. Don’t do that shit to yourself, are you crazy? Doing so exposes you to one of the most terrifying experiences I’ve ever come across. If you haven’t guessed already. I’m not a fan of horror games, and Lust is one of the most terrifying I’ve played. Granted I don’t play many titles in this genre so it’s also one of the few.
Games like this teach you the difference between passively watching a horror and participating in one. You see I’m not usually fazed by scary movie or watching other people play scary games. Infact my co-host from That Beautiful Life is an avid fan of horror games, and I watch him stream them regularly enough without being bothered in the slightest.
Well you see being a bystander within a horror experience means that you have a passive interaction with them. You’re not a part of the experience, you’re just watching it unfold. In a way it’s the same like watching videos footage of a war going on in another country instead of actually being there yourself. Being there would mean constant fear for your well-being, but watching, that’s nothing. Grab a bag of popcorn and vicariously feel sad for the characters on screen while you have your comforts. Games like these show us just how influential gaming as a medium is. They reinforce the notion that this is a medium which needs careful, but informed regulation. Games like this should be rated-S for “Scared the living shit out of me, and now my chest pains”.
The sound, and visuals create an overwhelming atmosphere that would impact most players, especially when playing it in the dark at night with headphones like the devs recommend. The sound of footsteps behind the character, or as well as the effective use of lighting makes for a very surreal experience. I played this title using my LS30s with the base and treble on full with mostly high setting locked at 30fps. This is a demanding game and even at high settings on 1080p it still struggled to keep the frame rate consistent throughout. This however was not a deal breaker as the stutters weren’t frequent enough to affect the experience. On high settings the game looks great, although there is also a surprising under-use of certain visual effects like reflections.
The controls are fairly standard with both WASD and the arrow keys serving as movement inputs while the mouse controls the camera. Controlling the character is easy, however they move like a tank working its way through thick mud. There is no run input and the character is limited in what they can do. Picking up items to inspect them are standard. You can also hold on to certain items if needed for progression.
Other than that, there’s really not much to do. The game is linear to a fault, so despite the environments being littered with interactive objects, most of them don’t really do anything. The game also unfortunately has no controller support, so players like me with limited to no ability to use a keyboard and mouse are going to have to sit this one out. My hope is that the devs will add controller support in the future for those who wish to playing using other input options.
Controls aside, what’s this game about? It’s mainly about a woman who goes missing in a terrifying tantric mansion. Initially I had interest in this title due to its promise of some delicious scenes. Bondage, role-play, ménage à trois. These were just a few of the things I expected before playing, but that’s not what the focus of the game is about. In Fact most mature scenes are censored thanks to clever use of camera angles and visual effects.
The rest are relegated to artistic renditions, tantric scenes, and horribly disfigured terrors with questionable appeal. For the most pat you’ll be experiencing this from the point of view of a bystander. Kind of like a person passing through a museum. Oh and as mentioned, I can’t stress this enough. The focus is greatly fixed to the horror elements more so than any other aspect. Thanks to the very linear plot it’s possible to complete in a single sitting… If your heart can manage it that is.
I mentioned at the beginning that horror games are not among my preferred genres, and I stand by that statement. If anything this title helped reinforce that belief. Now don’t misunderstand. I think this is a good game which will appeal to fans of this genre, but I don’t believe it’ll attract newcomers. The linear plot means that though the game is well paced it doesn’t feature anything to appeal to fans of other genres, especially JRPG fans like myself. There’s no real exploring just a direct route from beginning to end. I guess you can say that this is like walking through a haunted house rather than wondering through a forest on Halloween. Neither of which you’ll find me doing, because I like living too much.
The copy of Lust for Darkness used for this review was provided by it’s publisher, Movie Games S.A., PlayWay S.A..
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