Want to see me freak out? Well now you can! Happy Halloween!
For my more genuine screams of fear, check out my first Slender
Foul language ahoy!
Now on to the review!
Think about what tends to frighten most people and dark, deserted woods usually come to mind. Usually it is not the woods itself that brings about the stabbing paranoia and pulse racing fear, but rather what lies inside the darkness, invisible to the poor traveler. Something catches your attention out of the corner of your eye; a rustling in the undergrowth suggests youíre being followed, hunted. Of course, this would mean your pursuer is a normal creature of the woods. The mind kicks into overdrive as your breath quickens and panic sets in. Unlike the prowling creatures of the night, Slender Man is coming for you, and he will catch you completely by surprise. There will be no twigs crackling, save for those under your own feet. When you catch a glimpse of his black and white features, itíll be too late. Slender Man is just around the corner. Prepare to die.
For an indie game, the graphics in Slender
are great. For powerful PCs it is best to play with all the graphical settings on as this really amps up the vibe of being in a dreadfully isolated forest. Playing without the fog on adds to the tension, obscuring vision. Slender Man blends in just enough with the surroundings to make unseasoned players second guess what they may see. Without the fog, the woods are simply dark and foreboding, but no less sinister. The rusty looking metals creates a feel that the area truly has been long abandoned. Large trees and structures loom out of the darkness, and Slender Man could be waiting behind them. Approaching them too carelessly could bring on a quick demise. The scrawling print and drawings on the notes you are to collect look well done, as if they were written frantically or in a state of mental collapse.
The audio in the game is probably some of the most ominous, horrifying that could have been used. Personally, I find the music and sound effects to be the real terror-makers in a horror game. Silence is done very well too, for that matter. At the start of the game before finding the first page, the only sounds are those of your own creation: breathing, footsteps on the ground, etc. As you discover the scattered pages and the music picks up, the tension thrives. The anxiousness brought on by the music makes you feel as if Slender Man is right behind you (in most cases he probably is). Tones are completely off-putting, in a very delightfully wicked way.
There is very little in terms of actual gameplay. Your goal is to collect all eight pages scattered around the woods and evade Slender Man. Controls are standard for PC games, so movement will be very basic. Your flashlight is your sole companion, but it has limited battery life. Using your light will allow Slender Man to detect you more rapidly, but running blind into the woods will naturally hinder your own vision. Sprinting will drain your total stamina, so running is necessary only in dire situations. This will make the game feel slow paced at times, but part of the horror aspect comes from not being able to run fast enough from your stalker.
Completing the game opens up several new extras, including day time mode and a mode based more on the Marble Hornets, turning the view into a more camera style rather than just a regular first person view. Some game designers have already created new maps for Slender Man to hunt you on, which means new ways to experience terror. While the premise remains the same, the change of environments allow for a different change of pace. While these new maps may not even be for Slender
, they play the exact same. Despite new maps for other Slender-like games, there is no story. For some, getting stalked in the dark may not be enough to keep you going for too long.
Checking out the original videos on Slender Man will certainly allow for a better understanding on why this game was created, however it is not necessary. I was introduced to Marble Hornets several years ago, and while I found the initial videos to be rather creepy, the later additions lost a lot of what made the early bits horrifying. You donít need any prior knowledge of Slender Man to fear him, however. Simply downloading the game and jumping right in serves as a great experience all on its own.