Friday, March 7, 2014

First Impressions: Slender: The Arrival (PC)

Slender: The Arrival is a full fledged version of the free game, Sleder: The Eight Pages that scared the shit out of the internet back in 2012.  For those of you all who are not familiar with the Slender Man mythos, you can read about it either on Wikipedia or any other numerous websites, but in short, Slender Man is a variant on a bogeyman who takes children.
Original pictures by Victor Surge, 2009.

So, what started out as a couple of short sentences in a "create your own paranormal image" thread has turned into a pseudo-legitimate urban legend with it's own cultish-type following, as well as two video games, Slender: The Eight Pages, in which you wandered around an enclosed forested area and picked up eight pages placed randomly on landmarks all the while avoiding the Slender Man.  And now, it's current full fledged iteration from Blue Isle Studios, Slender: The Arrival, which was released back in March, 2013.

I gave this game a go a few weeks back at the request of Conklederp wanting me to play a scary/horror game that had a story.  Both of us really enjoyed playing/watching each other having a go at Slender: The Eight Pages, so I began this new iteration only knowing that the full game had been expanded but not much else..

Slender: The Arrival, like it's predecessor is an FPS/POV horror game where you have to collect items/pages/documents as you progress through the level/stage.  You can walk briskly and sprint, look around with or without a flashlight (once you find one which is a nice touch) and pick up papers.  The game itself is pretty basic and the mechanics have pretty much stayed the same from the first game to this one, which is nice since they are trying to keep, maintain and grow the original fan base.

It turns out that my first playthough (I did not make it through Chapter 1) I accidentally accessed a secret hidden level, which Conklederp and I thought was a really elaborate glitch, but equally creepy and unnerving in it's own way.  The second time playing, I completed Chapter 1 and made it through part of Chapter 2 before I was "caught".  I feel like I am now stuck at Chapter 2, but just mentally stuck.

Chapter 2 is a modified version of Slender: The Eight Pages.  The chapter title is even called "The Eight Pages."  But what's that you say?  Isn't the whole game a modified version?  Well yes, but The Arrival is like an expansion as a whole, where as Chapter 2 in The Arrival, you are in an enclosed wooded area where you have to collect, I assume, eight pages before you can proceed while being "chased" by the Slender Man.

This is where I become mentally stuck.  I played The Eight Pages quite a few times and each time I failed to collect all eight pages as I would either be caught after locating X:8 pages or my flashlight would go out and inevitably be caught as I stumbled around in the darkness.  I would like to assume that this area in the game is easier than the whole of The Eight Pages, otherwise I just ran into a brick wall that I am not willing to spend a whole lot of time on figuring out how to climb over or dig under.

Jesus I hope I can't see it!
So that is where I am currently at with Slender: The Arrival.  I like that there is an attempt to create a story where there was very little to begin with and what I have played I really enjoyed.  The graphics are well done and the controls are your standard FPS PC WASD set up so as long as you're comfortable with the Left Shift being used for sprinting, then you are all set to go.  As long as you don't mind being scared by static, as if kids these days even know what static is.

You Better Get Up While You Can

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