Monday, September 8, 2014

First Impressions: SCP - Containment Breach (PC)

I am not sure where I first heard about SCP - Containment Breach, although it might have been through some mention on the Frictional Games blog or from the Precursor Games' forums, I am not 100% sure.  Wherever I heard about this game, I am thankful that I have.  In short, "SCP is a survival horror [free to play] game based on the works of the SCP Foundation", which really does not tell you much as to what the game is about.  The SCP Foundation can be summed up by their mission statement, which also puts you in the frame of mind for the game:

Secure: The Foundation secures anomalies with the goal of preventing them from falling into the hands of civilian or rival agencies, through extensive observation and surveillance and by acting to intercept such anomalies at the earliest opportunity.
Contain: The Foundation contains anomalies with the goal of preventing their influence or effects from spreading, by either relocating, concealing, or dismantling such anomalies or by suppressing or preventing public dissemination of knowledge thereof. 
Protect: The Foundation protects humanity from the effects of such anomalies as well as the anomalies themselves until such time that they are either fully understood or new theories of science can be devised based on their properties and behavior. The Foundation may also neutralize or destroy anomalies as an option of last resort, if they are determined to be too dangerous to be contained.

One downside is that the game is not available through Steam and does not seem to like to run through the Steam browser.  Each time I have tried loading/running the game through Steam, the game crashes after I finish with the setup window and says that there is a "Memory Access Violation."  There is a work around in the ReadMe file, but again, running through Steam does not seem to work, so playing is done the old fashioned way by double clicking on the application icon; so much work.

Part of what drew me into the game was that during the loading screen, I was introduced to one of the entities/artifacts located within the SCP Foundations compound, specifically SCP-012.
Just a picture and a couple of sentences containing bits of lore about an object.  It reminded me a lot of  H.P. Lovecraft and Arthur Machen, albeit a bit darker with a modern flair.  I like there is the hint of deeper and more in depth lore than is being presented to the player

SCP is played in first person with WASD for controls, Tab for the inventory menu, and spacebar for blinking.  Yes, blinking.  Blinking apparently is a key function of how things operate and how some events are triggered in the game.  There is even a blink meter that will force you to blink when the meter runs down.  Or, again, you can blink by pressing the spacebar.  This is how I was apparently killed (and nearly browned my shorts) during my first play/die-through.  I blinked and the entity that was across the room, hovering over two mutilated corpses a second ago, was now standing in front of me and promptly did the same to my fleshy form.  You can also find objects to pick up and combine items to create new concoctions, but I will have to figure out how to not die the next time I go in.

So I played, maybe five minutes of the game before I was killed.  At first I thought this was supposed to happen, then I realized that dying is what happens, just like any game, when you do not do something that you were supposed to have done.  I take it as just part of the process of learning the game and mechanics.  It feels like this game is designed to be played over and over knowing that you could be killed at any moment because of the way a creature reacts to the player.  There is the feeling of constantly learning to not die the next time through.

I am also having the problem that when I try and take an/the elevator up one floor, I am assuming to the next area, the game crashes.  I have tried closing down all other programs and even tried running around the room with the elevator doors to see if the game will not crash for some reason, but every time, the game crashes during the loading screen on my way up to the next floor.  I will have to figure out what to do next or what is going on to proceed it would seem.

I know that I have just barely scratched the gooey surface of what this game is and what is contained within its locked vaults, but I rarely feel this excited about a game having played not even 10 minutes.  And because the game seems to be updated and patched every so often with content created by community members, the game could hypothetically go on indefinitely, unless there is an endgame in mind (such as escaping the facility), but that could simply be modded too. 

There's No Escape, That's What They Say

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