04/12/2017

☆ First Look: Lust for Darkness "Satisfaction Beyond The Edge Of Our Universe?" ☆ #GameDev #IndieGame

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Lust For Darkness - PC

Lust for Darkness is to be the last ever video game released through Steam Greenlight. Developed by Movie Games, a Polish studio, it is a first-person horror that takes place in two different realms thanks to the machinations of a mysterious cult. Dragged into this is a man looking for his wife, who went missing over a year ago in very mysterious circumstances.


Billed as a Lovecraftian horror with erotic themes, it is filling a niche in a genre that can be difficult to get right. The finished game will take place in two different ‘realms’ one set in a Victorian mansion and the other in a plane called ‘Lusst’ghaa, which was similar to Earth until the entities there ‘decided to undergo total degeneration at their own wish’, a heavy-duty setting indeed.
The demo that I played has two sections, both quite short.  In the first, you play as a woman who has seemingly been kidnapped and wakes up in a locked room which she then escapes from before making her way through an underground tunnel system. Catching glimpses of a man shrouded in darkness along the way, she eventually makes her way to a bedchamber which is filled with various contraptions and items of a sexual nature.
The second section takes place a year later. You take control of the missing woman’s husband, Jonathan Moon, as he has received a mysterious request from his missing wife to head to a large Victorian mansion. Upon arrival, many guests are scattered around wearing strange, ornate masks and discussing a strange ritual. After a couple of simple puzzles, this section of the game ends with Jonathan witnessing an orgy before glimpsing a huge, VERY Lovecraft-esque entity towering in the darkened sky. 

It is here that the demo ends.


The game engine works well for the game. Graphics are rich and well-textured and the scares in the demo are well-timed and don’t feel cheap. The atmosphere and use of music are also quite well realised with ominous screeched, warped violin music wavering as your character struggles to catch their breath as they approach areas that are particularly ominous. There was one part of the demo I really thought was a nice touch where the realities (our realm and the alternate, darker universe) meld, it was a well-handled moment and could be used to great effect in the full game.

Puzzle-wise, the demo is quite light. A simple open box /find the key to escape a room starts the game and then a brief section where you match up symbols to open a small cylinder. I assume that the full game will focus more on the narrative as opposed to overly challenging puzzles or stealth-horror similar to that found in the Penumbra / Amnesia series, which I personally would prefer.

My only other concern for Lust for Darkness is related to the content. It is an intriguing setup, a man looking for his wife in our current plane of existence whilst being thrust against his will into a world full of the most extreme carnal desires imaginable. This is an idea that the world of games hasn’t explored too much whereas films tend to touch upon this more frequently. Hellraiser, Event Horizon and the more recent French horror Martyrs being examples. 

My concerns, in particular, lie in that although the Kickstarter page and most descriptions point to a game that will reveal a cult of people who are attempting to transcend pleasures offered by the flesh and wish to experience desires beyond human comprehension, in both the trailer and the demo, this is represented rather tamely by characters wearing masks and engaging in relatively tame intercourse. Even the section where the kidnapped woman enters the bedchamber and is shaken by the sight of the contraptions there, they are essentially kinky sex toys and nothing more. I didn’t get the impression that the people were pushing the boundaries of human desire, more so that it was essentially a fetishistic swingers club.

That said, it could be that the developers are keeping the more full-on aspects of the game for release. The Kickstarter campaign has been wildly successful, already achieving more than six times its original goal. 
(You can back the game at -https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1752350052/lust-for-darkness)


Summary:
All in all, the Lust for Darkness demo did what it was supposed to in that it piqued my curiosity in the game. It appealed to me as a horror and mystery fan and it also seems prepared to delve into a genre which is difficult to nail down. 

Not only that but it has a balancing act going on between the self-admitted homage towards the stylings of H. P Lovecraft, who tends to hint towards terror in his writings, inferring horror and insanity as opposed to specifically describing it, leaving the imagination of the reader to interpret what lies beyond his words. 

This is the opposite of the other half of the game, erotica, which is all about very graphically showing its hand to titillate the viewer. It’s an interesting mesh that I hope create a successful whole for Movie Games and I’m definitely looking forward to playing the finished game.

Game Link: Steam

Dev Link: Movie Games


Preview By Britt