WHITE NOISE A Tale Of Horror
What We Liked:Atmospheric, genuinely scary.
What We Disliked:Graphic quality wasn't great, why can't I listen to the audiologs?
White Noise A Tale Of Horror The horror genre of gaming is something that is widely disputed, is it even possible to have a horror game? With games that purport to be scary, you are still more often than not provided with the means to defend yourself. How can anything be scary when you [...]
The horror genre of gaming is something that is widely disputed, is it even possible to have a horror game? With games that purport to be scary, you are still more often than not provided with the means to defend yourself. How can anything be scary when you are still a bad-ass space marine in a suit of armor three feet thick swinging around giant plasma rifles? Dead Space was a prime example of this, while still a brilliantly atmospheric game, there was little actually scary about it, causing it to push it’s entire horror aspect through jump scares, that after awhile, you knew would be coming.
This is not a blanket statement however. Games like the original Silent Hill series push a different kind of horror, the fear of the unknown, you have no idea what this town contains, and while you can defend yourself from it, you have no idea what you’ll be defending yourself from.
Every now and again, a developer manages to get a good handle on what makes a good horror game, pacing, the unknown, the inability to do anything against the evil that pursues you. Amnesia: The Dark Descent did a fantastic job of this, albeit with me wondering why the fuck there is a sledgehammer on the floor and I can’t smash a monster round the head with it. Eternal Darkness is another fantastic experience, yes you can fight back, but the game will fuck with you, badly. It will toy with you both as the character you are playing as and you as a person.
Only one game as of late has perfectly encompassed the horror Genre, and that is Slender, if you haven’t heard of it, it’s a small but brilliant game in which you have no weapons, no sign of weapons, something is chasing you, and you need to fulfill your objectives without being caught, look it up, I won’t go into too much detail in because this game is very similar to it.
Enter White Noise A Tale of Horror, a new release on the XBLIG, which is more or less a Slender port, kudos to them for being the first ones to do it, and they have done it pretty well.
Lets break this down, you are in a forest looking for audio logs and hiding from something that you can neither see nor defend yourself from, as it hunts you through the darkness, your tools? One flashlight, one pair of legs, that’s all. Through this forest you dart from place to place, avoiding the unknown terror and gathering all of the items you need to complete the game, with each item you get, the beast looms closer. This can lead to some very nail biting moments in which that bastard arrives out of nowhere and you need to leg it sharpish in the opposite direction. Make no mistakes, games in this mould are the most messed up games of cat and mouse you will ever play.
One of the best things about this game is it’s effectiveness in scaring the shit out of you, that and it’s price, 80 MSP? Grab this shit. Now with that price tag, you have to make some concessions, in this case, it’s graphics. While they are not bad by any means, I personally did expect a bit more for the simple virtue of being an Xbox 360 game. The sound is atmospheric and uses brilliant audio cues to let you know when the evil hunting you is close, and the gameplay is functional, there was not much faffing about as the controls are simple and intuitive.
In terms of game length, this should last you quite some time, it can be quite tricky towards the end and alongside that, we can promise you that setting someone up playing the game and turning the lights off is grounds for some hilarity. There are a few things that could have been improved however, you spend the game collecting audio logs, but you can’t listen to them, why not? That would have been an amazing atmosphere building exercise, it could have changed everything about the game. It’s lack of originality is a bit of a downer, but someone had to make a Slender port for the 360, it may as well have been these guys.
In closing, this game is a steal for 80MSP, never mind that it is at best an homage to Slender, and at worst ripped off harder than the Bionic Man’s man-tackle during private time. If nothing else, you’ll never be constipated again.
Now where the hell is my sequel to Eternal Darkness?! That game rocked.