Top-down old school survival horror? Count me in.
If there’s anything independent developers have taught me, it’s that survival horror is still alive and well. Despite the big name franchises continually letting us down or going in a more action-oriented direction, smaller developers have been more than up to the challenge of crafting experiences that are truly terrifying, harrowing and atmospheric.
The Polish development trio known as Acid Wizard gets that less is more when it comes to horror and their pre-alpha gameplay trailer for Darkwood shows it. Billed as a top-down, old school survival horror game with a procedurally generated open world ripe for exploring, Darkwood challenges players to survive the night.
The game features a seemingly robust crafting system, as you can tell from the gameplay trailer below. Different barricades, for instance, trade sturdiness for visibility. The official page mentions other game mechanics like permadeath, exploration, perks and abilities. Going outside at night seems pretty dangerous so I’d imagine there must be some kind of day/night cycle instituted to let you explore during the day and hunker down at night.
If there’s one thing the trailer nailed it’s the kind of atmosphere I love to see in a horror game. As daylight dwindles and your only friend is your torch, all you have is your instincts and preparation to keep you alive. But as the line between reality and grotesque fantasy start to blur, can you even trust those?
Keep the lights on and try not to let the talking generator get thirsty.