If you’re like me, hearing the news that Konami was cancelling Hideo Kojima’s “Silent Hills” was a devastating blow to the heart. The news crushed me and many others. I’ve always enjoyed the Silent Hill games and the mystery that surrounds them. They also have a tendency to scare the crap out of me. The demo for Silent Hills (P.T) was one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced and I’ve still got it on my PS4, if the urge to lose control of my bowels ever arises again. While Darkwood isn’t necessarily the same beast, it would seem the developers at Acid Wizard Studio (the original development team consisting of 3 people) and Crunching Koalas (they’re responsible for the console versions) might feel the same as us and have an alternative answer to a world without Silent Hill.
Released on PC back in 2017, Darkwood is a top down survival-horror experience (think Hotline Miami meets Silent Hill meets Minecraft lite). The game is set somewhere in the eastern bloc in the late 1980’s where a mysterious forest has occupied a large amount of land and is continuing to expand. Many people have been left trapped by the forest and a strange plague is ravaging the survivors, killing and causing victims to transform into terrifying creatures. A group named “The Outsiders” which consists mostly of government officials and soldiers was sent to investigate the woods. When the game begins, most of the Outsiders are dead or evacuated from the zone. This month, console owners will finally have a chance to try it out and discover what is actually going on.
According to the developers, you can expect to…
“Craft weapons, prepare traps, fortify hideouts – you will explore and scavenge the eerie forests of the Soviet Bloc by day, then hunker down in your hideout at night. With nightmarish forces corrupting the woods, wait and pray for the sun to come up the next morning.
Wade through the grueling, bizarre world of Darkwood and delve into the creepiest secrets of its inhabitants to escape the infested land before it destroys your body and consumes your mind.”
- No jump scares: an atmospheric horror experience that creates a feeling of tension without cheap horror tricks.
- Day and night cycle: roam the corrupted woods by Day and use your hideout to seek survival during the night.
- Randomly generated map and events: the world will vary for each play-through and each player.
- Crafting: scavenge for materials to upgrade your hideout and create weapons, traps or potions.
- Skills and perks: develop your character by injecting a strange essence into your bloodstream.
- No hand holding: test your skills and figure out things on your own!
- Branching story line: shape the world of Darkwood and determine the fate of its inhabitants.
I haven’t played a game that’s really scared me in a long time. The Town of Light was the most recent one to really freak me out (and it wasn’t really a straight up horror game, it’s just disturbing as all hell) but that was back in 2017. I’ve always preferred playing on consoles and since I didn’t play it on PC, here’s hoping Darkwood will deliver a disturbing story and fill that survival-horror void in my heart. – NVJ
Darkwood releases for PS4 on May 14th, Nintendo Switch on May 16th, and Xbox One on May 17th, 2019. It’s now available on PC & Mac