An atmospheric horror experience that goes from thrills to frustration all too soon.

Monstrum review

Monstrum review


Ships are the perfect location for horror, yet they're rarely used. There's the occasional movie, a couple of games, but nine times out of ten you're likely to find yourself poking around in yet another abandoned asylum or a creepy forest.

Monstrum understands what makes a ship such a scary place. Totally isolated and painfully claustrophobic, it's an environment from which escape is never as easy as just running out of the front door. From the moment you wake up, the only human on a rusted and drifting cargo vessel in the late 1970s you are, quite literally, stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea.

In the case of Monstrum, a first-person "survival horror labyrinth" developed by former Abertay students Team Junkfish, there are actually three devils - or monsters, at least - and which one you face is down to random chance. The same is true of the layout of the ship on which you are mysteriously marooned. Each time you play, the decks rearrange themselves.

Read more

The problem with fear

Darkwood and Monstrum take two different approaches to horror. How do they work out?

Tricky stuff, fear. It's a precision target. Miss by a couple of feet, and you get moody intrigue. Miss by an inch and you get all-out comedy.

VideoVideo: Scared shipless in Monstrum

A procedurally generated PC horror with Oculus Rift support.

Thanks to Amnesia and Slender, the survival horror genre is well and truly reborn with a new first-person format. You can't move for these games at the moment, and at EGX Rezzed we encountered our first big-budget, big-publisher specimen in the form of Sega and Creative Assembly's terrific Alien: Isolation.