Texas Chainsaw Massacre Preview – Everything is Bloodier in Texas

When Gun Interactive revealed the Texas Chainsaw Massacre last year, I was overwhelmed by its short trailer but excited about its potential. It’s one of my favorite horror series, partly because it still scares me – every good haunted house has a Leatherface at the end chasing you all the way to the exit, right? – but also for its context: Texas. Horror, be it a movie or a game, often draws attention to its gloomy atmosphere, spooky atmosphere, perhaps some bad weather and nighttime. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre stopped that trend in the 1970s. After taking on Gun Interactive’s upcoming asymmetrical 3v4 multiplayer game of the same name, I was most impressed by the otherwise peaceful Texan ranch. act as a playground for escape and murder attempts.

Gun Interactive, formerly Gun Media, is perhaps best known for Friday the 13th: The Game, published to developer Illfonic. I love Friday the 13th; it has become the nightly hangout game for my friends and me. It’s where some of my favorite gaming memories are kept, such as putting on a Tiny Tim song so campers can hear it through close conversation as my Jason goes to kill. However, some intellectual property rights issues prevented that game from reaching its full potential, effectively ending development saving for regular maintenance. The rights holder of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre are huge fans of Friday the 13th: The Game and are aware of the problems it faced because they approached Gun Interactive with the idea of ​​this game and wanted to let the studio know. leading film.

“They contacted us, it was a very humbling experience,” Gun CEO Wes Keltner told me. “We are still with Friday the 13th and I received an email from the rights owner of [The Texas Chain Saw Massacre]and they played that game and loved it and our approach. They love that it’s a white-glove treatment for Friday the 13th and they think, ‘These are the men. These are the things that we believe we want to bring our game to market. ‘”

Keltner told me that he talks to the franchise’s rights holders on a daily basis and that they are easy to work with during development. He says that people with rights get bad rapping sometimes, but that’s not the case here. They are open to ideas, progressive in their pursuit, and open to the team playing with the world.

“Ninety-nine percent of the time, it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s a great idea, let’s do it,’ so that’s really fun to work with,” said Keltner. said, teasing that there might even be some sort of relationship between this game and past and future movies, pausing to tell me anything more.

Keltner says the team met with them and decided the game would be based on the original 1974 film. It’s always been an asymmetrical game from the jump – that’s what the team does best, but in what ways and To what extent they can play with the franchise is in question. In the end, the team landed in a 3v4 format, tasking 4 victims to escape from this terrifying house of Texan ranch and 3 killers, one being Leatherface, to kill them before that happened. .

It’s a unique setup in the already niche asymmetric horror arena currently dominated by the likes of Dead by Daylight, but playing it feels great in a familiar way. Each victim has a unique ability, and Gun designer Robert Fox III says that players can customize each victim with cosmetics and things that directly affect the way they play. This includes unlockable skills, perks, and more. He and Keltner say that players will be able to find different builds that work best for them, and that this, along with the game’s customization options and unique 3v4 dynamics, is what they hope will be. retain players for 1,000 hours.

In my hour with the game, I played Connie, who has a recharge ability to break locked doors, allowing her to make her way through a simple but effective door unlock minigame. Banging on a locked door is extremely useful, especially when Leatherface, the Cook killer, or the Hitchhiker killer are in it.

When the match started, all four victims were in the basement. Leatherface too, which I love because it means the round immediately begins with chaos. You can’t go around deciding the best way to escape with your party. There will likely be a chainsaw rumbling in your ears and you need to get out of the basement ASAP. Connie’s ability to quickly break through locked doors makes it easy, but the first and second floors of the house present their own challenges. It’s the grandfather NPC’s residence, and three playable killers can feed him blood to improve his sight and hearing in places where there may be victims in the house. It’s also where Cook and Hitchhiker prowl.

I didn’t play with Cook, but I did play with Hitchhiker. This lanky character slashes his victims with a small knife, and killing them takes longer than Leatherface and his chainsaw. However, killing is only half of his kit. He can place bone traps around the map to warn everyone in the house when he is stepped on by the victim. Hearing and seeing a victim step on my trap provided an exciting adrenaline rush for my killers and me as we all rushed to its location, hoping to find a victim to kill. kill.

In the third match I entered, I took control of the show’s star, Leatherface. He has a large, massive build and is the complete opposite of agile. That’s okay, though, because where victims can get through cracks in walls or narrow openings, Leatherface can cut right through specific barriers. I like that I can’t spam the chainsaw; it’s huge and every victim will know where you are when it’s turned on. Also, enabling this feature requires you to play a quick and easy mini-game. It’s fun to use this crank and the roar of the chainsaw then to let the victim know I’m on top of them, and press the left trigger to adjust it for a bigger effect that makes me laugh out loud to myself . However, the most satisfying part of this character is the murders. His chainsaw brought the victim out quickly, with a lot of blood oozing from the incision of my weapon.

All of these murders and escapes happen against a backdrop of beautiful Texas sunsets on a lush green farm full of sunflowers, old barns, overgrown grass, and a creepy creepy house . Fans of the original 1974 film will recognize how much love and detail was brought into the home, complete with hanging corpses, buckets of blood, staplers, and more.

“If you watch that movie, for the most part [is] bright, sunny-y, happy, beautiful scenes, right? ‘ said Keltner. “[That] allowing us to play more with beauty and find a balance between the macabre and some peace of mind. There are moments where, yes, you’re running for your life, but you can stop like, “Dang, it’s so beautiful here.”

And he’s right! The game looks great. It’s a big step up from the visuals of Friday the 13th, but The Texas Chain Saw Massacre retains some of the highlights that fans of the previous installment, if they’re like me, loved the game. It’s not a big three A game, but the team has lovingly crafted it. And it’s not quite out yet. I can tell what I’ve been playing is a preview build. I hope the team can massage the game more to make the motion smoother, the gore more realistic, and the animations more fluid.

I’m excited to see what more the team can hone between now and the 2023 release, and I can’t wait to learn more about the skins, how Gun will incorporate the other Texas Chain Saw Massacre movies into the game. play, other maps, and more. However, if what I’ve seen so far is any indication, I think my friends and I will have a new hangout game next year.

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