Game Hype: Agony

Probably NSFW…

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Demonic possession mayhem in Hell.

So, I have this little obsession with strange, quirky and usually horrific indie games that pop up on the internet. Horrific in genre and (often) in build quality. They usually embrace the first-person perspective, some form of janky crafting system (which is particularly broken or unclear) and questionable fighting mechanics.

Luckily, Agony doesn’t look like it suffers from any of these problems.

If I had to imagine a brand-spanking new first-person horror game that took influence from 2016’s DOOM, then Agony is it. This game looks equally gorgeous in a really disturbing way, very similar to that of DOOM. As far as graphics go, for a non-AAA game, Agony is shaping up to be a really impressive and unique visualisation of Hell.

Withered trees, fleshy sculptures made from tortured people (presumably sinners if they’re in Hell) and trippy skies that are so vivid in colour you’ll think you’re hallucinating. You’re not, this is art, baby. Gross, fleshy, naked art.

Yeah, so there seems to be a lot of nudity in this game. Some of it justified by the idea of being vulnerable and naked in Hell etcetera, etcetera… But, I will say there’s a fair bit plonked in here for the sake of being titillating. I’m all for developer creative freedom, but sometimes it just makes you feel uncomfortable. WAIT, maybe that’s the point?! Excessive nudity in order to manipulate your fears and confuse you. Now that would be clever.

OR maybe it’s an easy way to get people interested, who knows, I just know the premise of this game excites me. Ehem. Not like that.

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We haven’t been treated to too much detail on what the final game will encompass as a whole, but from the demo and recent trailers it’s clear that it has something to do with a ‘Red Goddess’. This Red Goddess is a holy-like figure, embodied in statues throughout the caverns and plains of Hell itself, and worshipped by the mindless, droning souls who populate it.

I’m guessing the story will entail something to do with finding this Red Goddess and either one, please her in whatever form that takes, or two, kill her. Because nothing says victory like ridding Hell of lust.

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If you’re into weird horror games then I think this is a game you should keep checking for updates. It’s said to be coming to Xbox One and PS4 as well as PC (they even posted about physical copy covers!).

So get hype, and rock on through the bloodied trenches of sinners’ paradise!

My Game of the Month – October: SOMA

Technically this game came out in September. Technically this is my blog, so my rules. Technically I was still playing this game in October so there you have it!

I’m going to apologise in advance by saying that a few chunks of this blog post will be ripped from my review of the game that will feature in November’s issue of Quench (Cardiff University magazine). Still, all my original writing so don’t worry about that, I’m not a plagiarist!

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I love a good horror game, and you know what, SOMA has got to be at the top of the charts for horror this Halloween. Albeit a relatively slow start the game really escalates and intensifies the more you play, spiraling into some crazy fast-pased game of cat and mouse with horrific undead scientists and giant fish (not kidding). The atmosphere is perfectly created, it really makes you feel lonely in the eerie quietness of the ocean or the long, cold metallic corridors only accompanied by the odd flicker of a broken door switch or the lovely howl of an abomination. A pretty to-the-point summary that I wrote for the review feels right to put here:

“From the creators of the infamous Amnesia series and Penumbra games, Frictional Games have created yet again another quality first-person horror game. The same people who made you terrified of water monsters have placed you in the middle of the ocean, kind of funny that isn’t it? Instead of crawling through castle dungeons and stinky morgues, in SOMA you have an entirely different world to survive. This one consists of flickering light, Alien-esque corridors and the pitch black abyss of the ocean.  It feels surprisingly fresh; although many people are likely to compare SOMA to the Bioshock series, these are very different games. We can all agree that Bioshock was more action than horror, SOMA is all horror with a hint of puzzle solving.”

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 Yeah I quoted myself. I went there. Again, I won’t spoil the story on this post simply because that’s what makes this bitter adventure so sweet. Reaching the finale is a breathtakingly fresh dystopian vision of a future humanity. The whole game makes you step back for a moment to think about the value of life. In this underwater world where robots think they’re humans and man-eating piranha-like fish devour anything not protected by lights, is it worth it still fighting to survive?

For an epic adventure containing chilling atmospheric set-pieces, intense cat and mouse chases (where you cower for your life) and a brilliant thought-provoking story line give SOMA a go. You won’t be disappointed trust me.

If you want to read my full review for the game pick up a copy of Quench if you’re in and around Cardiff, otherwise head over to: http://cardiffstudentmedia.co.uk/quench/ where it’ll be posted for next months issue.

Alexander Jones