Slender The Arrival Review

  Slender: The Arrival Review
 
Slender: The Arrival is a first person horror game originally released on the PC in 2013, however it has just seen it's way onto the Xbox One, developed by Blue Isle Studios and was also released on last-gen consoles.

The game follows the protagonist, Laura, searching for her old childhood friend Kate as she finds her missing upon arriving at her home. The player must collect clues to progress and follow Kate's trail, and it soon becomes apparent she has been taken by the Slender Man.

The Slender Man is a story that is often described as a 'creepy pasta' horror story, and it originated on the Something Awful forums. He is a tall figure often depicted as a faceless slender male wearing a sharp suit, he also has the ability to produce long tendrils from his back in order to ensnare his victims. It is mostly stated Slender Man abducts children and this is reiterated through a child character that can be found in the game.


As much as I went into Slender The Arrival expecting a cheap attempt at capturing the viral sensation that was Slender: The Eight Pages, and expecting this iteration to not be frightening at all, I was pleasantly surprised. From beginning the game on chapter one I found myself being very tentative and cautious, expecting the Slender Man to jump out at any moment, despite the antagonist not even being established yet. The game does really well to create feelings of unease and it does do well to unnerve you. I physically had the hairs on my arms stand up on end because of the chilling atmosphere Blue Isle Studio successfully establishes. The blend of a relatively light sky and a contrastingly sinister and silhouetted forest gives the player a sense of being just within reaching distance of that safe, warm sky however being helplessly trapped traversing the Slender Man's forest labyrinth.



As the genre demands the player is equipped only with a flashlight and a camcorder, which didn't make a whole lot of sense, and they must traverse the playable area with these as their aids.The flashlight is simply to see in the dark and the camcorder allows the player to zoom in and out to a significant degree. In terms of gameplay I don't feel these items were wholly necessary and with games like Outlast that have tools that preform significant functions, it seems Slender The Arrival's tools are rather redundant.

In terms of visuals the game is not bad at all, natural environments are pretty solid and look rather pleasing to the eye, and add depth to the established atmosphere. However the furnishing of the buildings leaves alot to be desired, the assets look alot like the type of assets you'd find in a free asset store and this was slightly disappointing. The clouds, grass and trees are satisfactory though however these furnishing assets can cause niggling irritation.



Gameplay is very repetitive with not much variation in objectives or completion of objectives at all. Essentially this game is a glorified horror fetch quest game in which you could have enjoyed the whole experience within about a half hour in the first area. Despite this being a major downfall in the game as a whole, the new areas are somewhat refreshing even though the tasks are essentially the same.

The story is almost non-existent with the narrative being delivered through on-screen text or through collectibles found through-out the areas. But then again this is a first person, camcorder/flash light, horror game so an abundant and deep narrative is not to be expected.


Overall the game does well to deliver a chilling and uneasy atmosphere and really sell that feeling of helplessness and being the prey of a fearsome predator. However Slender The Arrival does not hold up the standard of consistent entertainment and depth of gameplay and this is its greatest downfall.



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