News by Matt S.
I like my horror smart. Good horror shouldn’t just be about mindless killing – it should weave psychological stories, tales of morality, address social themes. Even within the slasher or monster horror genre, there’s a vast difference between those that have some kind of intelligent basis (Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Alien, Cabin in the Woods, Saw), and the many that you’ve forgotten because they were vapid or had no point to them. Remember Wrong Turn? I bet you didn’t, and now wish I didn’t remind you of it.
Games are no different, only there are a lot more horror games that aim far too low to be particularly interesting. Yes, The Evil Within, I’m talking about you. Thankfully sometimes developers do try to craft smart horror, and The InnerFriend could well turn out to be one of the better examples of that.
From the press release:
The InnerFriend unlocks the doorway to the subconscious, inviting players to conquer their childhood fears in an emotional and narrative-driven experience to save the child within from nightmares come to life. Unlike traditional horror games, The InnerFriend relies on atmosphere to create tension and tells a unique story about seeing the world through the eyes of an innocent child.
The InnerFriend is a surrealist representation of memories and fears inspired by the works of psychologist Carl Jung, the concept of katabasis — the descent into one’s own self, 80s horror pop culture staples such as Poltergeist and the filmography of Stanley Kubrick. The game explores complex emotional themes and the childhood psychology surrounding coping mechanisms to overcome traumatic experiences. The InnerFriend’s lead designer and writer Sabrina Calvo is an award-winning author and child educator.
The InnerFriend features a rich and abstract visual environment supported by an immersive ambient soundscape and a cinematic soundtrack that enhances immersion and storytelling. Movement, imagery and music are the main ways for the player to interact with the Shadow, their guide throughout the descent into the uncharted parts of the subconscious mind. There are many obstacles and puzzles to solve, themed after childhood games but made far more sinister.
So we’ve got Jung, Kubrick, and a creative team being lead by an subject matter expert. Check, check and check. Looking at the trailer it looks suitably abstract and surreal. Check and check.
Basically this is a genuinely exciting game, and with the release date in September this year, we’re not even going to have to wait too long for it.
– Matt S.
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