Those of you that know me well, know that it takes a lot to impress me, especially when it comes to survival horror. This gen we’ve seen the good and the not so good, but what we haven’t seen enough of, is the different. Well, that’s all about to change with Madmind’s upcoming first-person survival horror game, Agony. Not only does Agony house a unique concept, but it’s designed to be every bit as disturbing as it is horrific and so far, we’re massively intrigued, if somewhat feeling uneasy.
Agony’s recently released story trailer, seen above, only emphasizes precisely how sadistic it appears to be. I’ve seen some truly grotesque things in survival horror – special mention to Pyramid Head raping Mannequins in Silent Hill 2 – but Agony’s vision of hell is the most fucked-up thing I’ve seen yet. No, really, I do not say that lightly. Not even the slightest sense. There’s rape, large volumes of nudity, dismemberment, babies being fed to giant beasts and everything in between. You’ve been warned.
I have no doubt whatsoever that the sheer level of its disturbing theme will draw controversy, but isn’t that the point? That aforementioned rape scene from Silent Hill 2 received the same treatment, but went on to be one of the game’s plot points. There simply isn’t enough of this attitude in gaming today if you ask me. Undeterred, Madmind seem bold and daring enough to walk that path. Though, the end result remains yet to be seen, it certainly looks compelling, if indeed disgusting.
Would you believe that this version is the tame version? That’s right. The developers had to withdraw some content to see it land on console. This content will only be accessible on the PC via a post-launch patch. I’m intrigued to see how that plays out. Agony throws players into the role of a tormented soul, set within the depth of hell and without any memories of his past. It soon becomes apparent through communication with other weary souls that there’s only one way to escape hell, an audience with the mystical Red Goddess.
Throughout your journey out of hell, special abilities will become available to help you on your way. The ability to possess other souls and even low-end demons, granting the player some useful tools to survive in the extreme conditions of the hellscape. According to the trailer, the Red Goddess does indeed have the power to release you from hell, but this doesn’t come without strings attached to it. Plus, this is hell after all, we can safely assume we’ll be back-stabbed plenty of times throughout.
Furthermore, we’re going to be playing as a protagonist that doesn’t remember his past, yet hell is place reserved for the worst of the worst. Come the end-game, players may find that they don’t particularly want the leading role to get out of hell, once they dive into the backstory. Already there are several interesting, thought provoking elements at work. The new trailer certainly has people talking, but will Agony live up to the hype? We’ll all find that out first hand on May 29th when it launches for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.
Agony comes in at the cost of $39.99 and features a full-fledged campaign alongside an open challenge system that randomly generates levels for gamers to explore and gain high scores. The campaign is said to last roughly 12 hours, which is a great amount of length for a survival horror. There’s also the addition of its replay value, seeing as though Agony will offer up a total of seven different endings. Safe to say that there’s enough content to justify the asking price, that’s for sure.
Perhaps Agony’s most alluring aspect is its concept. Hell is a place that many forms of entertainment has tackled time and time again. The beauty of this is, is that it can literally be as far-fetched and as disturbing as its author wishes it to be. Agony takes elements from the widely used theme of fiery and painful, yet also injects a totally unique spin. Everything is butt ass naked for starters, but much of the environment also appears to represent flesh-like structures and oozing surroundings.
The inclusion of giant beasts and its diverse variation of beings also helps it to stand out. Though, right now, we’re only assured that players can possess low-end demons, so I think it’s safe to assume that the larger monsters will be off the table as far as possession is concerned. This could be in place to make way for some stealth elements, a strong pillar and a useful tool to utilize when it comes to creating tensions in any survival horror worth its salt; Nemesis, Pyramid Head, Alien and Resident Evil 7’s Baker family, to name a few.
It’s all just guess-work for the time being, but with the game releasing in just a few weeks, we’ll see firsthand what Agony wants to relay. For the time being, at least, there’s absolutely no doubt about it, Agony looks terrifyingly grotesque, creepy and utterly distinct. I don’t know about you, but I’m very much looking forward to diving into hell. Check out the trailer above and if you have anything to add, sound off in the comments below. We’ll have a review up and running closer to the time.