H.P. Lovecraft has influenced some of the greatest horror stories ever written. Stories of dark treacherous caverns leading to an abyss of octopus tentacles – a trademark in his work. Taking these stories and turning them into a video game is quite a feat. Some have tried, and failed, at creating a genuine horror experience, but some – like Rock Pocket Games – have created Moons of Madness, a truly unique first person, horror movie experience on our consoles.
“You are Shane Newehart, a technician stationed at the Invictus and your security clearance means you are completely unaware of the existence of the mysterious signal. Your job is simply to keep the lights on until the transport ship Cyrano arrives bringing with it a new team to take over your duties. Soon you discover strange and unusual setbacks. The security system is on lockdown, the greenhouse is flooded, and there is Martian dust leaking into the infirmary. Things are starting to fall apart.”
When I say movie experience, that is how this game feels. It just rolls out with hardly no pauses what so ever. This gives the whole game a feeling of constant progress and keeps your mind set on the story. Instead of breaking and fading out to a loading screen, the titles for next chapter are highlighted and written longways down one of the structural beams you might be driving past or a title flapping as a flag would against a poll then fly off into dust. It’s the little things sometimes. Moons of Madness has one of the best boss introduction scenes I’ve seen in a long time for any type of horror game, very well presented.
Moons also looks very nice and is a solid, well made game. Walking around the mars base and interacting with the scenery is quite fun simply because the environment is so realistic. The creepy atmospheric corridors can play tricks on your mind; I remember a certain part I had to look twice as a tentacle thing slithered away from me into the dark, eerie. Racing around trying to find keycards while running from a particular being is quite heart racing with some very close calls which add some truly horrific moments during gameplay. The game is supported with a very talented bunch of voice actors which helps bring life and also helps creating the ‘movie’ feel for Moons.
As you progress through Moons you can’t help but feel dread for Shane. As he plummets into madness you must guide him along the way in restoring the base and finding the truth behind his story. Surfaces of Mars become deep caverns with purple plants and glowing orbs, puzzles will stand in your way also so its up to you to help Shane figure them out. Using your wrist computer you can interact with various parts of the ship also like security doors or roller shutter and surveillance cameras. Just look out for those damn security bots – if they grab hold of you, you are finished.
Moons of Madness is a solid, well made horror cinematic experience which all horror fans should check out. The way Moons of Madness looks and feels is exactly like a sci-fi movie, featuring a great story and plenty of horrific action to keep you running.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by the publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
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