After almost 50 years and nine films terrifying audiences on the silver screen, Gun Media who were responsible for Friday the 13th and Sumo Digital have teamed up and set upon scaring audiences on the couch and gaming rooms with The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
With a few hit-and-misses in the asymmetrical genre these days, it’s easy to see why games of horror franchises from over the years have done so well. With Gun Media’s first attempt when they released Friday the 13th, the team showed that they had a winner on their hands. Although there were some issues with licencing along the way, I felt the bones of a great idea for a multiplayer game was born, especially moving forward with The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE – STORY
While there is no story to be told in this game, the premise of the movie is in line with many movies over the years. Teenagers are lost on a road trip through Texas only to fall into the trap of the infamous Slaughter Family. It is them they are trying to escape, generally falling one at a time until the ‘Final Girl’ escapes the clutches of the famous Leatherface and his family of killers.
While many of the family members in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre appear the same as their counterparts in the movies, the ‘victims’ appear to be generic-created characters. It would have been nice for the rights to the Hollywood talent to be added to the game, the likes of Renee Zellweger and Alexandra Daddario to name a few.
THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE – GAMEPLAY
As many of the asymmetrical games on the market play out, so does The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. A team of four victims start off in the basement of the Slaughter Family’s house and try to escape the other three family members.
As a victim, you will be on the lookout for resources to assist you in hiding from the family as you try to locate one of the three exits on the map. These will range from bone scraps, health kits, and lockpicks, with other main items required to be able to open one of the exits. Stealth is key as you try to escape the clutches of the three family members as any time you trigger a loud noise, they will be alerted.
Noises can be triggered in many areas, many of them being when you are scavenging for resources and a few traps along the way. The sheer terror in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre game arises when you begin to open lockboxes and rummage through bones. The unsettling part is the fact that you can’t simply move the camera to look at your surroundings while doing this. Instead, you need to rely on the sounds. So if you hear a chainsaw coming closer, it might be time to leave it be.
On the Slaughter Family side of things, they are immediately equipped with weapons that will be used to terrify and dismember the attempts to escape. Along the way, they will be able to fortify and block off many ways the victims have to flee and create space between the assailants. Added to this is another character, Grandpa, who needs to be fed blood, thus increasing his awareness of the map and making it easier to find the victims.
There are also unlockables with behind-the-scenes features and concept art as you level all the way to 99 and hit achievements per character. The levelling-up system is all branching and can add a certain ownership feeling to your selected characters.
You can choose from 5 victims and 5 family members, each has their own unique ability. However, Leatherface needs to be selected on the family side each round. It’s his game after all. There are 7 skins per character to unlock currently for the victims and a small number of options per family member, these do not require micro-transactions, instead opting to unlock more options the more time you spend with a character.
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While there is no single-player tutorial option in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, which I’m personally bummed out about considering I loved this option in the recently released same style of game, The Evil Dead. So far there are video tutorials for each system the game has to offer. My main gripe for this was that there were only two of them that contained actual audio voiceovers while the remaining six to seven were all text-based with videos accompanying them.
Currently, if you are not able to fill out a lobby with the required seven players, you will be automatically kicked out and required to start a new lobby with new players. I found this to be infuriating and it left me wondering, why would it just not start the search over with the players who already were there?
MUSIC & AUDIO
While there is not much in this game that required voice-over work, it was always fun to hear the taunts of the family and if a victim finds another of their teammates, they will comment that they are glad they’re not dead. It’s preferable to play this game with a headset as it will only register your voice with your assigned team if you are in close proximity to them.
The fact that you need to sneak around and listen out for the audio queues means that this game needs a really good audio system. I’m happy to tell you that the game supports up to Dolby Atmos and sounds really top-notch.
GRAPHICS & PERFORMANCE
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, while isn’t going to win any awards for graphics, does a really good job with the kills as they are quite gruesome and look fairly realistic. The kill camera when a family member finally takes down a victim can be quite satisfying to watch, but that’s the horror fan in me.
THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE REVIEW
I enjoyed my time with The Texas Chain saw Massacre in short bursts. However, I can’t recommend it at its initial $69.95 AUD price due to its limited content of only three maps and 10 characters (five per side). Once you’re familiar with the exit locations, the game essentially becomes a cat-and-mouse chase. I hope they expand the game in the future, and if they do, it might become worth checking out. For now, it’s worth a try if you have an Xbox Game Pass subscription.
The sound and audio are great.
The terror you feel from being chased or chasing.
A fairly robust level system that lets you create your character how you like.
They need to fix the lobby system.
Missing single-player story/tutorial.
Not enough maps currently.
Would like better skins for the victims.