In today’s release roundup we take a look at two horror titles, highlighting the recent release of The Coma 2 – Vicious Sisters and checking out the upcoming Re:Turn – One Way Trip from Red Ego Games.
Re:Turn – One Way Trip preview (coming to Steam soon)
Developed by Red Ego Games and published by Green Man Gaming, Re:Turn – One Way Trip is an adventure horror title with puzzle elements somewhat akin to classic 2D adventure games. In it, five friends head out for a camping trip in the woods, but start to argue about a mysterious note that proclaims love towards our protagonist, Saki.
No one in the group seems to have written it, and it’s not long before Saki wakes up only to find all of her friends now missing. She heads out into the woods and runs into an abandoned train. Though hesitant, she heads in – convinced her friends have done the same. What follows is a tale where sinister forces seem to watch her, unexplained things happen around her, and she whisks back and forth between the present and the past – where the explores the train in its heyday.
Many of the puzzles in the game are inventory-based, where you need to find an object first in order to interact with another object in the game. This is reminiscent of classic adventure games, and even though Re:Turn – One Way Trip is a sideways scroller with gamepad support it does feel more like an adventure game than a modern horror videogame. There isn’t a lot of action-oriented gameplay, with a firm emphasis on storytelling and narrative. The controls illustrate this – you can interact with objects and turn your flashlight on and off, and that’s about it – no combat.
The game’s story delivery is more effective for it though, as you feel like Saki is powerless against what’s lurking in the dark, yet she must continue on. The visual representation of the story is done through pixel art visuals, with a few nicely drawn high-res animations used periodically for dramatic effect. The 2D environment is sparse on animations though, instead fading to black when you perform actions within the environment. Relying on sound effects instead, this is a game best enjoyed with headphones to instill a sense of dread in the player.
Speaking of dread – the story was penned by David Bergantino, who has previously worked with horror icons like Wes Craven and Clive Barker. His official bio also states that he’s been killed three times in two novels, is an official part of the Star Wars universe and has spent time in the New Jersey Federal Penitentiary with George Jung, the character portrayed by Johnny Depp in the movie Blow. Quite the resume, we’d say.
Re:Turn – One Way Trip comes to Steam soon as the game is nearing the final stages of its development, and between the quality writing and a plot that combines creepy horror with time travel, it’s a story we can’t wait to explore.
The Coma 2 – Vicious Sisters is now out on Xbox One
Already a big hit on the PC, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters has now been released on the Xbox One as well. Developer Devespresso Games has partnered with publisher Chorus Worldwide Games to make the release happen, and it’s an Xbox Play Anywhere title, meaning that you can also play this particular version on a Windows 10 PC – good news for PC owners who were still holding out after the Steam release.
In the game student Mina Park discovers that, upon waking up at her school, her reality is mixed up with a shadow realm in which a sinister force is after her. What unfolds is a dark tale of survival and horror in which she explores her school and its surroundings as she runs into the horrors that lurk in the darkness and a few humans that she doesn’t know she can trust.
Visually, Devespresso is definitely starting to craft their own unique style – and although The Coma 2 still looks like the original game there are also plenty of visual influences here from their game Vambrace: Cold Soul. With increased detail in the character models, I’d say that The Coma 2 is closer to Vambrace’s 2D combat sections than it is to the first game, so as fans of that art style we definitely enjoyed the visual direction they’ve taken here – which is something not too unlike that of Korean comic books.
You also don’t have to have experience with the first game to enjoy this one – the story is self-contained and although the voiceovers aren’t stellar the writing itself is excellent. That’s important because the experience is very much a narrative one, with relatively little emphasis on action and only small hints of survival/crafting mechanics. If you enjoy non-western horror experience, this is a good one to consider.