by Bryson Hile
reviewed on PC
Developed by Movie Games, Lust for Darkness is a strange, erotic, psychological horror which you could probably guess, centers heavily around sexual themes. Jonathan has been without his wife, Amanda, for a year after her disappearance. Then, out of nowhere, he receives a letter from Amanda revealing her location. She directs him to a Victorian mansion where she has been during her time missing and insists on eventually explaining everything to him. Following her directions, he discovers a cult ceremony is taking place which has connections to an ecstasy filled dimension known as Lusst’ghaa. This world of lust is the cult’s primary focus as they begin a ceremonial orgy causing a portal to open.
Jonathan must use the portals of Lusst’ghaa to traverse other parts of the mansion in search for Amanda. When first entering the world of lust, I found it mysterious, explorable, and pretty. The walls and floors were made of what looked to be tentacles or veins washed in a purple or violet color. Lighting was done exceptionally well as it made many of the surfaces look wet, which also matched well with the moist footsteps. Glowing stone statues were scattered about portraying female and male genitalia that didn’t add much to the world. They seemed to be placed randomly around, trying to fill the vast emptiness of Lusst’ghaa, which was the world’s primary problem.
I assumed entering this dimension would give me more areas to explore, furthering the story, but was disappointed when there was a predetermined path for me. I had no say in which direction I took as some areas opened up and only had one exit. Most of the time this other dimension served only as a shortcut to other areas of the mansion, which felt like a waste, but I was delightfully surprised to find some puzzles scattered about, changing up gameplay. Most of these were very simple, while others took a few minutes to decipher. I enjoyed these changes of gameplay due to the constant repetition throughout the rest of the game.
LACK OF DIVERSITY
Lust for Darkness is a simple game, which features no combat, little stealth and no other game mechanics which make it stand out from the rest. A majority of the game was me walking around until the next cinematic occurred. There were a few instances of the game early on where I was required to sneak past cultists, but that was eventually thrown out the window once I was disguised as them. This lack of diversity in gameplay made it feel stale later on. When enemies would pursue me in either dimension, all I had to do was find the exit to get away. On top of the constant walking, long load times bogged down the pacing of some sequences, ultimately ruining the story. However, there is still a change of pace within each level and between each load time. There were three different side missions I was able to explore revealing more backstory on the cult and its erotic dimension. Sadly, these were difficult to follow, and I rarely ran across them, so they felt lost.
A DISAPPOINTING CLIMAX
Climaxes are everything in horror games which makes me disappointed with Lust for Darkness. When facing off against the cult leader and the man who kidnapped Amanda, I was upset by the way he was beaten. Without spoiling anything, I felt as if I had no impact on the man’s fate. As mentioned before, all my encounters with enemies were resolved by running away and this instance was no exception. After everything was said and done, I still predicted the ending, which made me lose interest in the game entirely. Lastly, the game leaves a single plot thread hanging, leaving me to ask questions that I ultimately don’t think will get answered.
The feeling I got when playing this game was unlike any other horror game. The world the developers have built is an interesting one but I thought it really needed to be fleshed out. Even with the lack of game mechanics and the crippling story, I still found genuine interest in Lusst’ghaa, the cult surrounding that strange world and the main antagonist. The amount of nudity and erotic horror themes within this game are enough to attract anyone, but sadly, the lack of gameplay mechanics and the disappointing climax are not able to keep them.
Interesting world, cool cult
Disappointing climax, lack of game mechanics, long load times