by Chris Priestman
reviewed on X360
Violence And Breasts
Sticking to the game’s origins, there are no additional online features or any other fancy gimmicks that are unnecessarily included in many games nowadays. This may make the game sound quite short but it is not at all, especially for a brawler. There are three different difficulties in the story mode and each is quite possible to complete as you can start from the lowest, and all of the upgrades you buy can be carried over to each playthrough. I did not do this and started off on a mode that was too hard for my default character. Once I had upgraded Rick substantially though I died a lot less and the game became much more fun. Based on this I would advise players who are finding it hard to change to a lower difficulty until your character is ready. Altogether the story mode will take about 8-10 hours of solid gameplay and like I said, it does not ever really become that repetitive which is especially impressive for a brawler.
It is clear the developers know who their audience is. I say this because the game is suitably fitted with some hilarious lines from the Terror Mask that constantly comments on Rick’s masculinity. There are also some reflexive comments – one being; “That’s the kind of shit that got us an M rating”. Further proof of their foresight is the collectibles that you will be more inclined to find than usual, for reasons that will become obvious. Already providing players with enough violence to be classed as genocide, the game has a number of torn photos that can be collected and pieced back together. When you have done so you will often be rewarded with a topless photo of Rick’s girlfriend – oh so now you are interested eh? There are also entries from Dr. West’s journal to collate and some gramophones to listen to. There are more nude photos to find in the Survival Mode as well (just in case you were having second thoughts about trying it out).
Not for Everyone
All things considered, the game is a valiant reprisal of a classic game that is able to cater to old and new players of the series. The only things that really let the game down are the absence of some gaming comforts that we have now become accustomed to. The minor issues are a few recurring textures that lack detail and a camera that does not like tight spaces. More annoying problems are long load times, which in combination with checkpoints that are spaced too far apart make dying a more dreaded experience than usual. When at times you can be almost instantly killed by some of the enemies when they lunge at you and chop your arm off, you will find yourself gritting your teeth when you die. In a way, this does get you in the aggressive mood and will fuel your rage against the demons, but it is a little slack on the developer’s part. There is a way of resolving this issue and that is to install the game on your Xbox 360 hard drive. I cannot recommend doing this enough; your playing experience will be doubled in fun when loading times are halved and the game runs a lot smoother. So before you throw your controller to the ground, please install the game to your hard drive.
The best thing about the game is its attitude and it is this that makes the game worth playing. It captures fun and aggression in a brilliant combination and its excessive gameplay is something the industry is missing at the moment. The game does have some teething problems but these are possible to overcome. I know that there are bound to be a number of people who will bawl from the get off when playing Splatterhouse because its technical issues can interrupt the whole experience. If you have a little patience and follow my recommendations however, you will find that the more time you put into the game the more enjoyable it becomes. This is a game that is aimed for a hardcore audience though, and it does deliver if you are part of this exclusive club. Others will have a million bad things to say about it that fans will simply shrug their shoulders at.
Reviving a franchise and a genre that has long since stepped out of the way for its multi-genre cousins has been realised by holding its middle finger up to the ‘realism’ (and some comforts) of modern gaming. By matching the sleaze and fun of a B-movie with the raw aggression and subcultural taunts of death metal, Splatterhouse tantalises your inner brute and has a hell load of fun doing it.
Lots of gore, lots of fun, hardcore attitude, unlock the retro games!
A few technical errors, initially frustrating, slow load times, bad platforming sections.