Slender: The Arrival – Beta

Those of you loyal to AlterGamer will recall the mash-up we did between free indie games Slender: The Eight Pages and Haunt, both of which feature the manmade monster Slender Man as their antagonist. In each game you employ a first-person shooter perspective and have nothing but a flashlight with which to defend yourself as you navigate an abandoned camp site with a dark history. On the way, you collect a number of pages, all the while attempting to avoid the faceless horror stalking you, coming closer and closer with each page you find.

Now, Parsec Productions, who made Slender: The Eight Pages, in conjunction with Blue Isle Studios, is going to be releasing Slender: The Arrival, projected to retail for $10. The final version of the game won’t be out until March 26th, but in the meantime we’ve had the chance to look over the beta version of the game.

Taken from Slender: The Eight Pages

Taken from Slender: The Eight Pages

It’s basically a paid version of Slender: The Eight Pages. The environment layout is similar, with twisted pine trees separating clearings that possess stereotypical camp site detritus (and one of the elusive eight pages you’re after). Graphically, we’re looking at a facelift on par with Haunt. Your environment looks prettier, but still manages to maintain the sense of foreboding that Slender: The Arrival’s predecessor is known for.

Your controls are smoothed over as well. Slender: The Eight Pages was slow and plodding in your movements. Haunt was quicker, but suffered from getting stuck on your environment when running. Here, you can be quick indeed, but you still get caught at crucial moments. Your flashlight is more useful. You can focus the beam, allowing you to pin Slender Man in place for a short while, which prevents some of the cheaper moves he attempts.

A new addition to the gaming experience is Slender Man’s ability to interact with his environment. When exploring the office building that we all know and dread getting stuck in, Slender Man will sometimes lock you in with him. I’m honestly on the fence as to whether that could be regarded as cheap or galvanizing. It’s probably a bit closer to the cheap side when all you need to do to beat the game is explore the map first so Slender Man won’t jump you, then collect all the pages at a dead sprint.

Taken from Haunt

Taken from Haunt

The big question is, of course, is it scary? Not really.

True, there is a tightening in your chest as you collect one page after the next and Slender Man begins to close on you. But the high quality of the game works against itself. There’s a well-composed soundtrack which is always barely perceptible. The presence of music in itself is more comforting than the stark, unsettling silence that was utilized in Slender: The Eight Pages.

And, like Haunt, when Slender Man is bearing down on you your screen fuzzes over and warps out of true, as if the presence of Slender Man is somehow eating away at the player’s sanity. This has the unfortunate consequences of making it unnecessarily difficult to get away because you can’t see where you’re going. It also lets you know when you’re safe, effectively killing the suspense inherent in never knowing where and when Slender Man will appear.

Taken from Slender: The Arrival. Seeing similarities now?

Taken from Slender: The Arrival. Seeing similarities now?

So, while there is a low-level worry involved with the  fear of the unknown, what with not knowing Slender Man’s motives or origins, the main draw of the game (which is to say shock value from Slender Man popping up and hunting you down) is not nearly as strong as in Slender: The Eight Pages.

We’ll keep you posted if the final game is any better than the beta, but right now it would probably behoove you to download the free Slender: The Eight Pages for a scarier experience.

About The Author

John Richard "Chrysophase" Albers
Other posts by

John Richard Albers, an author, armchair psychologist, amateur historian, freelance, peacemaker, dragonslayer, warmaster, and part-time herald of the apocalypse, hunts ghosts when he isn't hunting crazy people. He holds dual bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and English Literature, is working toward a degree in parapsychology, and is acting CEO of Prior to Print Proofreading LLC, where he gets to torture editors instead of them torturing him for once.

Leave a Reply