Carrion from Phobia Games Studio and Devolver Digital is described as a “reverse horror game”. What exactly makes it a “reverse horror game” you may ask? Well in Carrion, players will take on the role of an amorphous abomination. An unknown tentacled beast that’s been experimented on in a secret facility.
The game begins with you, the monstrous beast trapped in a biological containment unit behind closed doors. However, the scientists experimenting on you clearly didn’t implement the necessary safety precautions and you are able to easily break free from your container. The game immediately teaches you how to traverse the facility by left-clicking to move. Soon enough you’ll learn to right click to direct a tentacle to open doors, grab metal crates and even consume humans. The gameplay is incredibly simple at first.
As the game goes on though, Carrion evolves into a much deeper platforming adventure. Players will gain upgrades and subsequently, biomass, as they delve deeper into the facility. Your beastly blob character will gain the ability to fire a web-like projectile which can be used to activate switches or levers that are out of reach. Later, you’ll be able to smash through reinforced wooden structures and much more.
Traversing the facility is however a bit of a nightmare in itself. Carrion does not have a map and players can easily get lost while trying to find the next major objective. Levels in Carrion involve players exploring an area of the facility while spreading their biomass and ultimately opening a sealed vent door which leads to the next area. It is rather formulaic but thankfully the gameplay never gets stale thanks to the new mechanics which are introduced in each new area.
Enemies in Carrion include basic science personnel armed with guns to more advanced containment personnel packing some serious heat. Literally in many cases, since this containment personnel can be carrying flamethrowers. Dodging security and enacting sweet tentacled vengeance against those who have “wronged” you are vicious, visceral and voraciously villainous. Yes, you are the big bad monster devouring humans here but morality is up in the air in Carrion.
The environments in Carrion are quite varied in their aesthetic with multiple areas of the research facility, and its surroundings in the game, each having their own distinct look. Graphically, the game’s pixelated art style is gorgeous and ensures that it will remain timeless since it’s not aiming for hyperrealism but rather, artistic splendour. The tentacle monster that you play as is animated so fluidly to that the fast-paced movement truly does feel great in Carrion. Devouring humans are visually satisfying with blood and guts flying everywhere as the monster chows down on its prey.
The challenging aspects of Carrion manifest themselves in the puzzles you have to solve throughout the levels. You’ll need to move the monster through vents, up and down floors, across tunnels and even underwater to find switches and levers. The puzzle platforming is enjoyable and thankfully the game does guide you somewhat with regard to what to do. It also helps that most of the game’s puzzle platforming is not all that difficult and just involves some basic exploration and using your various abilities in different situations. Once again though, a map would have been highly appreciated since there can be a lot of backtracking in the game and it’s quite easy to get lost as you try to figure out how to progress further.
Carrion’s soundtrack is excellent with many ominous themes playing in the background throughout. These tracks suit the game’s creepy atmosphere and complement its visuals perfectly. The sound effects employed also suit the game perfectly. Scientists and researchers that are unarmed will cower in fear and this is quite a nice touch, since it may tug on your heart strings and make you think twice about devouring them.
Overall, Carrion is an excellent game about a monster that traverses a research facility and the surrounding areas while consuming all that opposes it. The puzzle platforming is great and gaining new abilities throughout keeps the gameplay fresh while still presenting a challenge. Unfortunately, the game is rather short at around 4 hours long and the lack of a map may annoy many gamers who will get easily lost. However, the game is definitely worth playing, and we highly recommend giving it a go
Carrion is available on PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Carrion was reviewed on PC which you can purchase here for £16.99.
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CARRION is a reverse horror game in which you assume the role of an amorphous creature of unknown origin. Stalk and consume those that imprisoned you to spread fear and panic throughout the facility. Grow and evolve as you tear down this prison and acquire more and more devastating abilities on the path to retribution.
Product Currency: GBP
Product Price: 16.99
Product In Stock: SoldOut