Fresh from the bloody experience that was our Mortal Kombat preview at E3, I decided to walk down to the other end of the hall for some hands-on time with the recent Fangoria cover feature, Splatterhouse.
If you’re new to the franchise, Splatterhouse is a remake of a popular series of releases that hit in the late 80s and early 90s (all of which will be included with the purchase of this 2010 next gen release). The story revolves around Rick, his abducted girlfriend Jenny, a crazy mask called the Terror mask that Rick puts on, buckets of blood, and a raving lunatic (Dr. West) who operates the mansion you’re stuck in. You put on the mask, kill the bad guys (Corrupted), rescue the girl, and live blood-ily ever after. Got it? Good.
Better yet, watch the pre-E3 trailer Namco Bandai released a little over a week ago.
Let’s get a few things straight right off the bat. First, Splatterhouse is classified as a “beat ‘em up” horror game, but it’s far from a brainless button masher. Sure, you could try to button mash your way through, however doing so would not only take away from the games wicked attack variety and finishing moves (Splatter Kills), it would also be pretty pointless against some of the more agile attackers. I learned this the hard way when I repeatedly tried to smack one of the smaller creatures. Over and over I connected with nothing but air as it dodged every single punch I threw. This is where Splatterhouse’s grab feature comes in very handy. One quick reach for the neck, and the rest is blood-drenching history.
In addition to punching and grabbing, you can also perform a variety of AoE type attacks such as swinging one enemy into a mob of others. These animations/attacks vary based on the type of mob you are battling, and larger adversaries will take more effort to overpower. The weapon selection in Splatterhouse offers up a decent variety, however the standard issued baseball bat, chainsaw, and 2×4 take a backseat to the fact that you can use an enemies (or your own) arm to beat the shit out of anything that moves.
Appearance wise, Splatterhouse has a very street graffiti style that looks great. The contrast between light and shadow has an almost comic book feel to it. Gallons upon gallons of persistent blood will quickly fill your screen if wreak havoc in one place too long, so it’s best to spread the gore throughout the maniacal mansion, unless of course you always wanted to spend your days in a bright red room.
There will be plenty of in-game extras to keep you entertained along your journey. In fact, just a few seconds in on your quest to rescue kidnapped girlfriend Jenny, you’ll have a chance to pick up a photo of your busty babe. Doing so will fill your screen with lovely Polaroid that does a really good job of showing off her voluptuous assets.
Overall, Splatterhouse seems like a very fun pick-up-and-play hack-and-slash game that does a really good job of delivering tons of on-screen blood with a variety of ways to make it gush from your enemies. I found the “SAW” like atmosphere of the trap filled mansion to be a nice change up, and I’m definitly looking to get my hands on the full version of the title when it hits stores this Fall.
Update: Here’s five minutes worth of gameplay footage from E3 2010.