By Adam Smith on April 19th, 2012 at 2:30 pm.
Anyone who played, or feared to play, the experimental horror game SCP-087 has probably been wondering if it would inspire more games based on the horrific series of scientific and supernatural lockdown. I’m pleased (and mortified) to say that the time for such things is upon us. If you don’t know what the SCP Foundation is refer to my previous post, but also be aware that the game linked to there has been updated. For tense and hopeless wandering in the dark, you will now want SCP-087B. The newest addition to the SCP gaming family contains more than one horror. There’s been a Containment Breach, you see, and you’re the poor sod who’s tasked with cleaning up the mess.
Containment Breach has the potential to be the ultimate SCP game, with a randomly generated facility and a host of things either stalking the player or simply waiting in the darkness. The version that’s available for download is an alpha, although it’s still capable of unnerving me, mostly because I’ve read about the horrid humanoid and mind-altering coffin that these particular cells contained. Don’t read those links if you want to be completely shocked by what you discover.
Mind-altering coffins are the sort of enemy you just don’t see in the Resident Evils of the world. It’s the strangeness of the entities that is as horrifying as their hostile nature. It’s Warehouse 13 without the quips and the quirks but with a lot more panic, screaming and hiding from creatures made of teeth and wire that want to drag you into a pocket dimension that is also made of teeth and wire. The long and the short of it is, you’re going to end up picking teeth and wire out of the flagellated strips of flesh that were once your torso, and then you’ll realise it was all a hallucination and in reality you’re just trapped in a room with a disembodied face that is chewing on your exposed entrails.
The main antagonist in Containment Breach is The Sculpture, SCP-173, which is about as odd an enemy as you’re ever likely to have.
It is constructed from concrete and rebar with traces of Krylon brand spray paint. SCP-173 is animate and extremely hostile. The object cannot move while within a direct line of sight. Line of sight must not be broken at any time with SCP-173. Personnel assigned to enter container are instructed to alert one another before blinking. Object is reported to attack by snapping the neck at the base of the skull, or by strangulation.
The clever bit is in there and it’s not the strangulation. If SCP-087 was about anything, it was patience and the tightening knot of tension. Repetitive, dark and ominous, it aimed to have players wishing for something to happen in order to break the monotony while also desperately hoping that nothing would happen because the only possibilities were awful. While there’s still a great deal of tension in Containment Breach, building the game around SCP-173 has led to the inclusion of a ‘blink’ mechanic.
Blinking can be done manually but will eventually occur automatically. Your eyes start to water, the corridor’s empty, it’s fine, you can close them for just a split second-
How close was that? OK, time for another blink to refresh the old ocular organs and then dash across the next room and OH BUGGER IT’S THERE IN THE CORNER AND NOW I CAN’T TURN MY BACK ON IT BUT SOON I’LL NEED TO CLOSE MY EYES
It’s the angels from Doctor Who, except without the family friendly part and with more evisceration instead. Unfortunately it also has a fairly weak model and texture at the moment, but that’s why this is an alpha. Hopefully it’ll turn into a massive collaboration, helped by the active Steam group, and soon I’ll be entering random facilities filled with random entities, and then the lights will go out and I’ll quit to desktop and pretend I won. Incidentally, you can’t win in this version, although both escape and exploration will eventually be options.
Here’s a brief video and you can read more or download the game here.