You Will NOLF True FEAR: Betrayer Out Now

By Nathan Grayson on March 25th, 2014 at 9:00 am.

AGH NO WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOU KNOW I HATE IT WHEN PEOPLE TAKE PICTURES OF ME GET THAT CAMERA OUT OF MY FACE

Once upon a time Monolith made the candy/1970s-colored No One Lives Forever, but then the years passed and the colors drained away. The result? F.E.A.R., which traded NOLF’s yuck-yuck-yucks for some spooky, splattery “oh… yucks.” Flash forward to today: all of the color is gone, with six Monolith vets producing the gloomily black-and-white Betrayer. It’s got scares in spades and thick cobwebs of dread lingering in every corner of its 1604 Roanoke colony setting, but is it any good? Now you can find out. Launch trailer below.

Yes, yes, if you despise monochromatic graphics, you can just fiddle with the game settings until dancing greens and shimmering blues make the world sing like a jolly lumberjack, but where’s the fun in that? True fact: black, white, and red are the only scary colors. That’s why children so frequently joke about them: to hide the fear.

Betrayer does seem like an interesting prospect, though. Atypical FPS weaponry and an emphasis on open-ish world sneaking had John hearkening back (forward?) to Jim and co’s very own Sir, You Are Being Hunted, so color me intrigued.

Also black, white, and red. I have some children to scare off my lawn. OK, I don’t actually have a lawn, nor do I know any children. Yeah, fine, jeez, you caught me: I’m the ghost of a long-dead Roanoke colonist and do we really have to get into this right now? In front of the readers?

Look, Betrayer is now out on Steam. That is the news here. My secret identity as an only mildly vengeful ghost has never rarely impeded my ability to bring you hard-hitting PC gaming news, except when my spectral hands slip through the keyboard, which is always.

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23 Comments »

  1. InnerPartisan says:

    So… judging from the trailer, this is basically A Field In England: The Game, or at least something close to that. Color (hah!) me interested.

    • RobinOttens says:

      If A Field In England was about one dude fighting ghosts and zombie demon things and didn’t have all the characters speaking to each other and, you know, drama.

      So, Betrayer is A Field In England: The Game as much as S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is Tarkovsky’s Stalker: The Game?

      • jonahcutter says:

        Considering S.T.A.L.K.E.R.’s different endings (seven?) and how they come to be based upon your gameplay choices and how closely you followed the main narrative, I’d say it does a reasonably good job at being a Russian meditation on existence… for an fps shooter. And it does this without even making a point of it during play. There’s no good guy/bad guy-type meters. You just play the way you play, and you get your ending.

        S.T.A.L.K.E.R’s “good” ending is one of the best, and rather poetic, endings in gaming.

        I’d be very interested in whether Betrayer has even that depth (for an fps shooter). So far, the videos look to me very 90′s, Doom-y, shooter. Weirdly incongruous monsters (a floating skull!) that run right at you as you shoot them. Cool setup and cool look, but remains shallow as a puddle. I’m really curious as to whether that’s just a quirk of the promo videos.

        • PopeRatzo says:

          So far, the videos look to me very 90′s, Doom-y, shooter. Wierdly incongruous monsters (a floating skull!) that run right at you as you shoot them.

          That sounds so awesome. You’ve convinced me to go try this game. Plus the fact that it’s actually a complete game and not an Early Access Pre-Alpha. Companies that actually put out games in this Age of Kickshitter deserve a lot of credit and support.

          Best of all, it’s not free. I do not want free.

      • InnerPartisan says:

        So, Betrayer is A Field In England: The Game as much as S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is Tarkovsky’s Stalker: The Game?

        That’s a very good comparison, in fact.
        Of course the plot is quite different from the movie. What seems so similar is, for lack of a better term, the “look and feel” of the game, and apparently some thematic elements. Very much like Stalker the movie, and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. the game.

        P.S.: And, yeah, much of it is this game being monochromatic, kinda psychedelic and being set in Ye Olden Times. Not the most astute of observations, I’ll admit.

    • JaniceMEvans says:

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  2. ran93r says:

    It has sliders to change colours and bows, lots of bows.
    I… like bows.

  3. Low Life says:

    I tried this quite early on, it had a peculiar atmosphere. I’ll have to check it out again now that it’s finished.

    (Maybe a bit spoilery): I really loved the moment early on in the game when you ring the bell. A very well implemented scene.

  4. Hunchback says:

    Played about 2 hours of it, and so far it’s been impressive. Very well done, nice art, even if a tad “crude” in terms of resolution and animations.

    The atmosphere seems great, and the story interesting. Definitely worth a try, i’d say.

  5. ramirezfm says:

    The trailer got me interested, but the numbers, on that numbers site, are definitely not in favor… Pity.

  6. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Hi Nathan, will RPS be WITing this? Looks interesting but I just spanked a load of cash on ETS2 and OMSI2 :) Will you be test driving it for us?

  7. bstard says:

    Wishlisted, for laters. Looks cool, but not cool enough to pick up on the day CK2:RoI is released.

  8. DrMcCoy says:

    …I really like the music in that trailer.

  9. Jason Moyer says:

    I loved the alpha and am looking forward very much to playing the full game. I’m not a big fan of the high-contrast default visual settings; on the other hand, I’ve done a bit with full color saturation and a bit in black and white with the contrast toned down to more closely resemble B&W TV or film, and the game just feels so much better in monochrome (presumably because it was designed to be played that way).

  10. int says:

    Sweet. I’ve long been a fan of Monolith.

    I shogo away now.

  11. Shadowcat says:

    I remember being very intrigued by the visual style, and then completely taken aback by the fast combat, which seemed so out of place. Was I wrong/misguided about that? Is anyone able to comment on whether the combat and the setting gel nicely?

    • duc says:

      There are light stealth elements, so you can sneak up on enemies with bows or crossbows. Combat seems reasonably challenging and as you noted quite fast paced as even quite low level enemies do lots of damage. There is no quick saving and death has a penalty in that you have to retrieve your treasure after you die.

  12. waltC says:

    I didn’t understand the transition point at which the trailer moves from real-life color to B&W TV imaginary monochrome. The monochrome looks like something done just for the trailer–a sort of cheesy, dramatic special effect. Surely the whole game is not done in this fashion?

  13. pepperfez says:

    That ‘No One Lives Forever’ tag is just the cruelest tease.

  14. Tams80 says:

    ‘no one lives forever’ tag AND ‘color’…

    You are a horrible person Nathan.

  15. captain nemo says:

    Instant buy

  16. steves says:

    Just bought this. Really, really good.

    Incredible atmosphere, though I added a *bit* of colour, the default is rather extreme.

    Brutally fair combat, great feel to the movement, lots of exploration, has Dark/Demon Souls style loot recovery after death (though I think enemies stay dead), and just plain creepy and disturbing.

    If Sir, You Are Being Hunted is going to be like this (backed it, but waiting for release) then I am even more happy about that. Fast-paced, stealthy-shooter in an oppressive environment is rapidly becoming my favourite niche genre!

  17. Frank says:

    Wait, so how do you justify bringing up and tagging with NOLF here? Without it, I certainly wouldn’t have even read one sentence of this. Ugh, that’s one ugly screenshot.