GhostBustr: Survival Horror DreadOut Haunting Next Week

By Alice O'Connor on May 6th, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

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I’m bored with our Anglo-American ghosts and monsters–headless nobles, goblins, orcs, Slendermen, Frankensteins, and people in bedsheets–and want to see more of other cultures’ ghoulies. Part of why The Witcher was so refreshing is that it introduced us to Slavic spooks from noonwraiths to drowners, unpleasant things which felt grounded in a place and culture. Knowing nothing about Southeast Asian folklore, I’m quite keen to meet its terrors in DreadOut, a survival horror inspired by the Fatal Frame/Project Zero series and made by an Indonesian team.

It’ll arrive on Steam on May 15, developers Digital Happiness have announced. (That’s my greatest fear: happiness.) Come have a gander at some of the ghosties in a new trailer.

DreadOut sees a load of schoolchildren stumbling into a ghost town after wandering away from their group, calling the buddy system into question. Luckily plucky schoolgirl Linda discovers she’s a little bit magical and can bust ghosts by snapping photos of them on her camera or phone. Not just any old ghosts, but “unique South East Asian Ghosts that you will have never seen before,” the devs say. They’re planning to add an Indonesian voice option after launch too, giving a little extra atmosphere.

I would like to meet those ghosts. And take pictures of them. Then tweet the pictures. Hopefully it’ll have a front camera option so I can snap spectral selfies too.

A year-old demo of DreadOut is still out there from when Digital Happiness were crowdfund campaigning, though one imagines things have changed a bit since then. Here, the new trailer:

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22 Comments »

  1. fluffy_thedestroyer says:

    I don’t see it much often in either video games or movies but having an extra section or bonus section exlplaining whats real and what not in it would help as all know no one except the author what degree of realism as been taken from an idea. in other words, the video game could be 100% fictional as it could be 40% fictional and the rest could be real … who knows

  2. Lexx87 says:

    Nice to see the Asian school-girl being depicted as someone who doesn’t have large breasts and a shapely bum.

    Oh.

    • ZIGS says:

      Instant pre-order

    • fluffy_thedestroyer says:

      or being raped by tentacules…

    • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

      Bit absurd innit? Completely unnecessary, and actually pretty repugnant if the PC is a minor.

      Either way I’m disinclined to buy this just because I don’t want someone to walk in and see me playing Nice Bum Simulator 2014.

      • hungrycookpot says:

        You and I live very different lives…

      • pepperfez says:

        Not to be That Guy, but I read it as wonky texturing rather than any deliberate design choice: At about 0:40 in the video, the camera pans and shows the front of her skirt looking roughly the same as the back, like it’s stonewashed denim or something.
        As for her bust, I…videogames.

        • Malagate says:

          Sorry pepperfez, look at their website and look at the four screenshots, particularly the first one where you can compare four character models from the rear. You’ll notice that one girl has a normal plaid skirt, another is…strangely detailed (similar to the protagonist) and the other two guys just look like they’re wearing regular blue jeans. It looks like an intentional design rather than wonky texturing, fortunately/unfortunately.

    • hungrycookpot says:

      Asian girl with her camera phone out the entire adventure? Yup, checks out.

      • P34nk says:

        Could perhaps add more layer by having to charge her phone as taking pictures from that kind of phone would drain the battery within an hour :)

  3. rcguitarist says:

    This looks great. I loved the old playstation horror games like Fatal Frame and Silent hill. That was when games were genuinely scary and even if nothing was happening, the environment freaked you out and make you nervous. Today’s games are just jump scares.

  4. hungrycookpot says:

    If there’s not a cheat-code to start the game with a set of google glass for god-mode, then I don’t even know what we’re doing.

  5. P34nk says:

    This made me proud that this game was made by my countrymen :) I’m actually surprised that the game made it to Steam to begin with.

    To those who commented about the Asian high school girls with big breast, I never seen one when I was in highschool haha, but they got the national highschool uniform pretty exact, including the logo at the front pocket. I would argue the texture could do some more polish/work, but considering this is the first big game coming out from Indonesia, it is pretty impressive.

    • pepperfez says:

      I love the recognizable sense of place in the characters and locations. It delights me that they accurately represented the national uniform, even though I wouldn’t have known without your saying so. Hooray for international gaming!

    • phenom_x8 says:

      Yeah, never thought about this game was made by my fellow countrymen.
      A good insight to whom who wants to know about our (indonesian) horror figures looks like.
      Maybe it would be great if the dev also gave some kind of encyclopedia for the ghost the characters met.
      As far as I know, each indonesian creature have their own distinct backstory.

  6. tsff22 says:

    I only know about this game from Two Best Friend’s episode of it on last year’s Shitstorm of Scariness, and what I saw seemed like Fatal Frame set in Indonesia.

    And considering Fatal Frame was the only series that scared the living shit out of me to the point I had difficulty playing very far, I have high hopes for this game.

  7. Golden Pantaloons says:

    So is every new horror game and its gameplay mechanics going to be centered around the fact that smartphones can do neat things?
    Half the bloody trailer is just your character staring at their phone, lighting things up with the phone, taking pictures with the phone… all they need to do at this point is stick a logo on it and start raking in the cash from mobile companies.
    Not to mention the fact that any sane person in this situation would use the phone to maybe CALL FOR HELP instead of going on a ghost photo safari with it.

  8. Malagate says:

    Interesting to see a game inspired by PS2 era games…to the point that it also looks like a PS2 era game, maybe a Wii game at its most intensive. Maybe that’s intentional, to evoke nostalgic screaming? It still looks good to me, certainly as it’s from an indie dev (and perhaps it might be their first game that they’ve produced together?)

    Regarding the earlier comments about feminine figures in this game, whilst it is not impossible in real life to find people who look like that from East Asian & South East Asian countries, it is fairly rare…probably not to the point that all the girls in a class would look like that. It would be nice to have a more average looking player character for once, but I suppose the choice of using such a character model is similar to the reason that many leads in big movies are also rather attractive: broader appeal to the audience. If it helps their bottom line, I won’t judge their choice.

    • Spidy09 says:

      Heh! “bottom”

      but in all seriousness, I don’t think it’s necessary to have a shapely player character to get a broader appeal……..(I’m furiously trying to remember a PC that doesn’t look like a supermodel, but I’m failing miserably), I guess their target audience is the youtube crowd of Facecam McScreamers, so they’re trying to sell copies to the Pewdiepliers out there.

  9. Big Murray says:

    The protagonist’s name is Linda Meilinda.

    Ok …