As survival-horror town names go, “Shivercliff” is really skirting the edges of self-parody. But that’s what the creators of Husk [official website] have gone with. It’s a first-person psychological horror game that they’re describing as a tribute to classics like Silent Hill. Set in the dreadyear of 1995, you’ve been in a train crash outside the mysterious town but there’s no sign of your daughter and wife. You’ll be navigating the abandoned settlement, shining a torch at things and looking for your loved ones. Is that them, up ahead? No. That is a twisted and monstrous manifestation of all your emotionally repressed fears. Pull yourself together, mate.
As you can see, there are some tough themes here – domestic abuse, alcoholism, childhood trauma – but also hints of what you might be doing for the game’s 4-5 hour duration. A creepy robed man with some sort of hanging weapon walks away from the camera. A disassembled doll travels along a conveyor belt. A skin-coloured figure drops into an alley as your character loads a revolver. Yes, it looks like you’ll be facing your demons all right.
The developer has also set up a fake tourist website for the town, a gimmick that’s always worth a punt. Here’s what it says about Shivercliff.
Get to know your neighbors, as they will be excited to spend time with you. Talk to them and discover them. Under their everyday facade lies a complex person with fascinating and terrifying stories to tell. You can be the next big plot twist in their lives.
We’ll have to wait until its release on February 3 to meet these wonderful, definitely-not-monster citizens, and to discover the meaning behind your family’s unhappy history. My guess is that the narrator is not telling the backstory of your playable character, but the story of his daughter. Yes, that means YOU were the domestic abuser all along. Shivercliff is your own personal purgatory. If this isn’t the final twist then the game is breaking the rules.
(Thanks PC Gamer, I stole ur news)