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Survival horror Darkwood escapes early access Aug 17

The surreal top-down survival horror game Darkwood [official site] is almost ready to launch, after three years in early access. Developers Acid Wizard Studio have announced a release date of August 17th. Darkwood is a strange and awful game set in a nightmarish forest of odd creatures and odder people, where our survivor explores by day and by night, ooh nights are unkind. Our Adam had a crack way back when Darkwood first hit early access and was delighted/horrified, comparing it to “a slow-paced Teleglitch, a survival horror game by way of Ice-Pick Lodge and Stalker.” Also, he mercy-killed a dog.

Darkwood is a survival horror game set around nightmarish woods. You need to explore them and scavenge for supplies, but do watch out for the flora, the fauna, the residents, the everything. Strange and terrible things are abound. Flicking through the patch notes, I enjoyed being tantalised by mysterious mentions of things like The Three, swampers, chompers, Mushroom Granny, the Doctor, the Musician, the Chicken Lady, sawmills, centipedes, infections, and a talking tree.

“Darkwood is made up of shifting perspectives and an uneasy sense of doubt as to what is being seen and experienced,” Adam said after playing the start of the initial early access release.

“I killed a dog, to put it out of its misery, even though I had to backtrack to do so. It’s a strange action to use as a hook but it certainly worked for me. Only as the axe encouraged the poor creature’s guts to spill out did I realise I had nothing to gain from giving my former pet the chop. I did it because the world is convincing and I didn’t want to leave suffering animals lying around the place if I didn’t have to.

“A few minutes later, I was preparing to drug and torture a wounded man. And then I became that wounded man. And then I beat my former self to death with a plank full of nails. I think. I think that’s what happened. The sequence of events isn’t particularly clear but the shrieks are clear. I can still hear them.”

Awful.

Darkwood is coming to Steam for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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