Posts Tagged ‘team junkfish’

Comedic XCOM-like Attack Of The Earthlings is out now

Attack Of The Humans

We like to joke about ‘What if you could talk to the monsters?’ here on RPS, but Junkfish’s new XCOM-ish turn-based tactics game Attack Of The Earthlings goes one step further, prompting us to ask probing philosophical questions beyond even ‘What if man was the true monster after all?’.

Faced with an implacable, capitalist and shamelessly corporate foe invading from the planet Earth, you too will be forced to ask yourself: ‘What if the Chrysalids were the good guys?’.

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Procedural Horror Monstrum Leaves Early Access

An escape-o-survive-a-horror game where not only does the world change shape every time you play, you’re not even sure which ‘orrible monster you’re facing either is an interesting idea. That’s Monstrum [official site], made by Team Junkfish, which Marsh wasn’t wholly enamoured with when he played the version on Steam Early Access. Wasn’t his cup of tea, y’ken?

But you, maybe you like scuttling around corridors, scavenging for supplies, and squeezing into lockers as horrible, horrible monsters pace outside. If you do, but only in finished games, hey: Monstrum hit version 1.0 and launched out of Early Access this week.

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Premature Evaluation: Monstrum

Given how utterly terrifying, unknown and lethal the sea has been to humans throughout recorded history, maritime horror is a remarkably underused setting in games. Perhaps it's a British thing, being an island nation obsessed with naval superiority, that stories of ghost ships and sea monsters are so particularly resonant: the largest percentage of our idioms are nautical references. By and large, if you can’t fathom what a phrase means, it probably comes from sailing. In fact, “by and large” and “fathom” are nautical terms. The same goes for: cut and run, toe the line, know the ropes, touch and go. You can build entire statements out of them alone: “It’s not a hard and fast rule, but anyone who is three sheets to the wind is a bit of a loose cannon and should be given a wide berth, even if, normally, you like the cut of their jib.” Nautical terms pop up in unusual places. Slush fund, for example, comes from the practice of hoarding the rancid fat from boiled meat so that it might be sold on at port. Yummy.

Each week Marsh Davies skittishly edges into the gloomy bowels of Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find and/or simply hides in a locker and tries not to cry too loudly. This week he dons his brownest trousers and hopes never to face his fears in Monstrum, a firstperson horror game set on a boat that procedurally reconfigures its layout every time you get eaten.

My, hasn’t the Find Some Things While Being Chased By A Thing genre come a long way? Only two and half years ago it was largely consigned to the realms of shonky boo-scare creepypasta homage. Now we have dozens upon dozens of iteratively-improved indie imitators, and even the lustrously-rendered likes of Alien: Isolation, which took Slender’s sandbox-scare principles to the triple-A firmament. You’d think, after all the shrieky reaction-cams, exhaustively explored lockers and soiled pants, that a new entrant of this genre would have to try ever so hard to be as effective – and, to its credit, Monstrum does give an earnest shake to the basics, inasmuch as the procedurally arranged cabins and corridors give its replays a Roguish unpredictability. But, largely, this is a retreat from the fulsome narrative structures of Alien or Outlast to something more simple and, ahem, slender: a gloomy environment and stuff to find in it, before something finds you and permadeaths you through the brain.

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Monstrum Gameplay Trailer Features Monsters; No Rum

Cargo ships get a raw deal in the world of video games. Think about it: Cryostasis, horrible frozen ship haunted by aggressive spectres. Cold Fear: something something ghost ship zombies. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: stabbed in the eye by a psychopath, everything explodes. Metal Gear Solid 2: first you’re Snake, then you’re Raiden. I could go on.

Monstrum doesn’t look like it’s going to reverse the trend of negative representations of cargo ships in video games, but at least it’s not doing so in style. That much is evident from this newly-released trailer showing off some Early Access gameplay footage.

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A Boat For Pigs: Monstrum

Perhaps a Machine for Boats? The Boat Descent?

Let’s get real folks: I’m what is colloquially known as a “scaredy cat.” It’s not so much that the more terrifying of this hobby’s fine works prevent me from sleeping as they do prevent me from playing. I got about an hour into an Amnesia Let’s Play before deciding there were other ways to spend my time. A friend had to sit with me for the majority of Outlast, or I never would have got through it. So take it as the highest compliment, or the lowest evaluation of my character, when I say I look forward to probably never fully experiencing sea-bound run-away-’em-up Monstrum. There’s an announcement trailer below the deck if you’re brave enough, but it omits some of the most interesting details.

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