11/10/2020

๐Ÿ˜ˆ Lust From Beyond: Scarlet | PC | Review | "Get Ready To Clutch Those Pearls" ๐Ÿ˜ˆ @MGLunarium #IndieGames #GameDev

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Back in 2017 I wrote a preview for a game called Lust For Darkness (I never played the finished version) which I concluded was essentially “pretty… but tame” in how it supposedly was to show the extreme lines between pleasure, fantasy and pain.

It’s effectively the Hellraiser thang (most memorably illustrated in the first movie by a man sneering at a woman’s back during love-making) and the preview version of Lust for Darkness suffered from the same issue I had with the original Hellraiser movie, it felt somewhat muted.

When someone tells me ‘I want to show you the boundaries of human endurance between pleasure and pain’ my mind goes beyond the purchasing of a risquรฉ bronze statuette with a coquettish grin on its face and its bum out.

Lust From Beyond: Scarlet is again a preview of a final game, a sort of self-contained tech demo that exists to show off the gameplay features that will be included in the full game. Scarlet is a separate story that acts as a preamble to the tale that will be told in that final product.

A first-person adventure framed via a wraparound story of a sex-obsessed Romeo (called Alan, natch) discussing recent, highly unusual events with his therapist, Lust From Beyond: Scarlet begins with Alan clambering through a destroyed wall and dropping into an abandoned theatre, where his mysterious date has deigned that they are to meet. 

From the initial phone call, it’s quite clear that the enigmatic woman that has enticed Alan there has ideas that surpass Alan’s – i.e pulling his kecks down and showing her his ‘goldfish-frightener’.

I’m going to be quite upfront about this, Lust From Beyond: Scarlet is not shy. I liked the slow ramping up of tension as Alan makes his way around, following a trail of clothes, collecting creepy dolls and locating keys for doors in order to find his way through the creaky old theatre and how the story goes completely bananas in the latter half. 

The game presents you with scenes that really do blend the erotic with the perverse and obscene. Without being too spoiler-tastic, even the way that Alan is able to travel to a specific place is quite bold and direct in its presentation. Good.

This crossover between light adventure, stealth, horror and quite explicit imagery will definitely not appeal to everyone but I have to say that I applaud how it doesn’t shy away from the more sexual areas of the story and more so, the extent that it goes to put them front and centre. 

There are, however, some areas in gameplay that made me sigh. As with the relatively recent Agony, the game presents us with adult themes and then bogs itself down in tedious stealth sections when the appeal of these games lies more in exploring and making progress as opposed to hiding and awkward combat.

I like the thought of a grotesque, lurid walking simulator based on a horror-fantasy world as it would definitely make the game stand out from the crowd. 

My concerns are that the game will focus too much on clunky combat, re-used assets and stealth as opposed to embracing its ridiculousness and taking the player on a genuinely shocking journey of depravity and discovery. 

I guess we will find out upon the final release!

Right, I’m off to loosen my tie and wash my eyes.

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