Despite the genre, horror games are usually a little rubbish at making their players scared. They chuck a little blood on the walls, make some doors creek, and then proceed to have cliche characters tell you how twisted the world is.
And Darkwood does have a lot of that but it’s also looking to have done something very clever. It’s taken a top-down game view, a traditionally informative and open view, and found ways to obscure the world and hide things in plain sight.
The debut trailer reveals all (well, doesn’t but that’s the point, yeah?).
They’ve lifted that line-of-site mechanic from the awesome little Doom-like Teleglitch. so while you’ve a window on the world that reveals the environment it’s only through a narrow slice of vision that you can see what’s in that environment. What’s so nifty about that is that it’s a subtle way of telling you all the things you can’t see about you.
Also, notice the lighting effects, how after the player had boarded up the windows the boards’ silhouettes appeared over the torch beam, that’s a wonderful touch.
It’s a trailer that raises lots of questions, mind. The developers, Acid Wizard Studio are saying on the game’s site that it’s a procedurally generated roguelike but that child/generator/monster sequence looked quite scripted. If the game’s able to produce that randomly we could be in line for something quite special at release. Though, if Colonial Marines has taught the internet anything, trailers can be deceptive.
Still, we know the developers aren’t all bad. After all, they were behind Kevin Costner’s Tatanka Hunting Simulator 2013: