Resident Evil was at its scariest in the PS1 era, when the classic survival horror leaned into limited ammo, tough-as-nails enemies, and forcing you to go back to your last save point, rather than hitting continue. But that’s not to say modern games can’t be brutal on your nerves as well – Darkest Dungeon, the unforgiving roguelike where any wrong move can end in a permadeath, and each combat encounter feels like it could be your last, is guaranteed to get even the most-seasoned horror fans sweating in their seats.
That’s why You Will Die Here Tonight, the upcoming horror game from indie developer Spiral Bound, has us biting our nails and jumping at our shadows, as it takes the iconic aesthetic and demanding mechanics of classic Resident Evil, and combines them with the permadeaths and knife-edge survival of Darkest Dungeon.
The premise is simple: as a six-strong special forces team called ARIES – that’s ARIES, not STARS – you investigate a mansion – again, still not STARS – that’s overrun with zombies and riddled with boobytraps – okay, maybe we can just call them STARS. It’s a direct homage to Resident Evil, with characters resembling Jill, Barry, and Chris rounding out the cast, and crushing wall traps clearly inspired by the famous “sandwich” sequence.
But there’s a twist. As per the title, you are expected to die, but rather than a game over, you simply jump to the next member of ARIES, and pick up where the last character left off. This is where the Darkest Dungeon angle comes in. On the one hand, the permadeaths give you an advantage, as you crawl through the dungeon to collect your old gear, and continue the narrative without artificial breaks and resets. On the contrary, if your comrade was bitten by a zombie, they’ll return from the dead to try and kill you, too, at which point You Will Die Here Tonight jumps from its 3D-rendered, top-down perspective, to a first-person mode reminiscent of the knife combat sequences from Resident Evil: Deadly Silence.
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Horror, survival, roguelike, and nostalgia. It’s a potent mix, and we’re seriously looking forward to playing You Will Die Here Tonight when it launches later this year. Until then, you can add the game to your Steam wishlist now.