There’s always been a sweet spot in the indie ‘scene’ for horror games. With titles like Amnesia and Outlast proving the genre is very much alive and up for grabs for those willing to weave tension and terror into the mix. Blinding Dark – a ‘First Person tactical Horror game’ from solo developer Radu Ungureanu – is aiming to keep the spirit of indie horror alive.
Blinding Dark will throw you into the darkness of an abandoned manor, filled to the brim with cultists, demons and apparitions. Unfortunately for you, amnesia has taken your memories, so don’t expect to know who you are or how you managed to end up in such an unfortunate predicament.
Not wanting to give anything away, Radu was tentatively offering me small bits of information behind the game’s story, revealing that “the main character is a psychic investigator. His passion made him re-discover the ancient and occult ritual of scrying (gazing into the past and future and also, on rare occasions, opening portals to other planes of existence). This discovery brought him the unwanted attention of a religious sect that was protecting the secret of these kinds of rituals. Things go bad and our character finds himself in this place, which seems to be an abandoned manor.”
Radu was unwilling to give away more on the story surrounding the game, but did admit that he was heavily inspired by Clive Barker’s Undying, drawing heavy influences from the works for the story and lore in the game.
This isn’t a game about delivering pleasant baskets of cookies to the ghastly inhabitants though, and as awesome as that idea sounds the game will most definitely require you to defend yourself from the denizens of this mad house. Things won’t be quite as simple as swinging an axe in every direction though, as each monster comes with its own set of strengths and weaknesses. Radu explains that “The monsters have physical constitution, ethereal constitution or a mix of the two. Based on this, they will be susceptible/immune to certain weapons and items. For example, the Spiked Horror is a demon, so it has high physical constitution, thus it will be susceptible to damage from revolver and axe. While the Spiritform is a spirit and it has ethereal constitution, thus it is susceptible only to damage from the Egyptian Trap (a special trap that can only detect and damage spirits).”
This concept is what makes the combat mechanics stand out for me. The idea of making things more ‘realistic’ is far from groundbreaking when you think about it, but by restricting the player to this ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ combat system you’re much more likely to take things slower and be more afraid of your encounters.
Even death isn’t the end of your troubles in Blinding Dark. In fact, it’s only just the beginning of your problems. As Radu explains, “In Blinding Dark, as all the pain and hatred piles up each time the player dies at some point all of this negative energy will transform into a demonic form of the player himself. A doppelganger if you wish. For this entity, the only purpose is to liberate itself from the continuous torture that consumes it and the only way to do that is to kill the one from which it originates, which is the player. How the player manages to escape this new enemy is up to him to find out.”
It’s hard to resist thinking about what you will have to do in order to kill your ghostly twin, and as usual Radu was very secretive of the inner workings behind the game. It’s clear there’s more to the game than it would seem at first glance, and you can expect even more secrets to be hiding in the recesses of the manor.
Because the game is in such an early stage of development, Radu plans to release a free demo in the next month or so, containing a small demo area that showcases the combat and overall ‘feel’ of how the game is played. There are also plans to launch a surprisingly small Kickstarter campaign in February in which he hopes to raise $4000 to cover the costs of resources. A March/April window has also been earmarked for a tentative release date of the first of the six acts that make up the full game, with the rest of the acts to launch sequentially afterwards for PC, Mac and Linux.
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