The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes is a new interactive drama, survival horror game developed by ‘Supermassive Games‘ and published by ‘Bandai Namco‘. The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes is said to be coming out in the year 2021 on the Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PS5, PS4 and PC. This is the third game and the one we have the highest hopes for. Let’s take a look.

The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes is set in Iraq in the year 2003. A war or should we say conflict is coming right to it’s end. Rachel King is a CIA operative and she’s been ordered to work with a military squad. Their orders is to check out, what they have been told is, an underground chemical weapons facility. Already we know this is a whole lot of bull crap. As if the Iraqi would have an underground chemical weapons facility. The location is the Zagros Mountains.

Once they reach the coordinates, Rachel and the squad are attacked by a local patrol being led by Sergeant Salim othman. Already we know this is an important character as he has a name and significance. In the middle of this battle between squads, sinkholes open up caused by earth tremors. Both squads fall in. Turns out underground is a buried Sumerian temple. Something bad, very bad, evil has awakened down there and these two squads are in danger. It’s a labyrinth down here to make things worse. So now the two squads have to make a decision: Either put aside their differences and work together to survive or will they instead go alone and prioritise their own survival? 

Now let’s go over a few things. It’s the The Dark Pictures Anthology so we know what to expect but we want some significant changes to make this game better. The last two games were fake threats as in their was no real monsters, demons or supernatural aspects at all. First game had gas that caused hallucinations while the second was demons that was all in someone head. None of it was real. House of sand needs to have actual supernatural threats and aspects otherwise we will straight away write off the game as trash. We don’t want the same thing or factors. Mix it up for the big finale.

Next they need to make The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes real good is to make the game brutally hard. The other games were too easy. The heartbeat time your button press segments were too easy and not intense at all. They should make the room for success smaller to increase difficulty. The time you have to press a button needs to be shorter. Creation riskier decisions need to have multiple swapping button presses to increase a greater chance of fail. The moments where you have two decisions to choose from and a bar appears to show you that your time to choose is running out needs to have pausing the game disabled. If you can pause it defeats the whole point of the timed decisions. Lastly create a form of punishment or negative for players who because of one bad decision start the game from the beginning. Either give them different paths or a harder play through or something as it’s pathetic for gamers to back out because they failed. 

Overall The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes looks like it’s going to be the real deal and hopefully what we want. If the developers make changes to please big babies like markiplier and 8-bit Ryan then we are ready to be disappointed. If they listen to us who has real wisdom they would make their best game in the series by far but let’s see. Big developers tend to not be very smart. We don’t know how well the developers ‘Supermassive Games’ have done so far. We at X35 Earthwalker are looking forward to this game. Now The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes may have some hype but that’s not enough alone to move… the ‘Earth Walk!’

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Song of Horror

Song of Horror is a new cinematic third person survival horror game developed by ‘Protocol Games‘. It’s coming out on Xbox One, PS4 and PC later this year. Now this is one song that you don’t want to sing. To be honest survival isn’t guaranteed either but this game does look interesting. Let’s take a look.

Song of Horror takes place in an ordinary world. It’s a Friday. Players control Daniel Noyer who is a advertiser and former entrepreneur. Probably guessed it but Daniel has fallen on some tough times recently. At a publishers house, Daniel receives an urgent but, appears simple, assignment. You must find Sebastian P. Hunter. Why is there always a Sebastian? Sebastian P. Hunter is the company’s top client and most important. Strange thing though, is that no one has heard from him in weeks.

Song of Horror

You realise something is wrong when you arrive at gushers mansion. Like in all other horror games and movies, the lights are all out. Even though it’s night time. This suggests that no one is home. There is even a beware of the dog sign but yet there isn’t a dog around at all. No one is home by the looks of it. We could always just turn around, head home, maybe call the police but noo. Daniel isn’t Caribbean or African so off course he still investigates and goes in through the main door left ajar. 

Song of Horror aims to give players a thrilling movie like experience. The camera in this game is fully automated and could be your downfall simply because it does whatever it wants. It follows the player, turns to face you, backs away and more to create tension and mess with your head concerning what’s about to happen. Song of Horror is also quite large. There is 16 different characters for players to take control off. Yes the main protagonist is Daniel but these other characters are normal everyday men and women who are also exploring the mansion and locations. They must solve riddles, check item and off course stay alive. Can you keep them all alive or will they all receive an untimely end?

Song of Horror

Players must make sure to investigate and check everything in Song of Horror as every clue and observation could be really crucial. You can’t afford to miss anything. Survival is off course the main thing in this game. Staying alive isn’t easy as all it takes to die is to make one mistake or one bad decision. Song of Horror is quite big on mysteries as there are many puzzles and riddles around ranging full on enigmas to simple locked doors. So basically from basic and straight forward to dangerous sneaky and deceptive.

At the start of most chapters, you get the choice of which character to use to face the dangers. All the characters except Daniel have one life. That’s right! Permanent death is here. So truly be careful. If you lose everyone then you have to start the chapter again. To make things even more tense and difficult, there is no going back. No manual saving! So no saving before entering a room, then when you die, load your last save. That’s cowardly.

Last of all you’ve us mention death and dying  before but what enemies are we facing. There are no enemies (sort off) and there is no combat. In Song of Horror players will face ‘The Presence’ which is a manifestations of an eldritch. The presence will warp reality and mess with you in many ways. It will lie in wait for you or simply haunt you. It can effect lighting and even the very atmosphere. It will even set traps which could kill you. So be on your guard and make sure to know when to run, hide, react etc. The presence is no joke.

We checked out some gameplay and it’s looking real cool right now. We like how it’s going for the skeleton undead looking creatures like from the mummy returns at the end. We truly hope that Song of Horror’s decisions and situations does sort of play like a great series we know (which we won’t name). A good number of things to look at and take into account, sudden breaking mirror for miniature jump scares. The Presence though looks like a real problem. It has different forms and springs out at annoying moments. Forcing all players to constantly be on guard.

Overall Song of Horror looks like a very good game. The horror is alright, the jump scares are in nice supply. The graphics are good, nothing special but the sounds are better, adding to the atmosphere. We need to see a bit more of the automated camera though. The developers ‘Protocol games’ did a very good job with this game. We at X35 Earthwalker look forward to seeing what Song of Horror has to offer gamers. Now Songs can be wonderful but no where near as wonderful as… the ‘Earth Walk!’

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Outlast 2 is the long awaited survival horror game sequel developed by ‘Red barrels’ coming out April 25th for Xbox One, PC and PS4. Outlast 2 is soon here. In a week in fact. Quite a few people have been talking about this game and their expectations. From what we have heard, this game isn’t a joke. 

In the world of Outlast 2 you control Blake Langermann. He is a camera man and he works with his wife, Lynn. By following clues they have come miles into the Arizona desert concerning the murder of a pregnant lady called ‘Jane Doe’. Why? Oh, that’s because Blake and Lynn are investigative journalists. Risking their lives to find the story behind the stories and uncover the truths. Basically doing stuff that no normal person would do. We are’t dissing, just saying, we aren’t going into the desert to investigate some murder but that’s the plot so let’s go with it.

Now some people have declared Outlast as the scariest game they have ever played. There are jump scares, sneaking, creep looking people, crazy people (it’s an asylum), a large humanoid monster that won’t stop following you like seriously why is it so persistent and much more. The game also centered around a cool mechanic where it’s really dark and in order to see, you will need to use your camera which has night vision. Kind of like in Doom 3 where you had to at multiple times switch between your gun and your flash light. This made the game more dreadful for some as using the camera consumes battery life. So when do you use the camera is up to you. There was one moment where a certain person was sneaking around, then stopped and decided to use his camera. He saw a threat dead right in front of him, which was a scary moment for him but a hilarious moment for us.

From what we have seen and heard concerning Outlast 2, the game looks like it going to take a darker and creepier turn. The location is dark and so not welcoming. The atmosphere seems to have been done right concerning the location. There is even a pit filled with the bodies of dead babies which must be one of the most disturbing things ever in video games. It’s obvious at this point that the fact that the murdered lady, Jane Doe, being pregnant is related to all this. In the demo you see a book, blood, a manger like thing and symbols. This has to be the work of a religious cult that apparently believes in killing babies and stuff. The whole evil religious cult theme has been done a lot over the years so let’s see if Outlast 2 gets it right as some have been too predictable or didn’t go big enough with it but a pit of dead bodies is considered a start for some. 

The game has more details than before as sounds have been carefully placed in like stepping on certain bodies produces a squishy fleshy noise which will disturb some weak stomach gamers. This game is literally out to scare people as they even have the instant look behind you button because we need a nice mug shot of whatever will be chasing us. Nice feature though, we actually like it. It’s always better to give options to gamers. We are interested to know more about that scythe wielding humanoid lady who has no problems ripping of a certain part of the main character in the demo (seriously go watch it for yourself). Here’s the thing though. X35 Earthwalker is one of those people who doesn’t get scared from these games. Whether it’s slender man, five nights at freddy’s and even dead space. It just doesn’t seem to work but he is looking forward to seeing what this game has in store.

Just to let you all know, also on the 25th of April ‘Outlast trinity’ will be coming out which is basically a physical collection of the Outlast series: Outlast, the Whistleblower DLC and Outlast II. Take note of this as when Outlast 2 comes out, it will come out digitally for the Xbox One, PC and PS4. So decide what type of copy you want.

Overall Outlast 2 looks great. They emphasise the importance of using cover effectively. The graphics are improved and look good. The sounds have been stepped up. The atmosphere in out opinion is very good indeed. If you want a survival horror game that will keep you focused, double checking corners and eventually scared to the point where you have to pause the game then this might be for you. The developers ‘Red barrels’ did a great job with this game. Keep it up guys. We at X35 Earthwalker are keeping an eye out to see what this game can do. This game is worth checking out. Whether you get scared or not, never be scared… to do the ‘Earth Walk!’

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