So, it’s practically Halloween and also you’re working out of horror video games to play. You beat Resident Evil Village months in the past. You performed nearly each horror sport you’ll find on Xbox Recreation Go. You’ve even dipped into horror-adjacent video games that put you in the precise, spooky mindset. When it feels such as you’ve performed nearly each staple the style has to supply, what’s left to play?
The horror sport scene is far wider than the apparent hits. Whereas big-budget sequence like Lifeless Area and Resident Evil dominate “best horror game” lists, a few of the scariest video games on the market are additionally a few of the most obscure. That’s precisely the case with Mundaun, which is a must-play 2021 launch this Halloween season.
Launched in March, a few months earlier than Resident Evil Village, Mundaun is a Swedish horror sport that’s in contrast to some other. Essentially the most putting factor about it’s its hand-penciled artwork design, which provides the sport a wholly distinctive, sepia-toned look. That creates some unsettling imagery, as sketchy, high-contrast landscapes set the scene for a creepy keep within the Swedish countryside.
Positive sufficient, that’s precisely what you get right here. The story begins when a person in a small Swedish village burns to loss of life in a barn fireplace. His grandson makes a trek to the city to get issues so as and discover out what occurred. It’s a basic horror film setup that traps gamers in an idyllic village with a darkish underbelly. Monsters, spiritual cults, and physique horror ensue, naturally.
Mundaun might appear like nothing you’ve ever seen earlier than, however it attracts on some acquainted inspiration. Its story is particularly paying homage to the 1973 horror movie The Wicker Man (or its considerably notorious remake starring Nicolas Cage). That movie offers with a police sergeant touring to a small city and discovering a cult that worships gods. Aesthetically, a couple of issues carry over. That movie’s iconic “straw man” is represented right here within the type of enemies. Gamers are hunted by creeping humanoids made out of hay. In the event that they catch the primary character, he slowly turns to straw till it’s sport over. His solely protection is a rudimentary pitchfork that may jab them.
Should you’re extra aware of the Wicker Man remake, you most likely keep in mind the “not the bees!” scene, which grew to become an instantaneous meme. Effectively, there are many bees right here, too. Beekeepers seem as common enemies, stalking the village of their puffy fits. They’re no laughing matter, although. Having your display screen refill with buzzing bees earlier than you die is a terrifying expertise.
In a variety of methods, Mundaun appears like a extra absolutely realized model of this 12 months’s Resident Evil Village. There’s rather a lot to check between the 2. They’re first-person video games set in cultish villages, and their gameplay revolves round discovering objects to resolve puzzles. Each of them draw on basic horror film tropes to create one thing that feels firmly rooted within the style’s historical past. However Resident Evil Village can really feel like a seize bag at instances, pulling collectively 4 or 5 monster film cliches and tossing them into one pot. Mundaun is extra targeted by comparability, fleshing out its Swedish city’s historical past. The deeper you go, the darker it will get. I couldn’t assist however discover even when my instincts have been telling me to run. I wouldn’t final two seconds in a slasher film, I suppose.
Horror video games might be troublesome to drag off. The will to create a enjoyable expertise can typically battle with the issues that encourage concern. Resident Evil Village desires you to run screaming from itslycans, but in addition desires you to blast them away with a large shotgun. It’s arduous to be scared in an influence fantasy. Mundaun doesn’t attempt to have it each methods. Its weapons are rinky-dink, its hero is weak, and its terror feels inescapable. It isn’t at all times essentially the most pleasurable expertise on a moment-to-moment stage (it could possibly really feel as rusty and archaic as its pitchforks at time), however it’s an unsettling fear-fest that’ll maintain you up at night time this Halloween.
Mundaun is obtainable now on PC, PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Sequence X/S, and Nintendo Change.