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Should You Play Carrion? | Carrion Review

Watch our review of the 8bit reverse horror game – Carrion!


Welcome to our review of Carrion, a reverse horror game in which rather than fighting a big angry monster, you are the big angry monster! We’ll tell you everything you need to know before you play.

Transcript

Hey how’s it going guys! Welcome to our review of Carrion, available on PC, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. We’ll tell you everything you need to know before you play, but before I do make sure to hit subscribe and the notification bell for reviews, interviews, features and more. You’re not going to want to miss it!

Carrion is a reverse horror game developed by Phobia Game Studio and published by Devolver Digital, in which rather than fighting a looming monster menace, you are the monster menace. Yes, you start off as a small red creature, imprisoned in a lab, and it’s your mission to evolve, get larger and eventually take your revenge on your human captors. However, while many of the scientists will try to run away from you, it won’t be long before you’re matched against more competent foes, sent to blow you to pieces.

It’s a really unique concept, and coupled with retro 8bit graphics, I’ve been dying to play this game for ages. But now we can get our hands on it, is it any good? Watch on to find out…

Firstly, one of my favourite things about Carrion is there’s a great deal of variety in the gameplay, meaning it’ll feel fresh and exciting right until the end. You’ll start off as a small, proto version of your monster self, where stealth is vital to avoid being taken down in your vulnerable state. But as you kill and consume, you’ll get bigger, bolder and altogether more violent. As you gain new skills throughout the game, your gruesome repertoire will expand; you’ll be able slash, snare, impale and blow up your enemies from the inside out. You’ll even be able to mind control some unsuspecting folk to do your bidding, much like the tentacle monster from Futurama.  

And this progression plays into the Metroidvania elements of the level design. As you grow in size and skill, you’ll be able to reach certain areas that were once inaccessible. This adds a satisfying dose of non-linear exploration to the gory carnage. 

Not only is each map well designed, the level of detail in each is super impressive too. Beakers will break if you knock them over, vents will buckle under your weight and the blood of your victims will splatter all over the walls. These might seem like small, cosmetic details, but they go a long way in making the experience more immersive. 

A special mention must also be made for the creature design, which looks like something straight from John Carpenter’s The Thing. Even in pixelated form it evokes a sense of cosmic horror that gave me chills, despite being the one controlling it! And on a more technical level, it feels great moving around as the monster too. I don’t think I’ve ever played as a protagonist (if that’s even the right word) quite as unique as this; from hanging onto the ceiling with stringy tendrils, to oozing the amorphous form across the floor and even dashing into enemies at frightening speed, it’s all fitting of this ineffable beast.

Although the game looks great, the sound design is arguably even more impressive, and truly elevates Carrion into the upper echelons of gaming. Each individual thwip on your tentacles, the sound of body parts exploding and the screams of your victims all make it feel a lot more unpleasant and real than the visuals would first suggest. Cris Velasco’s score is equally chilling, complimenting the sense of hopelessness that this terrifying hellscape exudes. And the in-game music is far from passive, as it’ll ratchet up the tension when you’re about to make a kill. The blood-soaked cherry on the cake.

To wrap up, Carrion is one of the most impressive and original games I’ve played in a good long while. It takes a classic horror trope and flips on its head with such finesse, it’s a wonder why no one thought of doing it before. I implore you to play it with headphones on, the sound design deserves it, and you’ll get a much richer experience for it.

But what did you think of Carrion? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to hit subscribe for more videos like this every single week. See you next time!


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<strong>Tom Baker</strong>
Tom Baker

I like Star Wars, heavy metal and BBQ Pringles.

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