Carrion – All Exploration, All to be Consumed Review

Carrion – All Exploration, all to be Consumed Review

Carrion is a different kind of horror game. You play as a monster, which I have taken to simply calling, “The Creature.” With simple controls and a vast world, there is plenty to see and do. The Creature will grow, evolve, and make its way through the various regions. A chilling soundtrack

The Creature itself reminds me of the Creature in John Carpenter's “The Thing,” minus taking on the form of its targets. It is all tendrils, tentacles and teeth. Being a mass of tendrils and teeth, it is a scary creature, but something that is a joy to control. Its powers start simple, just an endless hunger for anything it can add to its biomass. As more powers are gained, so is Biomass. Different powers are available at different levels of Biomass. At Lv. 1, the Creature is at its fastest, plus it can have its main stealth ability, being able to go invisible, available to it. At Biomass Lv. 2, the Creature is somewhat balanced between offensive ability and defensive ability. It will gain a useful Scythe ability, allowing it to smash through Wooden Barriers found throughout the whole of the facility. Finally, at Biomass Lv. 3 the creature is at its strongest, but also its most cumbersome to control. This form is where it gains its powerful harpoon ability, shattered metal and being able to resist most damage.

The game design itself is very reminiscent of Metroid. A massive place to explore that is gradually opened up as the Creature gains new evolutions, new forms, and new abilities. There are numerous regions to traverse through. Over time, it is revealed that there are numerous links between the areas, allowing for passage between them. There is no in-game map however, for drawing one yourself is recommended. There are times it is easy to get lost or turned around in a playthrough if you lose track of where you are supposed to go next or miss something about what you need to do to progress. The Creature simply grows stronger, gaining biomass. Each of the screens and the challenges it presents can be tackled either through straight combat or using your abilities for subterfuge. Unfortunately, so far, threats do not return to the field, seeming to have a permanent death once consumed, or destroyed.

When it comes to controlling the Creature, that is something very simple. Mouse and keyboard works slightly better, but using the dual thumbsticks is easy to manage as well. Much of the gameplay is interacting with items, either toggling switches or eating something. This does make it a very easy game to pick-up and learn.

The story seems simple, and is. What lead up to the beginning of the game is revealed through 3 Flashback sequences that are played through. It shows discovery and reveals what had been laid between the outside world and the Creature to prevent its return.  This creature needs to make its way outside. Humans and Soldiers of Relith Science seek to contain the Creature, to study it and likely try to control its immense potential.

The graphics are very much something from 16-32 bit era in presentation. It is very easy to distinguish what is happening throughout the whole of the screen and figure out what is an active threat when there is danger nearby. Very little blends into the background that is not simply meant to.

The music is not to be understated either. For any horror game, this is part of the backbone of it. This helps add to the feeling of being the Creature throughout the whole game. It gives you a better feeling for what the humans, and soldiers might be feeling while you stalk them. Strings and horns play a big part with very good piano and synth elements to round the tracks out. The whole soundtrack for the game runs about an hour. If you like the music for horror movies, and games, give it a quick listen.

Carrion is a short game, easily just 3-6 hours to complete. There is a lot of fun to had in the post game, slithering around throughout the Facility enjoying all of your forms and power. Plus there are additional Upgrades that can be found once you have cleared the main story with a total of 9 upgrades.

This is a game that I can recommend. It's a great play over the weekend or taking your time over the course of a week or so. Navigation can get a bit challenging at times, so keep a log or make a map to aid yourself through. There are not too much resources online for maps, but a lot else is documented. Enjoy stalking the humans, learning what has happened, and decide just what the Creature will do when it is released ...

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