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Cannibal Abduction Review

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There are two types of horror experiences. The first focuses on hordes of creatures coming at you, be they in the form of zombies, angry vampires, or werewolves. Think The Walking Dead or Resident Evil. But then there are the solo horror experiences, as you are stalked by a singular entity intent on wiping you from the face of the earth – Jaws, Alien Isolation, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

That last callback is the vibe that Cannibal Abduction looks to follow, with its family based in the deep south of America, as you are followed around a strange house. Let’s get ready to scream. 

cannibal abduction review 1
Broken down car in a horror game? What’s the worst that could happen?

You actually get two games for the price of one in Cannibal Abduction on Xbox. And that is because Night of the Scissors, the developer’s first game, is included as well. The game could fit right at home on the PS1 or alongside those 90’s PC games like Alone in The Dark. Its gameplay and visuals are a homage to those types of games, as you utilise fixed cameras in the rooms you explore and move the main character like a tank, pointing them in the right direction and then moving that way with the same stick. 

You play Henry, a young buck with a head full of adventure. It’s here where Henry borrows his Dad’s truck and goes for a ride. The bad news though is that the truck breaks down in the middle of the highway, all before a friendly local stranger comes by and offers to help. 

He takes Henry back to a farm, hoping to sort the car. Henry goes into the main house to fix something for the man, before finding himself locked in a room; everyone has gone. When he escapes, he fast discovers that he is not alone and has to find a way to escape.

The story and writing found in Cannibal Abduction aren’t particularly original, borrowing heavily from many a horror movie, but with a knowing wink to the audience. And the tone itself is fitting; visually Cannibal Abduction comes with lines across it, like you are watching a VHS horror movie from the 80’s. That is complemented by the discovery of notes all around the house, giving an idea of what has happened to the family who lives there, as well as what, and who, is stalking you. 

cannibal abduction review 2
Ah yeah, many bad things…

The gameplay is very old-fashioned, making the most of those tank controls as mentioned. This is okay but it does take a while to get used to it. The problem is, when the stalker appears you have to try and run away, hoping to hide. Running with this control system is a nightmare. I hated it back in the day and it hasn’t improved since then. Perhaps retro hardcore gamers will love it, but it’s not for me. 

In terms of gameplay and Cannibal Abduction mostly tries to let you explore the house, much like an old-school Resi Evil game. You will find locked doors that need opening, or items that will help you move forward the narrative. You have a flashlight, and some med kits, and you also collect video tapes which are the only way of saving your progress if you come across a TV. It’s all fine and certainly honours that old 90’s gameplay style. If you want a retro buzz, it’ll provide it.  

I have to admit to liking the tone of Cannibal Abduction, especially the nicely crafted cutscenes and embracing of old tech, with movie angles and well paced scenes. The locations are fine too, but you’ll have to be a lover of fixed cameras in order to really appreciate things. It’s easy to get a bit lost at times too, especially in the darker areas. But perhaps that is the point. 

In terms of the audio, there’s no doubt that the soundtrack is very strong with some brilliantly atmospheric and tense music, specifically in the chase scenes. 

cannibal abduction review 3
At least you’ve got a torch though, right?

And remember, once you’re done with Cannibal Abduction, you’ve got Night of the Scissors to enjoy. It comes with a similar vibe but is a bit rougher around the edges, utilising some strange visuals like it’s in 3D. 

Overall, you’ll find Cannibal Abduction to be an interesting old-school hit. But I am very glad that the retro control methods used have mostly moved on; they were frustrating back in the day, and they are still frustrating now. However, the narrative and setup of the main game must both be applauded and this means Cannibal Abduction will be of appeal to hardcore retro fans. 

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Story and setup
  • Super scary, super tense
  • Soundtrack
Cons:
  • The controlling of your hero
  • Fixed cameras
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Selewi
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
  • Release date and price - 8 February 2024 | £9.99
Gareth Brierley
Gareth Brierleyhttp://www.garethbrierley.co.uk
I am an actor and a writer. I act quite a bit on stage, a little bit on tv and never on tuesdays. I have had some of my writing published and have written for TV and stage. I have been playing games since they begun and don't seem to be getting any better.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Story and setup</li> <li>Super scary, super tense</li> <li>Soundtrack</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>The controlling of your hero</li> <li>Fixed cameras</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Selewi</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 8 February 2024 | £9.99</li> </ul>Cannibal Abduction Review
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