Running around a maze while being chased by a huge monster or fiend is as old as time. In Greek myth, there was the story of the minotaur and the labyrinth of Crete. The hero Theseus travelled through the maze with a ball of thread to help from being lost, while always being hunted by the furious minotaur. Countless games have used this template for games, especially in the early FPS games in the 1980s.
Here in The Red Exile – Survival Horror, you are a hero forced to travel through identical rooms while being hunted by a mad psychopath. Can you escape?
I feel like I am constantly running away from monsters, hiding in lockers. It’s something that has been extremely prevalent across the survival horror genre over the last few years.
In The Red Exile – Survival Horror, there isn’t any story at all. You are a nameless person who – for some reason – finds themselves in a maze of bland rooms with bland doors. Some of these doors have boards over them, blocking them. And there are items dotted around and lockers to hide in. But hide from what I hear you ask…
Well, there is a strange human-like monster stalking you through this maze of rooms and doors. Who he is, what he wants and what his purpose in life is, remains a mystery. There is so little instruction and purpose in The Red Exile – Survival Horror that you do feel a bit at a loose end. At times, it feels a bit pointless.
Your objective is to find a summoning circle. It’s hidden somewhere in the map of doors and its location displayed in the hub every time you start a new game. There is a pentagram in this room and five candles are needed to complete the ceremony and finish the game.
It’s up to you to travel around the map, which is procedurally generated every time you start, and find the candles. They could be behind any door. You also get the chance to get a crowbar to open barred doorways or an injection to calm your beating heart and give you a boost of speed.
The more candles you collect the nearer and closer the monster gets to hunting you. If he spots you, the chase begins and you can run away. If you see one of those lockers you can hide in it and wait for it to go away. If he gets you then a small animation happens, the game is over and you need to start again. There’s no doubt that you could – in theory – complete The Red Exile – Survival Horror in some fifteen minutes of so. But there’s also a chance it could take you hours. It really does just feel like a roll of the dice.
When you finish a game, you’ll grab perk points depending on how well you’ve done. You can use these points to buy – surprisingly – perks, like the ability to have a crowbar from the start of the run or one that allows for more lockers to be placed around. There’s a chance these perks will allow for replayability, even if – like me – your mind is telling you to quit now.
Visually, The Red Exile – Survival Horror is very simple. You’ll be looking at rooms with doors and bits of detritus scattered around. The strange Psycho man looks fine and scary, but that soon loses its effect after the twentieth time he has captured you. Sound-wise there are some nice tense effects like a heartbeat noise and a burst of evil laughter echoing around the rooms as you run away.
For the price, The Red Exile – Survival Horror could be considered good value. But it doesn’t have enough to keep the interest going, even with the perk system. There is an easy achievement list to go through and that negates the need to head back in multiple times.
There’s no doubt that The Red Exile – Survival Horror is well put together and it does deliver an interesting concept and thrill ride, but there are plenty of other games in this genre that provide a more diverse experience.