As I written before, I’m bad at horror games because I’m a wimp. I really enjoy a spine-tingling storyline and love books by Stephen King or Dean Koontz for example; but when I’m responsible for taking the actions, I fall to pieces and start acting like a terrified idiot.
It may therefore come as a bit of a surprise to hear that first-person horror Lake Ridden was the second title to be added to my EGX to-play list, straight after Detroit: Become Human. But it actually makes a lot of sense: developer Midnight Hub say their aim is to create a different kind of experience, ‘something that evokes a creepy atmosphere without relying on the usual use of blood and gore’, and want to offer ‘an intriguing story woven together with interesting gameplay’.
A supernatural adventure with puzzles and an atmospheric plot? Sign me up right away.
Set in a twisted Scandinavian forest, your younger sister Sofia suddenly vanishes while on a hike with her friends. You encounter an abandoned house while searching for her and to survive, and ultimately save your sibling, you must piece together the dark secret of the nearby town by finding clues and interacting with former residents. But there are shadows lurking out in the darkness; and you’ll uncover an old conflict driven by envy, madness and hate.
Lake Ridden seems to be attracting quite a bit of attention from the gaming press and much is being made of the fact it’s being created by former Mojang and Paradox developers. This does the title a disservice though and there’s a lot more to focus on. Yes, it’s so far removed from Minecraft and Stellaris that it makes good news; but it’s shaping up to be an excellent game in its own right and I can’t wait for its release!
Later Levels (@LaterLevels) September 21, 2017
I had the opportunity to play the demo at EGX and found myself in a dark but incredibly beautiful-looking forest at night. A twisting and overgrown path led to a swamp-like area that almost reminded me of the Channelwood age in Myst; and after traversing the wooden walkways, I came to a large dial with a mysterious glowing rune next to an overgrown gazebo. The trail branched off into various directions, each with lanterns that lit up when I clicked on them, and the impression of secrets being hidden in the shadows was heavy in the air.
I got the feeling that if you liked The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, you’ll enjoy this title. There were no jump-scares or any of the other tricks usually relied on by horror games, simply an eerie atmosphere which pulled me deeper into the forest. It was hard to believe that an environment so gorgeous could be sheltering anything dark and sinister; but there was definitely something there making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up on end…
Lake Ridden will be available on PC through Steam in spring 2018. In the meantime, Midnight Hub are sharing regular photos and videos on their blog and providing updates via Twitter and Facebook – go follow them!