Everyone love’s a good horror game and for me, Moons of Madness is a game that does it once minus one single grievance I have towards it but more on that later. In terms of horror Moons of Madness isn’t really on the same grounds as Alien Isolation or even Resident Evil in terms of how horrifying it is.
But where Moons of Madness succeeds in scaring every piece of feces out of my specter is the tension it builds during the game at times you’ll be chased, and attacked wildly and try to avoid getting eaten by Graboids if you’re unfamiliar with that term go watch the old movie Tremors and get back to me.
Moons of Madness has a pretty straight-forward game-play element trying to survive at times, solve various puzzles and move the narrative along much like a lot of horror-based genre games but it’s very lenient on the horror replacing it more with jump scares and a deep narrative much like a ’90s horror film.
You play Shane an individual who’s got a traumatic past and who now happens to be stationed on Mars for an organization called Orochi. It’s during these excavations of Mars and the growth of the station that everyone begins to have horrific nightmares much like Lovecraftian horror and it’s then that Shane’s past comes back to haunt him.
Unearthing ancient relics from a long-forgotten civilization that lived on Mars the crew of the Orochi research facility on Mars has to fend for itself before all hope is lost for humanity.
As I said, it takes the whole 90’s action-horror very literally in its gameplay, but considering that 90’s action-horror movies also gave us the Alien it more than makes up for it. Moons of Madness plays on these movie tropes to help build suspense and the atmosphere of fear and anxiety during gameplay to further illustrate that not knowing what will happen creates the greatest tension in a game.
It’s a wonderfully horrifying game that’s left me putting my controller down and walking out of my room going “nope!” as I still have issues with horror genres as a whole. But that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy my time playing it.
Moons of Madness is in its own right a wonderful and horrifying title that is on par with Alien Isolation and Resident Evil while still being true to its own unique build and charm and has proven it. It does kind of make me want to see a movie of it at some point as I feel it would also be a good stand-alone movie much like how Dread Out succeeded in scaring the pants off of me.
My only credence with the title is just how much it forces you to interact with and I do mean everything. We’re talking about every single button on a control console to playing with some toys you have laying around and opening up the cockpit of the shuttle to your playing with just to drop out some astronauts with just so much to interact with it becomes tiresome wherein Resident Evil and Alien Isolation those options are limited to the menus and not the surrounding areas, the only reason I can come up with for this is world-building?
In summary Moons of Madness is wonderful, do I recommend picking it up? Yes, but only if you have a spare pair of pants handy or you love Lovecraftian horrors in space. Moons of Madness is a wonderful game with a deep plot and story and I’ve deeply enjoyed it then I deeply enjoyed watching people play it and get scared because that was more entertaining for me.
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