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Slender Arrives - Are We Still Scared?

We go hands on with the beta version of Parsec's latest.

There may be a plethora of games inspired by the Slender Man mythos out there but perhaps the most popular (and the original) is Slender: The Eight Pages, which was developed by Parsec Productions. Released last June, The Eight Pages inspired developers and kick-started the trend of Slender Man games which has seen many clones.

We love Slender: The Eight Pages here at TheSixthAxis – it was the game we all played after dark at last year’s Eurogamer Expo, to get away from those other games and it gave us a good laugh watching each other jump out of our skin as Slender Man claimed yet another victim.


New levels will come with the full game in March.
If you’re not sure what Slender is all about, you’re able to download it here.

Basically it’s a very creepy game in which you travel through a forest collecting notes – the titular eight pages – as you go, all while avoiding Slender Man: a tall, suited fellow with a rather blank expression who likes to play with your fear.

Slender: The Arrival is a true successor and – from my experience with the beta version – a worthy sequel to Parsec Production’s first horror outing. The beta is an evolution of the first game; while the finished game will have an actual storyline and many more levels, this version puts you back into a familiar yet entirely different wooded area.

Firstly, the map’s design is far better than that of the original: the locations where you’ll find pages are actually signposted, so you won’t spend ten minutes wandering circles as you may have done in The Eight Pages. Lights glow from inside a deceptively shadowy building; an empty truck sits with one headlight blinking; a warm yet menacing fire glows next to an abandoned tent; a tower can be seen across the tall trees; and a tourist map emanates light as much it does a false sense of security.

It’s not an entirely flat area, either – there are hills which make the experience even more daunting when Slender Man could be watching from the other side, if he isn’t already behind you.

Graphics, too, have been fine-tuned – Slender Man himself is turned from a spooky but rather unrealistic model into a more humanoid but even scarier foe, his shirt and body glowing white and tie red against the darkness of his suit and extra appendages.

This time around, the point of view is styled like a video recording, making for a better explanation of the static effects while giving players something of a HUD to see how long they’ve been chasing pages and avoiding the ever-present foe. There’s a dull mist across the map which, when coupled with the excellent lighting effects, makes Slender Woods an extremely haunting location.

Those static effects are brilliantly executed as the game builds tension and they’re even creepier when they do finally make an appearance, thanks to the game being a lot more visually realistic and therefore more atmospheric. Everything is a bit more blue than black this time round but that isn’t a bad thing – you need not worry about being plunged into darkness once you turn your flashlight off.

Music and sounds are much the same as the game’s predecessor, which is absolutely fine as they build an ominous atmosphere once again, while leaving fans of The Eight Pages with an air of familiarity as the sounds build with each collected page.

And when Slender Man catches up to you, you’ll be running away like a maniac rather than quitting out to the main menu – this game is immersive like few others and all the better for it. It’s a very spooky experience which isn’t at all for the faint of heart – or even the hardiest among us.

Slender: The Arrival is available to pre-order on PC for just $5 (£3.28 without tax) and I’d say that the beta that you’ll get instantly is worth that alone. If this is just a taster of what’s to come when The Arrival does arrive on March 26th, I’m very excited to see where it goes next.

Slender Man has evolved. And he’s more terrifying than ever before.

9 Comments
  1. Kennykazey
    Member
    Since: Mar 2010

    Sounds cool, I know a couple of my friends will like it. Does it have controller support?

    Comment posted on 13/02/2013 at 09:49.
    • Blair Inglis
      hisnameisblair
      Since: May 2009

      I’ll have a look later.

      Comment posted on 13/02/2013 at 11:02.
    • Blair Inglis
      hisnameisblair
      Since: May 2009

      I don’t think it has a controller point (though the keyboard/mouse controls should be simple enough) but remember – this is just the beta; the full version may have that functionality.

      Comment posted on 13/02/2013 at 22:57.
    • Kennykazey
      Member
      Since: Mar 2010

      OK, thanks. It’s just that I prefer connecting my PC to the telly when gaming, and so to be able to sit a few meters away, I need to use a 360 controller.

      Comment posted on 14/02/2013 at 19:24.
  2. Origami Killer
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    Just preordered the game, and downloading the beta as we speak. Sounds really good! Looking forward to playing the beta alone!

    Only gripe I had with the original Slender was that the slender man wasn’t always consistent in how fast he caught you.

    Comment posted on 13/02/2013 at 12:24.
  3. RudeAwakening
    Member
    Since: Jan 2011

    I haven’t played Slender- the eight pages, don’t have a good enough laptop for pc games, still would love to play it as i love horror and always found the pc had the best horror games.

    Was wondering though is this a sequel to Slender-the eight pages or more of an updated polished version of the first one?

    Comment posted on 13/02/2013 at 21:57.
    • Blair Inglis
      hisnameisblair
      Since: May 2009

      You don’t really need anything that powerful for The Eight Pages. You should at least try it.

      This is a full sequel – the beta only has an updated version of the original, but the full game will have new levels and a full story, etc.

      Comment posted on 13/02/2013 at 22:51.
      • Origami Killer
        Member
        Since: May 2010

        The beta doesn’t run that well on my laptop unfortunately, still it’s manageable to play.

        Comment posted on 14/02/2013 at 12:26.
      • Blair Inglis
        hisnameisblair
        Since: May 2009

        It does seem to be a very intensive game – it only runs on medium on my gaming PC – so hopefully they optimise it before the full release.

        Comment posted on 14/02/2013 at 12:32.

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