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David Martin
David Martin

House Of Ashes

The final stand takes place inside one of the farmhouses. Each character will have their own QTE survival sequence. Players will need to do well here to ensure that their characters don't die just minutes away from surviving the horrors of the night.

House of ashes

The game starts with a prologue setting up the historical events that lead to the shenanigans in the present day, and your input is so minimal you're basically free to make a sandwich. Then there are at least 30 minutes before you even get any horror, and instead have to trudge through a painful made-for-TV war movie that sets up the basic personality types - he's an arsehole, he's the smart mouth, she's the bitch etc - with soap opera style conversations as our gang of Marines raid a house, shoot some locals, and end up underground. Horror can make you feel a lot of things, dread, fear, discomfort, weird sexual stuff if you're a Clive Barker reader, but you should never feel bored. It seems to go on for so long that you're basically rooting for the monsters to start killing people horribly. The only thing that will make you uncomfortable during these opening hours is the way the game doesn't seem sure what comment it wants to make on the issue of American Marines in Iraq, fumbling story beats about heroin dealing, shooting unarmed civilians, and some pondering about "maybe war is bad?" like it's a high school essay.

Of course there are more than a couple of the obligatory jump scares, but the game does a great job of maintaining a more slow-burning sense of fear too. These characters are but children standing in the houses of the dead - temples built to honour deities thousands of years old. As you peer into the darkness, wondering what might be peering back, you get that this is an ancient evil, something far beyond your characters' mere mortal comprehension. Mythology fans will find plenty to enjoy here, as the game dives deep into Mesopotamian antiquity. You'll get even more background on its influences if you hunt around for secrets, but know that demon king Pazuzu probably doesn't have the best interests of our characters at heart. 041b061a72


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