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EGX 2017: Lake Ridden

As I written before, I’m bad at playing horror games because I’m a bit of a wimp. I’d much rather watch someone handle the controller while my eyes are half-shielded by my hands or a nearby cushion. 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 right up.

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!

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!

6 thoughts on “EGX 2017: Lake Ridden

    1. I find playing games like this a little difficult at expos because they’re not the sort of thing to be played in a crowd. I just want to take them home so I can play them by myself and really get into the story!

      That being said though, there was definitely something special about Lake Ridden – you know when you pick up a title and in the first few minutes you say to yourself, ‘This will be a game for me.’ I’ll be looking out for this one when it’s released next year.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. While the horror genre never was my favorite, which I could go into a lenghty detail about, the short story is it usually makes me very angry. Other than that, I have played a few horror games in the past, Bioshock and Dead Space being my favorite among them.

    Although I have played Ethan Carter and found it interesting, from what you are telling, it might seem like a game for me since it’s more of a reminder about the good ol’ Myst game. Hope you’ll get to enjoy every minute of it when it releases, and for that, I will look forward to perhaps a review on it as well.

    Stay Cozy and have a nice day!

    Like

    1. I can see some similarities between Lake Ridden and Myst, particularly in terms of atmosphere! I got that same lonely, abandoned sense from the demo at EGX as I did when first stepping into an unknown age.

      Hopefully Lake Ridden will be a game we both enjoy. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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