The new Texas Chain Saw Massacre takes you back to 1974

Tobe Hooper’s dizzying 1974 film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre it is a slasher masterpiece of unequaled brilliant beauty. None of his prosaic sequels managed to recreate its magnetic horror: scorching viewers with an orange sun and throwing them into an orange smoker where a barbecue is held, just like the original. But developer Gun Interactive is sure to try to capture that in its upcoming asymmetric horror game The Texas Chainsaw Massacreart and sound director and general manager Wes Keltner tells me.

“We could have just taken some ingredients that some people find scary and slapped [cadaver-wearing antagonist] Leatherface, but we don’t work that way,” says Keltner in an email about the game: deadline August 18. “This unique blend […] discomfort, absolute terror and beauty had to be in the game for us to deserve it The Texas Chainsaw Massacre“.

Recreating Texas The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Studio Gun Interactive toiled under the looming shadow of the skull-shaped film in pursuit of that law, poring over the film and its details like an obscure bible verse.

“We spent weeks in rural Texas towns taking over 10,000 photos that were referenced by the artists,” Keltner says of setting up the game’s location. “We studied the sounds, insects, flora and fauna present in Texas exactly in the month our game takes place.” They even checked the migratory patterns of Texas songbirds to ensure that if the player hears the occasional ambient chirp, it’s accurate.

“Obsessive? Yes,” says Keltner, hearing your thoughts. But “if something is a little off, it can push you towards reality, thus killing the illusion we’ve been creating for the last three years of our lives.”

“We want the fan to be completely immersed in the world Texas Chainsawhe continued. “Every sound, every plant, every drop of blood.”

The original film relishes – in close-ups and tense, drawn-out shots – a group of friends who are beaten with a sledgehammer by a cannibalistic family that makes mass murder look as simple as plucking chicken feathers. But he’s clearly out of blood.

You can only take a quick, unexpected look at it, brushed between the rough skin of a road killer’s armadillo like balm, accumulating in the cannibal’s hand after it cuts itself, or forming a wet ball on the tip of Sally’s heroine’s finger just before a dried-up grandpa sucks it clean. Its infrequent appearance makes it more significant, especially as it collects and dries on Sally’s body, rewarding her unwavering exhausting screams with red. It also makes, as Keltner notes, “perceived gore much more relevant.” your full body terror.

Much of the film’s horror relies on the spectator’s escaping imagination. The camera never shows Pam’s character’s wound as Leatherface glues her to the waiting meat hook, but you see her suffer, unable to move or breathe, and you can imagine the wound as worse than it is.

Gun Texas strives for similar suggestibility. “The game might increase the gore a bit more compared to the movie, but it’s still not the backbone or the main visual tone or gameplay,” says Keltner. “We didn’t want to look at other movies that might have more brutal gore and try to cram that into this game. It wouldn’t be too Texas“.

Asymmetric horror done differently

To keep things Texasthe game retains the movie cast format – a few friends get gutted by a few depraved butchers – and translates that easily into an asymmetric survival horror, the kind of how Dead in the daylightAlso inspired by the 1974 movie, he sets his game.

But unlike DbDor other one-on-many horror games like Evil Dead: The Game Or Friday the 13th: gamealso published by Gun, Texas it will be 3 out of 4With five family members AND five victimsall with unique abilities that players can choose from.

“What makes The Texas Chainsaw Massacre what’s so special is that we find the killer family […]. They protect their way of life, protect their property, and protect themselves – or so they tell themselves,” says Keltner. “When players take control of these assassins, they’re not playing monsters or absolute killing machines – they’re playing damaged humans. Like the victims, these characters talk to each other, they have relationships that we’re trying to portray.”

The killers in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre are arranged in trading cards.

Choose your cannibal.
Picture: Interactive weapon

Single-player matches or matches with bots will not be possible, but Keltner hopes that the games’ meticulously crafted yet unscripted format will increase players’ genuine, spontaneous fear.

“Killer patrols will not be predictable, their actions will be improvised based on what the team is thinking, communicating and acting at the moment,” he says. “When you’re the Victim, hiding in a pool of shadows behind the couch, and several Family members enter the room, you don’t know if they’re going to check where you are exactly or if I’m just passing by. This tension and fear you feel is greater than when you face an AI whose path you have memorized.

In this sense, Texas tries to provide all the typical asymmetric multiplayer high scores that rely on temperamental players to keep its gameplay fun. Conveniently, this more tumultuous anxiety ties in well with the soul of the 1974 film as well, something Keltner constantly returns to.

Not a remake, but a prequel

But deviating slightly from Gun’s quest for film accuracy, the game’s story does serve somewhat as a prequel for the first film, with recognizable Family members and victims that are new to the franchise.

“In our game, these teens were put in this situation on purpose,” says Keltner. “Ana, one of the characters you can play as, has assembled this group to find her sister Maria, who has gone missing in this part of Texas.”

Due to the unpredictable nature of asymmetric multiplayer, Texas also abandons the cinematic concept of the “last girl”, although originator of the term Carol J. Clover credits the film with starting the trope in her seminal essay Her Body, Himself: Gender in a Slasher Movie. (“For almost thirty minutes of screen time – one-third of the film – we watch [Sally] screaming, running, flinching, jumping out of windows, being injured and maimed. Her will to survive is amazing; finally, bloodied and staggering, she finds the highway,” writes Clover.

“The ending combinations are too extensive” to commit to a charged term or generally predict any single victim, says Keltner. Instead, the game individualizes victims in a different way.

“We wanted to make sure […] that every player feels as if they have just gone through their personal version The Texas Chainsaw MassacreKeltner says. “The characters have dialogue with each other, they have reactions, conversations and emotions that we wanted to convey so that players really capture the narrative they are creating as they play – whether they survive the ordeal or not.”

This may or may not work for you. Keltner knows that for some, great horror will be defined by “lots of scary jumps.” For others, they want slow, rising tension and fear. Still others just want horror and blood everywhere,” he says. But Texasthe game is governed by respectful devotion to the film, rather than typical asymmetric multiplayer conventions, viewers demanding slaughteror even Saturn Retrograde.

“For us,” he tells me, “we’ll look at the original property and say, ‘That’s what we’re doing.’

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