Grave Blends Past and Present Horror Mechanics for a Brand New Fright

As proved by its popularity, the horror game genre is an open-field for exploration and experimentation. With past games leaning more on helplessness and atmosphere, and newer titles leaning towards action, FPS experiences, Broken Window Studios is looking both ways. Their upcoming title, Grave, is a horror-action FPS game with Oculus Rift support.

Grave features a beautiful, surrealistic landscape. (Think Salvador Dali’s paintings gamified, with sun-bathed, desolate sand and rocks.) The protagonist just finds himself or herself in the desert, as though it was a dream. Shortly, he or she finds that strange creatures stalk from the shadows, emerging mainly at night. Grave has a night and day cycle, and while the hot sands and lonely buildings are worth admiring, the hero needs to find some supplies if there’s any hope of survival.

The world in Grave is shifting and rearranging. New regions can appear overnight, creating new opportunities for exploration and scavenging. Moreover, the game has many procedural and randomized systems, which varies up object placement and enemy spawns. As for the combat, the creators aren’t leaving the protagonist defenseless. The primary weapon is light, and various sources of it. The most basic are matches that provide some vision, but they can also be used to light gasoline on fire. A flashlight can focus its beam at the creatures, fighting them off, provided the batteries have juice. However, the enemies have a variety of features and weaknesses, so the player will have to learn to find the best ways to target each foe. With this night and day cycle, and combat options, Grave wants to give the user the option to play the horror game in his or her style: Choosing tactics such as fortifying and scavenging, or otherwise arming themselves with weapons and going out looking for trouble.

Grave is rounded out by a crafting system and multiple characters weaved into the story, accompanied by unique challenges and experiences. As new threats emerge each night, so do new opportunities.

“A world previously seen as empty reveals itself to have other real people living within it,” the Kickstarter page states. “Although the creatures are frightening, their existence seems to have some larger, yet untold significance. The rest is left for the player to discover.”

Grave currently has 25 days left to go in its Kickstarter campaign, with close to $4,000 pledged out of the $30,000 goal. The game also has an ongoing Steam Greenlight campaign. Broken Window Studios is looking to release in early 2015 on Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. It’s looking to be a promising horror experience, especially noting the Oculus integration.

Luke has wide interests in games, from compelling fighting, action, and RPG titles to deeper interactive, storytelling titles that push today's genres and boundaries - especially awesome if they're related to diversity. Feel free to reach out on Twitter or via email.

  • I’ve been following this game for a while now, and can’t wait for it to come out. Seems like it’ll have a lot of replay-ability if all goes as planned(and they reach their kickstarter goal). If I had expendable money I’d definitely be putting in for this one. This and The Forest are by far the most promising horror games on Greenlight at the moment.