(Note: This review specifically covers the Wii U version of Slender: The Arrival)
For those few who are unfamiliar with this iconic horror game, Slender: The Arrival is a game developed by Blue Isle Studios based off of the famous creepy-pasta, Slender Man. The game starts off with you getting out of your crashed car in the middle of the woods. You stumble upon an abandoned house and learn about someone named Kate.
The clues that you pick up lead you to a room in the house with walls covered in eerie notes and drawings depicting Slender Man. As you leave the room, you hear a scream in the woods. Only armed with a flashlight and a video camera, you go into the woods to investigate. From this point forward, you advance through several stages where you have to either collect or activate different objects while avoiding Slender Man as well as his accomplices, each requiring a different tactic to avoid them and getting killed, until you reach the final stage.
The game relies on jump-scares with Slender Man having the ability to teleport anywhere he wants. Whenever Slender Man or any of his accomplices gets close, the HUD will flicker green and there will be a sharp spike of static in the audio. The gameplay is simple and repetitive, which doesn’t offer much replay value, if any at all. The atmosphere is very heavy and daunting, however, the daunting feeling can easily dull and potentially immune yourself to the eeriness the game initially offered due to the repetitive nature of the game. This won’t be an issued for those easily scared, but for most who enjoy horror games, it ruins the entire game. The story is lacking, putting the game’s repetitive gameplay in the spotlight as the main focus.
Despite the flaws of the game, it is still initially entertaining nonetheless. The first playthrough can be quite terrifying as well as frustrating if you can’t find the objects you are looking for. The game is quite short, only taking about one to three hours to complete depending on the skill of the player.
When playing the game, I had a few instances where it would freeze and needed a system reboot. I also feel that the resolution and texture quality of the Wii U version is somewhat lacking for such a non-demanding game. While it may not perform up to standard, it is still very much playable, but hopefully there will be an update that addresses these issues.
Slender: The Arrival is a decent horror game the first time around, but the more you play it, the horror aspect slowly diminishes until you have a not-so terrifying game with not-so great gameplay with not-so much story.