When Devolver Digital announced Carrion I was instantly interested. The idea of a reverse horror game was definitely something that grabbed my interest almost instantly. During E3 2019 with high expectations and excitement, we had a chance to go hands-on with the game.
Right from the get go the creature I played as broke out of a container and I was thrown into the sci-fi landscape inspired by movies such as The Thing mixed with Alien.
My objective in Carrion was simple, infect specific areas on the current level and open the doors to continue to the next area. Everyone standing in my way was prey and they would be consumed or disposed of. You are a monster, and the game made it apparent to have the mindframe like one.
One of the things I enjoyed from the start is that I was in control of the pacing of the game. The monster moved quickly and I could choose to play aggressively to complete areas as fast as possible, or sneak around and stalk prey.
The rooms and corridors allowed for free flowing movement with very little interruptions from going from Point A to Point B. From small hiding locations, small shafts to maneuver through, or moving up walls, there was not a single moment where I was forced to wait to continue on during my play.
The main ability of the creature is its grab ability. Beyond the standard uses of flipping switches and throwing objects, you’re able to grab enemies and do what you want to them.
I grabbed onto unarmored enemies more often and began to eat them, and over time increase the size of the creature. Heavily armored enemies I would hold under water pools I would find along the level to drown them or repeatedly beat on the walls and floor until they meet their demise.
The size of the creature you play as also determines some other abilities you may use when you unlock them. A few I got to use during the demo was a charge through breakable objects, bending light to sneak around areas undetected, or spitting a web – trapping humans to walls.
Taking damage during play would decrease my size and I would be forced to find more prey to feed on to increase my size when needed. Sometimes I was able to find a sack throughout the level where I could effectively store a part of the creature and return to and cycle the size of my creature if needed.
While the monster you play as is powerful, it’s not invincible. During my time with the game it was not uncommon to be shot with a pistol. More often I was able to shrug that off, however when more heavily armored enemies came on the screen with machine guns, I would take a bit more care in my actions. Flamethrowers however had me scrambling to run and hopefully find water to put the fire that was consuming me out.
The visuals of the game really emphasized the tone of the game. Its highly detailed and well animated pixel art of the environments, enemies, as well as the creature, all were visually appealing.
It was easy to see everything on the screen even in the darkest of areas in areas of low lighting. It’s also worth noting Phobia Studio took the time to take a relatively clean environment I would have stumbled through and transformed it into a highly detailed, gory mess after killing or eating everyone around me.
Going into Carrion not knowing what to expect and walking away with excitement, it’s definitely a game to look out for. Slated for a 2020 release, I can’t wait to play it again and chase down some unsuspecting humans again.
Carrion will be launching on Windows PC, Mac, Linux (all via Steam), and unannounced consoles sometime next year.