Don't miss Xbox Game Pass's grotesque new horror game

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As someone who loves both games and movies, I'm always excited when these two worlds come together. Sometimes it's great movie adaptations of games or vice versa, but I'm even more intrigued when I can feel the influence of cinematic history in a game's DNA. Something like this until dawnfor example, a throwback to the golden age of gory slasher movies with memorable results. It's rewarding for me as a fan of both media, allowing me to make direct connections between them.

I recently gained this experience through: Still Deep Awakeningdeveloper The Chinese Room's new horror game is now available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC (it's also currently available on Xbox Game Pass). Even though it's a completely original game, it feels like a playable John Carpenter movie. Think Thing on an oil rig, but significantly more Scottish. While it doesn't quite reach that level, its short runtime and impeccable gore feel make it worth checking out.

The Depth Is Still Awakening A period piece set in 1975 on an oil rig off the coast of Scotland. Players take control of worker Cameron McLeary, who quickly finds himself in the middle of a nightmare when a disaster damages the rig. He is forced to try to escape the wreckage, a difficult task made even more difficult by the fact that he is being pursued by some kind of supernatural flesh monster.

In Still Wakes the Deep, a fleshy monster sits near a door.
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The John Carpenter influence becomes evident with the appearance of the first monster. The mysterious creature takes control of the other workers on the platform and turns their bodies into fleshy puppets that follow the broken ship. Thing probably comes to mind immediately, and it should. Still Deep Awakening It captures the same sense of paranoia that Cameron felt as he watched his colleagues slowly contract the plague. It's grotesque in every way.

There’s a lot to like here, but there are some missed opportunities. On the plus side, it’s an effective horror game, full of tense chase scenes and pulse-pounding stealth scenes. The latter brings me back to Alien: Isolation as I cower under metal grates while a mass of disordered flesh flies around me. The misshapen design of his monsters heightens this tension particularly because I am never sure when his back is turned to me or when he is looking directly at me.

As for the rest of the game, you should go in knowing what to expect. The Chinese Room is known for games like: Everyone Went to DoomsdayThey've been portrayed as “walking simulators” over the years (funny, there's an achievement called Walking Simulator here, given for not running too much during the game). The Depth Still Awakens It's a bit more comprehensive, as it focuses on first-person traversal and interaction, but it's thin on the idea. It repeats several gameplay pieces like closing valves, pulling levers, and holding on for dear life as you scale the rig over and over again. By the end of the second hour you'll have mostly done everything the game has to offer. This repetition interrupts anxiety and at times gives it a mechanical flow.

A wrecked lifeboat appears in Still Wakes the Deep.
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The promising narrative setup doesn’t quite work either. At first, the story feels like it’s trying to make a meaty social commentary about dangerous working conditions. Cameron and his colleagues are overworked and dealing with incredibly dangerous conditions without any protection. The introduction of a monster sets up this idea, in the way that the best genre films use horror as commentary, but it doesn’t really say much about the plot. Perhaps less is more, and the palpable tension of walking through a death trap is high enough, but it still feels like a layer is missing at times. It feels somewhere between a clever horror film and a fun but cheap blockbuster. deep blue sea.

Despite some brutal executions, Still Deep Awakening It scratches a certain itch. It has the energy of a bloody 80s horror movie, full of nightmares born with practical effects. Its story may not stay with me, but its meaty beast certainly does. This makes for one of this year's most anxiety-inducing horror games — one that will make you never step foot on an oil rig for the rest of your life.

The Depth Still Awakens is available now on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. You can play it now via Xbox Game Pass.

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