Wednesday, June 26, 2019

"Slender: The Arrival" Switch Review

Fan fiction and viral memes helped spread the bizarre, upstart legend of Slender Man online, spawning video games and a film. The aloof sense of mystery and plodding sadism of the grim apparition is enough to give you shivers, but he's still looking for a project that captures the sense of dread he's capable of instilling.

Developer Blue Isle Studios places you in a murky, dreamlike forest that's reminiscent of the early "Silent Hill" games. Survival horror titles need to hit just the right tone to stay chilling without devolving into obtuse exercises in frustration.

While "Slender: The Arrival" does pack its share of emergent scares, it struggles to stay grounded enough to send chills down your spine. Many Switch games execute just as well in handheld mode as they do on TV, but "Slender" comes  off as cheap and flimsy when played portably.

To truly appreciate the game, you need to switch off the lights, sink into the couch and lose yourself in the dank, labyrinthine paths in which the game finds its more frantic, sudden moments of satisfying horror.

As with many Switch ports, though, the effort seems too cramped and forced to do justice to the original vision. Choppy movement and muddy visuals stand out more than they did in previous iterations, making it feel as though you're stuck with a copy of a copy plagued with compromises.

You resent Slender Man not for his uncanny ability to stalk and kill you, but because is such a droll , lifeless affair that you become bitter that he doesn't show up often enough to liven things up. "Slender" is too slim to be the robust horror experience Switch owners crave.

Publisher provided review code.

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