The horror genre in video games has seen a resurgence over the past few years. A number of great titles have emerged, bringing fright to gamers, with a number of upcoming games carrying the torch. Unfortunately, one of those titles was canceled some time ago: Silent Hills. Despite the cancellation of the title, and the removal of the game’s Playable Teaser (P.T.) from the PlayStation Store, there is an upcoming title carrying on the game’s spirit: Allison Road.
Allison Road seems very similar to P.T. on paper. You play as an unnamed protagonist exploring what seems at first to be an empty house. You soon find that things are not well, and that something horrible resides within the home. You are then tasked with figuring out just what happened, all while avoiding the dark force haunting the home.
And finding out what happened is one of the appeals of Allison Road; what is truly going on? This mystery lies at the heart of Allison Road. What could have possibly happened to cause the events in the game? Where is your family? This is where Allison Road takes a step away from P.T. and instead leans towards Gone Home. The house is littered with clues as to what is happening, and it is up to the player to solve the mystery. It is also up to the player to figure out what is real, and what is not.
The house that Allison Road takes place in seems ordinary at first. It looks like a normal home. Then you hear things, including a deep voice saying “I know where you are.” You go into the bathroom, and the words “SIN” and “DEATH” are inscribed on the wall in blood. And it all seems to get worse. This sort of setting and atmosphere is perfect for a horror game. And it looks like Allison Road is going in the right direction. P.T. had gone in the right direction as far as atmosphere goes, and it seems Allison Road is taking a page from the teaser.
Resident Evil had Tyrant. Fatal Frame had Kirie. Allison Road has Lily. And she looks creepy as hell. In the same spirit as Lisa from P.T., Lily is a ghastly figure haunting the player as they explore the house. And this can be terrifying, knowing that something is watching you, haunting you. Lily is pale, and has blood running down her chin and chest, as if she had just bit into something or someone. To know this malevolent force is always around the corner will keep you tense, just as it should.
Allison Road will have Oculus Rift support. While I am not entirely sold on VR, it would be pretty entertaining to play the game with a VR headset. It would be exciting to be fully immersed in a game like Allison Road, and all the more scary. I feel that one application that VR headsets would be great for is horror titles, and Allison Road could be a perfect example for that.
All in all, Allison Road seems to be doing horror right. The game is still in early development, but already seems terrifying and unsettling. We will not be playing Allison Road until sometime in 2016, but if the title continues on in the direction its heading, it will be a frightening good time.