Carrion presents gamers with a different take on the survival horror genre. Is this trip one worth taking, or should you stick with a more traditional style of game? Check out our review and find out.
Carrion starts with you being isolated in a bio-hazard containment cell. When you become sentient, you bust out and begin to wreak havoc. It’s difficult to explain what exactly you are – a red mass of mouths, teeth, tentacles, eyes, and hunks of flesh. After your escape, you go into the vents and begin to attempt to escape the facility you are locked in. By killing and eating humans along the way, you become bigger and more powerful. Carrion isn’t a long game; you’ll probably get through it in about three to four hours.
These humans start as pushovers, but get better equipped as you go along. At first, they will have pistols or be unarmed, but later possess energy shields, assault rifles, and even flamethrowers. As it turns out, you are flammable, and you remain on fire unless you enter the water. The humans also incorporate drones, mechs, and traps into their arsenal as well. It quickly becomes evident that a straightforward rush attack won’t work.
The creature you play has a couple of few forms, which change in combat. The smaller version is easier to hide and can become invisible. The larger forms are easier to hit, but can also act as a wrecking ball with its spike ability. Both forms use a tentacle to grab enemies and drag them around. Dragging them into other enemies will knock the enemy over. You can also hit enemies with doors, chairs, shelves, and other items you can pick up. Of course, if you just want to kill them, simply drag the enemy to you and devour them. You can also take over humans and have them kill each other or hit switches for you.
Carrion is sort of a MetroidVania-lite when it comes to the genre. You do need to get specific abilities to open paths, but a lot of it is optional. Most of the time, these will lead you to new mutations that can improve your skills. These can range from less energy when cloaking, a better tracking sonar, or even an extra grabby tendril for your smaller form. While these additional mutations can be missed, the primary skills are required and can be run into as you go along.
On the flip side of all this is the story from the perspective of the humans. There are small machines you enter from time to time that put you in the role of a particular human. The best way to describe him is a guy who comes in after a significant incident and inspects the scene. He is trying to learn what happened here, and this adds a tiny bit to the story overall. Generally, you will have a minor platform puzzle to figure out, and then you are done. Even for a short game, these sections only last a couple of minutes at the most. Still, I feel this was an excellent addition to the game.
One major issue I had was that there is no map. You have this sonar-like ability that helps you find your objectives, but you don’t know what doors are locked until you are in the room. I did get lost a couple of times because of this, and it made things very frustrating. I guess the reasoning is that this creature wouldn’t have a map, but it is still annoying. It’s also worth noting this game is not for the squeamish; there is a ton of blood and viscera.
Carrion is undoubtedly a unique take on the survival horror genre. There are a couple of misses, but for the most part it works well for those with a few hours to kill.
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