Carrion’s reverse horror approach is a really cool one to take. It places you in the tentacled killer form of a monster, and allows you to go from area to area unleashing horrific hell. Phobia Games Studio and Devolver Digital are the perfect pairing for such an affair, and for what is a mostly a killer good time as a whole.
Carrion begins with a monster escaping from its enclosure within an underground lab. Immediately, you (as the monster) begin satisfyingly grabbing, ripping apart and eating any humans in your wake. Each human morsel gives the monster a bit of growth in size. The larger you become the more you are able to accomplish and the more areas you are able to explore.
In that way the gameplay is satisfying and simple. Move your monster around the lab and destroy, eat, kill and grow.
Along the way you pick up mutations that allow you to throw webbing, attack with bladed tentacles and even take control of humans just to name a few. Each new ability will have you looking back through previously explored areas in order to reach parts of the level previously impenetrable.
Carrion also challenges you by making the size of your carnivorous monster part of what you have to factor in to advance to other parts of the levels. This means if you are too enormous, you might have to lose some of your biomass in order to sneak through a wall vent or vice versa.
Movement is extremely satisfying in Carrion. Tentacles move you from place to place, giving your control of the monster an almost weightlessness to it. This allows for traversing that quickly becomes the feeling of being all powerful.
Carrion is completely killer.
Sadly, encounters with later armed humans becomes a little bit more difficult. In these moments, you don’t feel wholly responsible for your enemies demise. Too many thrashing tentacles and chaos erupts at times, making it hard to know exactly what you are doing or even exactly what direction you were attacking.
There is something really great about being the monster for once. After finishing countless horror games in which I’m being hunted. It’s really cool to be able to flip that around be the one terrorizing the other half.
Carrion has a great set of puzzles throughout the laboratory. These are keep things interesting between the slaughtering of humans. The developers did a nice job of making those puzzle solves feel both organic and entirely rewarding.
The game also packs an unexpected amount of story for what it appears to be on the surface. Some of the final moments of the game are akin to Inside and Limbo in the best of ways. Striking and alluring, ultimately these bits of narrative are what ends up staying with you after completing the game.
Carrion is completely killer. It creates a mix of The Blob and The Thing and plays off of big moments we know from some our favorite films in a variety of rad ways. Becoming the monstrous, antagonist should be a blueprint for games moving forward. The team behind Carrion, has ingeniously cracked the entire damn code and its a must play, especially for horror fans.