Protocol Games has been working on bringing back what survival horror used to be, before it became more of an action genre with some jump-scares. In August of 2014, Song of Horror was conceived: a third-person survival horror determined to freak you out and make you feel completely helpless—you know, like in the good ol’ days.
We aim to preserve and recover the feelings that the old-school survival horror masterpieces provoked in us, while also taking advantage of current technologies to build upon those foundations.
Daniel Noyer is a washed-up advertiser who has fallen on hard times; now, he has a crappy position at a publishing house. Daniel’s boss asks him to check up on the company’s most important client, renowned writer Sebastian P. Husher, who has missed some deadlines and meetings to turn in a first draft. Believing Husher has only gone dark without notifying the company, Daniel takes on the simple task. Upon arrival to Husher’s mansion, Daniel quickly realizes something is wrong: missing guard dog, lights off even though it’s night time, ajar door, dark hallway. I would have ran away and called the police, but I guess that wouldn’t be much of a game.
Daniel won’t be the only character you play as. You will take control of up to 16 different characters, depending on how long you can keep your characters alive. The game is divided into different chapters—not like Telltale Games episodic games—when you begin most of the chapters, you’ll choose a character to start. If your character dies, that’s it for that character and his/her storyline; you will have to choose another character to continue where the previous one died off. Each character has his/her own backstory, but will still fit in with the main story.
All of the playable characters are ordinary people—a doctor, shop clerk, alarms technician, sales director—with no fighting skills or weapons. To make the situation even more unnerving, the enemy is intangible, which means no combat, no defenses—not even a camera will help you. Your choices are to run, hide and “do whatever it takes to survive”; sometimes those options won’t be enough to get away from “twisted manifestations” of a “primeval horror.” Oh yea, no save points either. The game saves, but you won’t have control of when.
Defenselessness, constant terror, that “NO WAY I’M GOING DOWN THERE” moment… all of it, wrapped with an enthralling story, one that does not let you quit the game even when a part of you is wishing you did just that.
There are a variety of puzzles and riddles in the game. Some are small obstacles, others are life threatening. To keep tensions high, Protocol Games uses a movie-like camera style; all the cameras are automated, meaning players will have no control over them.
I’m interested to see how well all these different stories will fit into the main story. Husher is well-known, so you can assume he knows a lot of people, or at least has a lot of people working for him. A bunch of stories and characters can be distracting at times, but I’m definitely intrigued to learn about them all. This game looks and sounds scary; it reminds me a little of P.T., which, of course is a major plus—super Silent Hill fan over here.
Though Song of Horror is still in its early-development stage, the game looks great and has a lot of potential to be a horrifying experience. Protocol Games hasn’t announced a release window or platform, but you can stay updated by following its Twitter and Facebook page.
For more indie news, follow RaShaun on Twitter