E3 2010: Splatterhouse Hands On

E3 2010: Splatterhouse Hands On

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The bloodiest game of its time is back, and, well, Splatterhouse is bloodier than ever.

When Splatterhouse was first released in American arcades in 1989, it was one of the first videogame titles to receive backlash for its over-the-top blood, gore, and horror movie aesthetic. That made the console release on the TurboGrafx-16 heavily censored, and sparked a debate on videogame violence that still rages today. Namco's decision to redesign the game for AAA release on today's consoles might mean that videogame makers no longer feel the need to apologize for "adult" content. Or it just may mean that they are batshit crazy.

The story has remained largely unchanged from the first game, although there are some departures. A guy named Rick and his girlfriend Jennifer are attacked by creatures coming from the mansion of their teacher, Dr. West. Jennifer is taken and Rick mortally wounded. A white mask is in Rick's reach, and a voice beckons him to put it on. Rick does so, and is transformed into a bulky version of himself. The mask speaks to Rick and instructs him that he must move through the mansion (the titular Splatterhouse) to save his girlfriend. Basically it's Rocky Horror Picture Show meets The Mask.

The plot isn't that important, because the game is all about style. Rick brawls his way through waves of ever more disgusting creatures. Each blow sends splatters of blood across the screen. The interior of the mansion, all twisted and filled with demon-spawning goo, is drawn in comic-book style, not quite cell-shaded, but close. The comic-ness is accentuated when Rick builds up enough power and enters Rage mode. Everything goes black and white, except for the blood, and Rick's attacks pack a whole lot more punch.

Gore abounds in almost every facet of the game. You can rip off the arms of enemies and then beat them with it as a melee weapon. The same with heads or skulls. The finishing move for one boss (a short QTE that plays once its life reaches zero) involves ripping off its devil horns in a spray of blood. You can then throw those horns at the next enemy. Puzzles are just as gory. One room had me picking up enemies and impaling them on spikes. Once I had impaled four bodies in such a way, the door opened and Rick was able to continue his journey into the Splatterhouse.

The brawling combat of Splatterhouse is fun, and the horror/comic book aesthetic worked for me. I also kind of dug how Namco didn't pull punches in the marketing for this game. It is what it is, made to be enjoyed by adult gamers. It contrasted greatly with the kid-friendly family fare being schilled at more prominent booths. Playing Splatterhouse on the E3 show floor next to the Harvest Moon display was an odd moment for me, but one that I will cherish as a signature moment of this year's show.

Splatterhouse is due out this fall on the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3.

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Dammit, no PC version? Bah. Loved how creepy Splatterhouse was but I was only mediocre at it.

Still pulls some of the best "BOO, you're dead." moves ever though. Bloody maggots.

Interesting, however I'd rather see them develop new horror IPs than re-doing old ones.

Something to keep an eye on though.

Oh, after three years of no Info, I get this?

*step feet with intense anger*

You better have a good reason mister.

Any second now, a horde of mothers and lawyers will come together to bitch about this. Seriously, Splatterhouse, this is not helping the gaming community.

that looks so sweet shame I preordered fallout:nv instead :\
probably going to regret it as well

Well, that sounds like my kind of game! Gore and schlock!

Too bad it won't be on PC.

I need something else to go on. The screenshots tell me "really terrible graphics and repetetive enemies". The hands on tells me mediocre button mashing brawler.

Adding intense gore as a gimmick can't carry a game.

Huh. It's a good thing I'm not particularly interested in this, seeing there's an extremely good chance that we won't be seeing it here in Australia. Hope you guys enjoy it though!

As it is, it will be lucky to sell 150k, add Kratos to it as the protagonist and the same game sells a million.

I remember playing the original Splatterhouse on the Turbo graphics. I liked the cartoony graphics and gore in place of actual blood and guts. Made the game stick in my head more. Never could beat the final boss though. Too many monsters coming at me while I tried to kill...what was the last boss? The actual house? Your girlfriend? Both?

OT: Pass on this game probably. Too bloody for my taste.

I think the brawler genre is ignored way too often and quite frankly the graphics look awesome. HDR can go fuck itself.

The 12-year-old me loved playing this game in the arcade. But after three God of Wars and other similar M-rated games, does a Splatterhouse update really add anything new? Still, if it focuses on style and fun and doesn't get sidetracked into RPG-elements or other distractions it could be a good way to kill a few hours.

Well it certainly dosnt make any illusions to what its not, and, I respect it for that, Looks like it is fun and should be thotughly entertaining!

Awesome. Too bad it's not for PC. :(

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A game simply about revelling in combat, I can get behind that!
Here's hoping the controls are good and what voice acting there is isn't bad.

I played it to death on the megadrive. Im not sure I'll be so keen as a 3D brawler. With the exception of ninja gaiden and Arkham asylum these games don't really grab me.

bjj hero:
I played it to death on the megadrive. Im not sure I'll be so keen as a 3D brawler. With the exception of ninja gaiden and Arkham asylum these games don't really grab me.

No, but they certain grab lots of things! Ha, ha!

I'll go sit in the corner... again.

Splatterhouse was next to Harvest Moon? LOL that kid is going to be scarred for life! Not to mention their parents pissed! Sounds interesting, but I'm not really a fighting/brawler gamer, so probably not going to get.

Andronicus:
Huh. It's a good thing I'm not particularly interested in this, seeing there's an extremely good chance that we won't be seeing it here in Australia. Hope you guys enjoy it though!

My thoughts exactly. If visible blood effects on enemies is enough for a ban (Silent Hill: Homecoming), this doesn't stand a chance. Sounds like a nice bout of crazy, violent fun though if it does get through. Not exactly my kind of game, but looks like its worth trying.

Eh I'm not really interested in this. I guess I might rent it but the gameplay would have to be pretty good to make up for no story.

I'm not surprised at all... it sounds so much like Madworld to me...

SupahGamuh:
I'm not surprised at all... it sounds so much like Madworld to me...

It does at points like:

Everything goes black and white, except for the blood, and Rick's attacks pack a whole lot more punch.

and

One room had me picking up enemies and impaling them on spikes.

I would agree with you, however the gameplay sounds more varied, as that second quote is actually taken from a puzzle section. It also lacks (from what I've seen of it anyway) the creative ways to kill things in MadWorld.

That and since it's not on the Wii the graphics don't hurt my eyes as much, as nice as MadWorld graphics was.

 

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