Kriophobia By Fira Soft
Kriophobia claims to be a new take on Survival Horror which, while inspired by the core concepts of the genre, isn’t afraid to pull out a few surprises. The game made it through the Steam Greenlight process in only 13 days, but its Kickstarter campaign could do with a lot more attention. The game will allow players to take control of a geologist named Anna who got herself stuck on an island in northern Russia. Her study of seismic activity brought her to this remote area, but it is a solitude that she has sought out herself. It would appear that Anna is haunted by events from her past which is why she shuns civilization. However, when she falls into a sealed military complex by accident Anna has to save her colleagues while also confronting whatever it is lurking in the dark.
The story certainly sounds very intriguing, but Fira Soft is promising that it will have the gameplay to back it all up. The game sticks to the fixed camera angle approach that made early titles in the genre so atmospheric, but opts for a graphic novel style art direction. The result is a mix of 2D and 3D art that lends itself well to the genre. Instead of clunky keyboard controls the game also uses a point and click based interface for user interaction.
We checked out the very early demo for the game and, while short, it does offer a glimpse of what the full game will offer. Gameplay is based around exploring the environment and solving puzzles in order to proceed. In the demo Anna is confronted by several locked doors and has to solve a puzzle to restore electricity to the facility in order to gain access. Unfortunately, doing so also activates some steam vents which causes “something” that was encased in ice to escape. The demo ends with Anna making her escape from said “thing” and ending up deeper in the sinister facility.
Based on our experience with the demo Kriophobia is definitely a title that will appeal to survival horror fans. The visuals are detailed, but appear a little static in the demo, so hopefully the full release will bring the scenes to life with more animations. The soundtrack and effects are definitely sounding great already, but we are not quite sold on the voice acting. The mouse based controls also work quite well and interacting with the gameworld is very simple. Overall the demo definitely has us looking forward to the full game.
If all goes well Fira Soft aims to deliver the game in chapters, with the first installment available in 2015 and subsequent chapters releasing within 3-4 months of each other. The full game should be ready before the end of 2016. At the time of writing the game has only made 12% of its Kickstarter goal and there are less than two weeks left to pledge, so it needs all the publicity it can get to make its target. Fans of the survival horror genre should definitely check out the demo to get a feel for what Kriophobia will have to offer. The demo is short and a little rough around the edges, but it definitely captures the feel of genre classics such as the early Resident Evil and Silent Hill titles well. We really hope that the project succeeds as we would love to find out what happens next to Anna.