Lust for Darkness
Gameplay 5
Graphics 7
Sound 5

Lust for Darkness attempts something a little different with the horror genre by combining it with erotic and occult themes. Unfortunately, it struggles with pacing and the overall experience is very short. There are still some good elements, such as the great environmental detail and design of the alien dimension you get to visit, but the gameplay is very shallow. Hopefully, all the issues will be addressed in a sequel as there is a lot of potential with the story and setting.

Gameplay: A walking simulator with some mild puzzles and a few enemies to evade.

Graphics: The environments are almost photo-realistic, but character models and animations are very rough around the edges.

Sound: The voice acting is not very good, but the soundtrack is decent

Summary 5.7 Above Average
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Lust for Darkness

Developer: Movie Games Lunarium | Publisher: Movie Games S.A., PlayWay S.A. | Release Date: 2018 | Genre: Adventure / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

It’s been years since the movie industry discovered that combining sex and horror is a great way to draw in audiences. However, attempts at combining these two things in games have been a little less successful. This is the niche that Movie Games Lunarium tries to explore with Lust for Darkness.

Lust for Darkness opens with a woman named Amanda waking up after being kidnapped by an unknown assailant. Some exploration reveals that she is in some type of creepy mansion and her captor has got very unsavory intentions for her. After her captor makes his appearance, the story jumps forward a year and to Jonathan Moon, Amanda’s husband. Things have clearly not been going great for him since the disappearance of his wife, so when a mysterious note is slipped under his door informing him about her whereabouts, he immediately races there. Jonathan is warned not to alert the police before going to the secluded mansion where Amanda is being kept, but upon arrival discovers that the house is home to some type of sex cult. Players must help Jonathan to sneak into the mansion and begin his search for Amanda, but in the process will learn more about the cult and their sinister objectives.

The developers stated that they were inspired by the works of Lovecraft and the paintings of Zdzisław Beksiński for this game and it clearly shows. Lust for Darkness blends occult themes with erotic imagery and doesn’t shy away in its depictions of the latter, so this is definitely not a game for the young or easily offended. Shortly after infiltrating the mansion dressed as one of the cultists, Jonathan is surrounded by all kinds of disturbing art and even stumbles across cult members engaged in an orgy. However, Jonathan is not just confined to the mansion either as it becomes clear there are portals to an alien dimension called Lusst’ghaa scattered about as well. It is this dimension of pain and pleasure that interest the cult the most, but players stepping through a portal expecting a paradise are in for a shock.

Although Lust for Darkness has some good ideas, it, unfortunately, stumbles in quite a few places as well, which makes for a somewhat disappointing experience.

The story starts out interesting enough, but due to the very short playtime, it is never really fleshed out all that much. Instead, players must search for special items in the game that reveals more about the backstory. There are three separate side stories, which can be experienced almost like an audio-book from the main menu once unlocked. Some of the stuff mentioned in these stories are quite important to the game, which makes it a pity that most players will simply overlook them. Judging by the Steam achievements awarded for discovering these stories, very few people who completed the game managed to uncover all the objects needed to unlock the side stories and thus missed out on a lot of vital information. Incorporating these side stories into the game in a more natural manner would definitely have helped in this regard.

The pacing of Lust for Darkness is also very uneven. It mostly takes the form of a walking simulator as Jonathan explores his surroundings and progresses through the story in a very linear fashion. However, occasionally there is a very basic stealth section where you have to avoid detection or parts where you encounter something that can actually kill you and must run away. Jonathan cannot pick up weapons or fight back, but once you know where the monsters are it’s actually quite easy to evade them. The game features autosaves, so death usually only puts you back a short distance.

In addition to being able to open endless drawers and cupboards to examine meticulously detailed, but ultimately useless items, Jonathan will also occasionally have to solve puzzles. Most of these are extremely simple and we sincerely doubt that anyone would struggle to complete them. The only other gameplay element worth mentioning is a special mask that Jonathan can equip in Lusst’ghaa, which allows him to see hidden pathways or enter certain doorways. However, wearing this mask for too long will drive him insane, so it has to be used in moderation. Strangely enough, Jonathan can also get freaked out by the bizarre sculptures and erotic antics of the cultists if he stares too much.

One area where Lust for Darkness really shines is in the environmental details. Although it is a short game the mansion looks great and Lusst’ghaa even better. The unsettling design of Lusst’gha in particular is a highlight as it looks extremely alien and deranged. The artists at Movie Games Lunarium also made good use of lighting to set the mood for the game. On the other hand, while the amount of detail for the scenery is incredible, the character models fare a lot worse. Not only are some of the animations a bit iffy, but the character models themselves are not nearly as good as the environments. After seeing a photo in the game of Jonathan and Amanda it also becomes very clear why everyone is wearing masks. This unfortunately extends to the voice acting as well, which is extremely uneven and made it difficult to emphasize with Jonathan. The soundtrack, which is composed by Draco Nared, is quite good, though, and adds to the creepy atmosphere of the game

As Lust for Darkness is viewed from a first-person perspective the controls are pretty standard for the genre. Jonathan is able to run and crouch, but most of your time will be spent walking and clicking on things to interact with them. Everything that you can pick up can also be rotated in all directions to examine every little detail, but as we mentioned earlier, there is usually very little reason to do so.

Players expecting Lust for Darkness to be a good psychological horror will probably be disappointed by what the game has to offer. It rarely feels like Jonathan is in danger and even the sequences where he can die can easily be completed after some trial and error. The trips to Lusst’ghaa are a highlight, but sadly these sections while very pretty are just as linear and confined as the mansion. Ultimately, Lust for Darkness is a game that had a lot of potential but sadly falls far short from realizing most of it. If you are a fan of the genre or want to see a game that attempts something a little different, then it might still be worth picking up at a steep discount, but everyone else can give it a miss.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7 / 8 / 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i3 3.2 GHz, AMD Phenom II X4 955 – 4 Core, 3.2 GHz
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Radeon R9 280 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 660
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 15 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX compatible
  • Additional Notes: System requirements may change during the development of the game.
  • OS: Windows 7 / 8 /10
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-8400, AMD Ryzen 5 1600
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Radeon RX 580 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 15 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX compatible
  • Additional Notes: System requirements may change during the development of the game.

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