As someone who has been on real paranormal investigations and ghost hunts, I am only too glad I have not encountered anything like this!

Seriously this is one eerie game to say the least but before we get going, let me touch briefly on the plot. Two young women go on a ghosthunt, following their own path and clues, but when they disappear it's up too the hero of this tale to go and find out what happened to his friends. Just what in the name of hell did they discover?

Right from the get go, it's clear that this is no casual walk in the park. The first scene is set in a deserted house and it's clear that the ghosthunter is NOT the only person to vanish. Graffitti marks the walls, furniture is left disturbed and armed with a video camera and a flashlight, out hero soon gets the feeling that he is at least being watched. 

It's eerily quiet, but then occaisionally you hear voices calling out to you or too each other, it's really not that clear. Then you hear the laughter of children, but seeing as this is in the middle of the night and they should be tucked up safely in bed....  And then you hear the occaisonal scream and it's enough to make you wonder if you really should have come on this expedition.

You leave the house and explore the countryside, following a trail of clues left like breadcrumbs, but these do not lead to a gingerbread cottage...if only that was the case! It takes you to a tourist centre and you start picking up clues on note paper but are they left by the victim to guide you too her or the perpetrator to lead you into his lair? And then you start to feel strange, your heart palpitates, (the controlller vibrates) the camera starts to display static, the picture is broken up and then you see something or someone in the distance. Do not go anywhere near him...run....no really run.....

Fight or flight

You do not have a gun, no weapon at all. The flashlight and video camera are your only ally and the camera battery indicator acts as your health meter. This game will play with your mind, that's for sure. Yes it's been done before, back in the day of the original Metal Gear Solid where the villain seems to be able to scan and criticise your gaming tastes after looking into your memory card details. There was a Call of Culthulu game on the X Box and even the game cube got into the act with a game that had you wondering if what you were seeing on the screen was a glitch or the bad guys coming after you. Keep your distance and do not get too curious about the figure you can see watching you from the forest, stick to going indoors, as for now, he can't follow you inside...I said for now, that will change.

This game plays you as you play it. 

The third tool....

Your torch is tool 1, video camera is tool number 2, number 3? Your controller. Keep an eye on it, sure it vibrates as mentioned, but watch the light on the pad, if that starts to flicker it means that Slender is getting closer. It will simulate the beat of your wildly palpitating heart, and it's your best friend if you are playing this alone, in the night.

He is not alone....

No he is not, if Slender is not enough to make you want to go running home for the comfort of your bed and the security offered by your blanket and your Winnie the Pooh teddy bear, watch out for his child like minions. One minute the room seems empty and the next they are in your face....

If you are caught by either foe, you will pass out and find yoursef waking up in another place, disorientated and wondering where you are. At least it's daylight, but savour it while you can, it won't last long...

The alternative to survival horror...

Like Alan Wake this is no regular Resident Evil clone. This is a game that will shock yes, but without gore and ochre dripping undead. It relies on the psychological rather than the physical and it shredded my nerves raw. It tried my patience too and I'll cover that. You want something different for your chill and thrill ride? Then look no further. But is it worth it? Let's see....

Plus points.

1) Challenging and enages in it's own insidious way

2) Very atmospheric graphics and sound make you feel that you are truly immersed in someone elses nightmare

3) Puzzle elements are difficult yes, but stick with it, you will find a way through.

4) It has atmosphere in spades. One of the most atmospheric titles I have played since Alan Wake or Dead Space.

Minus points

1) Sometimes instead of walking through a door you may find yourself sliding sideways like a crab. Fine if exploring but running from Slender or one of his minions....

2) It's not always clear as to where you should go and what you should do when you get there. Look EVERYWHERE and I mean that. Prompts are there but there is no gentle hand held guidance.

3) The learning curve is daunting. Lessons are often sharp, sudden and painful.

Final summation

Is it worth getting? Yes.

Is it a must buy? Sadly not, but it comes recomended. It's different, it's scary and the Slender Man will have you sleeping with the lights on. (Oh they say it inspired the design of the Silence from Doctor Who and that is easy to believe) It's a shame that it could not be more polished or it would rate a must buy. As it is, it's going to keep you hooked even if you don't want it too...it may keep you up late at night for more than one reason.

Sleep well....