With a bevy of horror games forthcoming, from Dying Light 2 and The Last of Us Part II to Elden Ring and Asylum, Devolver Digital's own foray into the genre seems both a refreshing and promising excursion. Stylized as a reverse horror game that sees players taking control of a monstrous goo-like substance reminiscent of Marvel's Carnage, Carrion is unlike the multitudes of reverse horror experiences that have come before it. Developed by the aptly named Phobia Game Studio, this upcoming horror title calls for gamers to "stalk and consume" facility occupants, as well as "grow and evolve" along one's quest for vengeance, as the official site reads.
Still embroiled within a mere free demo on Steam, Carrion will, to the joy of horror fanatics everywhere, menacingly glide onto the Xbox amid the same time frame of its official PC release.
With an art style mirroring that of Mega Man and gameplay that emulates Mario's early adventures (that is, if Mario was an amorphous being from another world), Carrion might on the surface appear to be simple and easy. Yet, it's not. There are plenty of complex concepts to navigating the facility in order to get out, as various traps and assorted weaponry will be trying to stop players at every turn. This isn't a horror-flavored Donkey Kong, it's much more than that. Taking out enemies is a showcase in brutal displays, highlighting its horror mentality, and the adventure of traversing this facility while unlocking secrets of the creature's past only expound upon the experience.
While the gameplay itself may differ dramatically from what horror fanatics are used to, having a similar vibe to Red Solstice 2 and its blend of aliens with strategy, Carrion's unique qualities give it an edge in the replayability front. So, it may not be about a gun-toting protagonist, but it fuses survival elements with platformer gaming to bring an unrivaled horror experience that will look as tantalizing as ever on Microsoft's console. As exemplified by the droves of players showcasing their skills on Reddit, Carrion boasts a plethora of surprises that aren't hampered by jump scares, like most modern horror titles. It vies to be in a class all on its own and does so remarkably.
Now that Devolver Digital's hit is headed for the Xbox One on top of its already highly anticipated PC release, all it needs is a Nintendo port - it would easily be among the best Switch horror games. Playing Carrion on the go would be both a joy and a blast, almost as if it were made for that very reason. It's certainly not a game for everyone, but for the players who have always wanted to be the hunter as opposed to the hunted, this game was made just for them.
No exact release date has yet been announced, though 2020 is the slated launch window for both Steam and Xbox One. For those who simply cannot wait to get their hands on Phobia Game Studio's upcoming project, try it out first with Steam's Carrion demo and see yourself become the monster you've always dreamed of (and feared).