A reboot of an arcade classic, Splatterhouse manages to capture what made the original three games so unique as well as bringing all of that into a modern environment, complete with the high amounts of blood and gore you could expect from a game such as this. Unfortunately, it doesn’t deliver as well as it could have.
The narrative is very similar to the original – two college students (and couple) known as Jennifer Willis and Rick Taylor are ambushed inside the mansion of Dr. Henry West MD, who turns out to be a complete maniac with the intention of bringing otherworldly monsters into this world.
To cut a long story short, Jennifer is kidnapped and Rick is left to die in a pool of his own blood and guts. Quickly reaching his final breath, a strange mask known as the Terror Mask speaks to Rick, practically forcing him to wear the mask so he can save Jennifer and live happily ever after. The catch? This mask turns the wearer into an overly muscular powerhouse with a thirst for killing and general death-related things. Obviously there’s much more to it than that but that would be ruining things, wouldn’t it?
Ultimately, it’s your mission to find out what’s happened to Jennifer and save her from the Doctor’s questionable experiments. To do this, you will travel through the mansion and other demon-infested dimensions, taking on all sorts of creatures and bosses along the way.
There’s nothing special about the gameplay, it’s your standard hack ‘n’ slash with ability upgrades and various weaponry such as chainsaws, wooden bats, shotguns and so on. This doesn’t mean the game is bad, it just means it can get a little stale at times as you’re doing the same thing over and over with the exception of a few interesting boss battles along the way.
Even with the insane amounts of blood, gore and foul-language, Splatterhouse feels like it’s trying just a little too hard – on one hand it does resemble a lot of what the original games did, however there’s room here for more originality and more of an incentive to carry on playing. I did play through it all just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything, but sadly it’s bland, repetitive and offers little satisfaction upon completion.
There are some nice additions to Splatterhouse though, for example the side-scrolling sections which are clearly there as a tribute to the original games and their playstyle. If you ever played Splatterhouse “back in the day”, you’ll surely appreciate this. This game is definitely weird, quite literally – without going into too much detail, there’s a certain enemy that can be killed by inserting your hand into the back end of it (its bum) and ripping out the insides for an instant kill.
Whilst the gameplay is hit and miss, the graphics are truly representative of the Splatterhouse universe, whether it’s blood-soaked walls or the fleshy textures of other dimensions, filled with huge eyeballs and slimey substances smeared practically everywhere you go. Mmmm…
Overall, a disappointing entry into the Splatterhouse series, but not so terrible it’s unplayable – it’s just very plain and average, although there are some nice moments along the way with references to the original. You can even unlock the original three games by playing through the game. For a few quid, it’s not bad but don’t expect anything amazing.
Available On: PS3, Xbox 360