I Played Carrion And I Am Screaming (With Joy)
OMG There's a monster! Wait, that's...me?
As you keep progressing, you can get scarier, deadlier and BIGGER.
- Gameplay 9
- Graphics 8
- Overall Experience 8
Roarrr…humans…eat…escape…facility…Okay, okay, maybe I am too eloquent to be a monster but Carrion does make you feel like one (and you enjoy it). We’ve played many games where we must escape a growling monster giving us the heebies jeebies. But Carrion takes the concept and gives it a twist – it makes you the monster. You are a gooey, amorphous creature with multiple tentacles and you have to escape an underground facility, destroying anything and anyone that blocks your way. It’s reverse horror, as rightly described by the developers. I absolutely loved my experience of playing Carrion on PC and here’s why.
It’s unsettling and…gratifying. I mean, are you even a good monster if you don’t chomp down on humans? When you encounter them, your heart will jump because you are excited to hurl them around and consume them (not a sentence I thought I would ever write, but here we are). Their screams are very realistic so if you are playing with the speakers blasting: fair warning. People around you will get weirded out and question your gaming choices. The whole thing is quite extreme and gives an impact even in the pixel art style. In fact, the art style makes it even better.
The most striking thing about this game is the movement of the creature – it is smooth, well-done and to be honest, quite beautiful. The way the blob navigates the surroundings, clings to walls, sliding and bending in various directions is worth experiencing. With all those tentacles, the monster you control can pull out gates, push levers and whatnot.
You are the enemy everyone fears and it makes you feel invincible. There are even some humans who have high-end contraptions (like electric shields) that can really damage you and you will be furious when they manage to kill you. How dare they hurt me, a glorious multi-tentacled creature? Is this what the Alien was feeling all along?! I did manage to use my tentacle to pull aside one dude while he had his back towards me. Didn’t see that one coming, did ya? Hehe. Then, I waited until I decided to give the other guy the same fate. Sorry, not sorry. Call me a monster, I don’t care.
A few times, though, I got lost and kept moving in the same areas without a clue about what to do next. But there’s fun in that too and I absolutely enjoyed slithering through pipes, breaking down barriers and roaring occasionally due to the sheer amount of power I have.
Speaking of roaring, you will use the roar feature a lot and it is basically an echolocation tool. But the real use of this roar is to scare the living daylights of the humans around you. You feel an incredible sense of dominance when you roar and the humans nearby shiver in pure fear. Cute. Sometimes I let them be and observe them as they work, unaware of their impending end. Sometimes, I sneak up on them and give them the surprise of their lives and sometimes I enter all guns blazing (all tentacles waving?). It is up to you how you want to handle those puny humans but the result will be enjoyable all the same.
As you keep progressing, you can get scarier, deadlier and bigger. But you can choose to leave some of your biomass behind to become smaller and get past lasers too. Want to get larger again? You got it. Want to shoot sticky cobwebs? Yup, you got that too. You’re one talented and intelligent monster. You’re gross, yes, but pretty smart.
Carrion is a short game but it makes you think, solve puzzles and engage in combat in a very unique format. Your monster will even absorb DNA upgrades as you advance through the levels, giving you offensive and defensive abilities. In this game, you can do whatever you want because it is your monstrous life after all. Be as grotesque as you wish because that’s where Carrion wins. It gives you a wonderful balance of smooth gameplay, macabre theme, fun puzzles and an experience that will stay with you, long after you finish playing.