Help Me! Help you: should you make a note of this upcoming psychological horror game from Madmind Studio and Black Rat Studio, fund it on Kickstarter and add it to your wishlist, or palm it off as another walking simulator keen on you spinning 3D objects on their axis?
I was fortunate to have been given the key and PIN to a preview build of the game, heading to PC early next year. Initially, there was some resistance from yours truly as horror games don’t bode well as I often fill my pants. But… the lure of the visuals and psychological aspect had me licking my lips, so why not?
Thankfully, the Help Me! preview wasn’t remotely scary or had any cheap jump scares to switch the lights back on. However, the protagonist was disturbing on several levels. Maxim is a strange fellow. He’s arrived at his father’s place and kips over, but when he wakes up, he’s still not arrived. Dad left a note to water the plant and feed the cat, but he’s nowhere to be seen. Add to the mix that the internet is down, and Maxim has some… episodes, and it’s not looking good.
There’s no doubt that the visuals here are cracking. In the campaign write-up, there was mention of the Unreal Engine 5 graphics engine, and I capitalised on this and spent a good deal of my playtime looking at the window
pervi – looking at the neighbours. There aren’t any neighbours to be seen, but it’s so realistic you’d think you’re looking out of an actual window. The same goes for the apartment: it’s pretty damn stunning, even if the mise-en-scene is slightly monotonous but very real.
Questioning Maxim’s sanity is one thing that will undoubtedly be on the cards in the full game, but I have to say that both the character modelling and voiceovers are unsettling. The latter is mostly awkward and unnatural, but it’s unclear if this is intentional. Either way, you’re looking at everything in the Help Me! preview, as there’s not really that much to do. Sure, you can look at some 3D objects, but the internet is down, and every single number on your mobile is unavailable. I tried. It’s no doubt placeholder stuff at the moment, as is the mix of language, but it shows enough promise.
You’ll note that this is the same team that brought out Agony – a game on my wishlist for some time, which I finally bought in a sale. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know that visually it’s stunning but also quite shocking and in your face. Help Me! is more of a psychological aspect, but there’s a good-looking fella that you’ll meet towards the end.
In summary, the game’s premise is to find out what happened to your father, and while that’s out of the scope of a preview that’s currently in a Kickstarter campaign, the pieces are in place, and it looks like this could be a corker. Pending it gets funded. So, I suggest that you look at the campaign page and perhaps a few other write-ups or playthroughs and maybe commit to it? At face value, it’s a looker, and the story has some depth. I just hope there’s enough funding to focus on the voice talent…
Check it out and add it to your wishlist, too. It doesn’t cost a penny.