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LONG BLOG

Masters of Fear: Sweet Home

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Itís not enough for Sweet Home to have one of the more disturbing stories in gamingís history, but it also makes you hunt it down. You hear everything in snippets and half-finished stories, leaving the player knowing that something is very wrong but rarely clear on the full story. That mixture of curiosity and horror drives the game forward, keeping you glued to it while giving a sense of revulsion at the events. Without even realizing, the player becomes that character from every horror movie that was overcome with curiosity and pushed deeper into trouble. You get to feel what itís like to be afraid of whatís going on while still needing to understand it. Itís an amazing feeling to be fully under the gameís spell and realize it.

Finding out whatís going on is easily the most disturbing thing youíll ever see from a game of this era. Itís not shown in a tasteless or graphic way to illicit cheap scares either (although there are a lot of gross, disgusting things that the game DOES show. Huge spoilers in that link, by the way), choosing to let the player use their imagination to picture whatís happened. The events really are bone-chilling, but in a way that touches the player as a human being rather than trying to evoke biological horrors or ancient curses. If you look past the supernatural aspects of this game, you can see a terrible event that could happen in the real world. Looking at it in that way will make the gameís story stick with you. Despite the gameís age, it has one of the most mature, sad, and chilling stories ever told in a video game.

Sweet Home is smart about its terror, manipulating gameplay and story into keeping the player drowning in tension. The steady drip of the story keeps the hooks in deep, forcing the player to continue contending with the houseís dangerous inhabitants and cruel traps. It leaves players afraid of what will be around the next corner while filling them with so much curiosity that theyíll need to see whatís around it. If you can really immerse yourself in the story and look past the dated (but still excellent for its time) graphics, this game will stay with you. Adding the fact that itís an excellent RPG only makes it that much more of a complete package. I canít recommend it enough for horror or RPG fans.

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About JoelCoutureone of us since 11:26 PM on 05.27.2013



Contributing Editor for mashthosebuttons.com, destitute but determined fantasy novelist & short story writer at joelcouture.com. I wish I was paid for either of those jobs.

I love horror games. If you scare me, I will give you money. I also love terrible games, as it's a lot harder to make a game that's so bad it's hilarious than it is to make something that is just bad.

For some reason I'm not super clear on, I am obsessed with J. Jonah Jameson.