Slender: The Arrival (Wii U) Review

Its dark out and you’re wandering through the woods looking for pieces of paper that might help you solve a mystery. You only have your flashlight and your wits to help you. Suddenly, you come upon a tall tower in the middle of nowhere. You see a piece of paper and quickly grab it. You turn around and there is a man in the distance. Who’s that?, you wonder. So you decide to go check the guy out. As you get closer, your vision distorts and you hear strange sounds. And then you’re dead.

Welcome to the world of Slender: The Arrival. A first person horror adventure game for the Wii U eshop. Its very spooky and very creepy. But is the game any good or is it just all atmosphere and little substance? Read on to find out what I thought…if you dare!

STORY

02

Slender: The Arrival’s story is mostly told though notes and things written on the wall that you find, but there is the occasional voiced dialogue. But you really don’t know much about the character you are controlling or why they came out into the middle of nowhere with a video camera.

And the creepy narrative just doesn’t make much sense overall. I think someone died horribly. I guess. And there are some really creepy monsters wandering around that came from…somewhere. I have no idea. The game’s ending is not satisfying at all.

Slender’s story is interesting, but its way too mysterious. I wish there had been a few cutscenes or more spoken dialogue to help make sense of the story more. Its not a bad story, overall, but it is a bit too vague and confusing.

GAMEPLAY

07

Slender has a lot of creepy/scary atmosphere, but not much gameplay. You’ll interact with objects and wander around, mostly getting lost, and then eventually finding your way, but there’s not else to do. You can run from the scary things, but you can’t fight them. Running away, at first, is intense and very scary. After dying and having to repeat the same thing a couple of times, you’ll just get annoyed by the creepy things though. Overall, there is just not enough to Slender’s gameplay. Its scary, but its not really fun.

This game definitely could have used some puzzles to round out the gameplay. As it is, Slender is more like an interactive movie than a game. It should be noted that the game doesn’t last too long and you can beat it in a day if you want. But there is some replayablity because objects seem to randomly move to other places when you replay the game. As for the game’s controls, I thought they were simple and didn’t take advantage of the Wii U at all.

09

You control the character via the analog stick and the buttons to interact with objects and use a flashlight, plus the ZL button is used for running. Its pretty simple, but it works well. As for the touch screen, its only used to get rid of the camera like view point that you start with and just show a regular first person view. I think Slender is yet another game that would have been even better with touch screen control to interact with objects. The only real Wii U support that Slender has is Off-TV play. The game doesn’t even want you to temporary leave it by pushing the Home button. If you do and then come back, the game will have the Slender logo and artwork there before going back into the game.  And it seems like gameplay is still going on during this brief moment because I almost left the game without saving once! That’s pretty strange. Slender: the Arrival is not a bad experience, but its not a great game.

04

As an interactive “movie” like experience, Slender is good. As a game, it could be a lot better. I wish there were puzzles and some way to combat the monsters other than just running or in a brief sequence, using your flashlight to blind the bad guy (it doesn‘t help much). Slender: the Arrival would have made a great first person shooter. As it is, if you’re looking for a spooky/creepy experience, you could do worse than Slender. Though, you could certainly do better for a horror GAME.

GRAPHICS

06

Slender has good graphics. Everything seems realistic and detailed, especially the outdoor environments and some of the indoor places. I’d say the graphics are more late PS2/Wii than Wii U, but they definitely get the job done. Everything looks incredibly creepy at night.

SOUND

This game has really good music. It doesn’t always have music playing though. Its really the sound effects and voices that get you spooked in Slender. The sound effects include voices and mysterious static that pop up at random times. The sounds in this game did make me jump and get me on edge. Slender is pretty impressive audio wise.

CONCLUSION

Slender the Arrival is more atmosphere and creepiness, than an actual game. As a movie-like experience, its worth checking out. That said, this could have been a better adventure game with puzzles or even a cool first person shooter. There seems to be a lot lost of potential for this game. You would have thought at least the story would have been really good. I think its not a bad story, but its definitely too mysterious and confusing.

If you want a creepy/spooky experience, than you might want to check out Slender: the Arrival. If you’re looking for a really great horror game, then you should look elsewhere.

Shigeru Reviews Score: 6.5/10

The Slender: The Arrival logo comes from the game’s official website here. The rest of the pictures were provided the developer, who also provided a copy of this game for review.

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