Game: "Viscerafest"
System: PC
Genre: Action
Published by: Other

Reviewer: Dr. Boogie
Posted: 5/29/2021

Review: Viscerafest offers an interesting twist on old-school FPSs: you have a range of standard FPS weapons at your disposal, but not enough ammo to simply lay on the trigger until you've cleared a room. Instead, you'll need to mix in some melee attacks to keep from running completely out of ammo. Thankfully, your character, Caroline, is some kind of humanoid eldritch horror whose fists can turn enemy aliens into flying chunks faster than they can shout, "don't kill m-".

As if that wasn't enough incentive to punch every living thing you come across, the only way you can recover health is to consume the still-beating hearts from your freshly-gibbed foes. And while you have plenty of opportunity to mangle and devour hearts (hence the title), you don't recover so much health from each one that you can just stand there and trade blows with the aliens. You'll have to take advantage of Caroline's ludicrous bunny-hopping and air dashing abilities to zip around your enemies like a bloodthirsty hummingbird.

When you get hit, you'll feel it. Even on the second-lowest difficulty (Hard), even the lowest tier enemies can bring you down with a just a few shots. I lost count of how many times I heard the "low health" warning beeps. Add to that the danger of hurling yourself into an environmental hazard whilst jumping around like a maniac. And don't think you can save scum your way out of it. Mid-level saving can only be done by spending limited save tokens you'll find in a few select spots.

I did try it on the highest difficulty, just for the sake of parity. I almost managed to beat the prelude level!

The good news is that even if you decide to play on the highest difficulty, where enemies are numerous and you'll get killed by the veritable cloud of bullets that's descending on you at any given second, you'll only lose a few minutes thanks to the relatively small stages. And at least in this early version, no one will shame you if you want to spend a save point because you know the next room you walk into might see you blasted to pieces before you even hear that low health beep.

I will say that it took me some getting used to. It's possible to clear some arenas by patiently dealing with the enemies one at a time, luring them into favorable environments so you can deal with them gradually. Not long into this, the first of three chapters, you'll have no choice but to figure out how you can move quickly and dodge effectively because you'll be dealing with enemies and scenarios that won't allow you to stand at the far end of the room slowly picking them off. Prior to that, you won't fully appreciate how careful you have to be about the refractory period on that air dash.

But that's what's great about the game: you're given plenty of tools to deal with your enemies, but not so many that you can cruise around using just one. You've got to move quick, mix it up, toggle between weapons quickly, and get used to the sickening-yet-delightful crunching sound of charging up a powerful uppercut. And if you can't, well... try it again, and this time walk into the room using the giant shotgun instead.

This is my favorite kind of Early Access title: you can see that the core gameplay is in place, and what you have is a complete chunk of the game. No waiting for art assets to be properly filled in, no concern about whether the devs will be able to turn your $15 into a functioning game in 1-4 years, just a believable promise that all that's left are a few content updates for a full release.

So get in on the ground floor for a solid arena shooter experience that delivers on its promise to show you gibs for days!

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeWholeHalf
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

May 30th, 2021, 01:46 AM
Sup Doc Boogie
Forum Virgin
Oct 7th, 2021, 11:08 AM
I was hoping there was still *some* forum activity.

It's my favorite time of year and I-Mockery has, for two decades, totally gotten what I love about the season.

I miss Rog. I hope he's doing ok.
The Wrong Melon Farmer
Oct 13th, 2021, 03:46 PM
Originally Posted by Erinslion View Post
I was hoping there was still *some* forum activity.

It's my favorite time of year and I-Mockery has, for two decades, totally gotten what I love about the season.

I miss Rog. I hope he's doing ok.

Try posting a thread and try to catch the few folks who still come and go. Alternatively, if you were a big fan of the Philosophy, Politics, and News board you can experience the horror in real time by visiting the unofficial discord that has been linked in a few threads.