The Texas Chain Saw Massacre on Steam Deck – Game Review

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, a recent offering from Gun Interactive and Sumo Digital, dives into the asymmetrical horror genre, drawing inspiration from the iconic 1974 horror film. The game’s release comes with a mix of anticipation and skepticism, given the challenges and expectations associated with adapting such a renowned horror classic.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a slightly different asymmetrical horror

At its core, the game is structured around online matches that pit three members of the notorious Sawyer family against four victims. The objective is clear: the victims must escape the confines of the map, while the family’s goal is to prevent that at all costs. This basic premise, though simple, is layered with intricate mechanics, expansive skill trees, and a variety of strategies that players can employ.

One of the game’s standout features is its commitment to authenticity. From the atmospheric design of the levels to the haunting score, every element screams Texas Chain Saw. The game’s release even coincides with the 50th anniversary of the original film’s events, a testament to its dedication to the source material. The environments, from the iconic farmhouse to the labyrinthine basements, are meticulously crafted, capturing the eerie essence of the film.

The gameplay is where The Texas Chain Saw Massacre surprises. The 4v3 setup, a deviation from the typical 4v1 ratio in similar games, adds a layer of complexity. The family, comprising characters like Leatherface and Sissy, each come with unique abilities that can be used to hunt down victims. On the other hand, the victims, though unarmed, have their own set of skills that can aid in their escape. This balance ensures that no side feels overwhelmingly powerful, making for thrilling and unpredictable matches.

Unfortunately, not everything is perfect

However, the game is not without its challenges. New players might find the learning curve steep, especially when faced with experienced opponents. The initial matches can feel unbalanced, often favoring the family. Additionally, the game’s tutorial section, though comprehensive, is lengthy and can be cumbersome for players eager to dive into the action. Unfortunately, the tutorials only come in the form of videos and the game does not give you the opportunity to test them outside of online mode.

Another point of contention is the game’s content. While the character models and designs are commendable, there’s a noticeable lack of variety in terms of maps and cosmetics. The game currently offers only three maps, each with two time-of-day variants. Moreover, the unlockable costumes for the characters are limited, with some locked behind a paywall.

Despite these drawbacks, the game offers moments of sheer cinematic brilliance. The tension-filled chase sequences, the strategy-driven gameplay, and the atmospheric design make for memorable experiences. The game’s ability to recreate the tension and horror of the film is commendable, with moments that will leave players on the edge of their seats.

Graphic and sound design in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is impressive

One of the most striking aspects of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is its graphic design, which successfully recreates the unsettling atmosphere of the original film. The game’s environments are meticulously crafted to evoke the eerie locales featured in the movie, such as the sinister family house and the dimly lit slaughterhouse. Each location is laden with details that pay homage to the source material, from the decrepit furniture to the flickering lights. These visuals immerse players in a world of palpable dread, setting the stage for intense encounters between the Family and the Victims.

Character models are another notable aspect of the graphic design. The game features a diverse cast of characters, each with their own unique traits and abilities. The Family members, including Leatherface, the Cook, and others, are brought to life with a disturbing level of detail. Leatherface’s iconic chainsaw and menacing demeanor are captured authentically, contributing to the feeling of impending doom for the Victims. The Victims themselves, such as Ana, Maria, and others, are equally well-designed, showcasing their fear and desperation as they attempt to escape the clutches of the Family.

Additionally, the game’s visual effects enhance the horror experience. Blood spatter, wounds, and gore are all portrayed realistically, adding to the sense of brutality and chaos. The atmospheric lighting, from the dimly lit interiors to the moonlit night outside, creates a tense and foreboding ambiance that keeps players on edge. The attention to detail in both the environments and character design ensures that players are fully immersed in the grim world of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

Sound design is a pivotal element in horror games, and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre leverages this aspect masterfully to intensify the sense of dread. The game’s audio is carefully crafted to heighten players’ anxiety and anticipation, creating an atmosphere that is both unsettling and immersive.

One of the standout features of the sound design is the use of audio cues to signal danger. The revving of Leatherface’s chainsaw and the ominous footsteps of the Family members serve as harbingers of impending danger. These audio cues not only alert players to the presence of the killers but also contribute to the tension and urgency of the gameplay. The game’s use of 3D audio allows players to accurately pinpoint the direction and distance of these sounds, adding an extra layer of realism to the experience.

Furthermore, the soundtrack of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre plays a crucial role in building suspense. The haunting melodies and eerie ambient sounds create an unsettling backdrop that immerses players in the world of the game. From the creaking floorboards of the family house to the distant howls of the wind, every sound is carefully designed to evoke a sense of unease.

The use of voice acting also deserves mention. The Family members’ chilling taunts and threats, delivered with sadistic glee, add a layer of personality to the killers. On the Victim side, the desperate cries and panicked breathing of the characters reinforce their vulnerability and fear. The voice acting further enhances the immersion by making the characters feel more real and relatable.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a solid game

In conclusion, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a commendable attempt at adapting a horror classic into the realm of asymmetrical gaming. While it has its flaws, the game offers a fresh take on the genre, blending reverence for the source material with innovative gameplay mechanics. It’s a game that will appeal to fans of the film and the genre alike, provided they’re willing to invest the time to master its intricacies. As the game continues to evolve, one can only hope that the developers address its shortcomings and build upon its strengths, ensuring its place in the pantheon of horror gaming.

7+/10

Texas Chainsaw Massacre on Steam Deck

Unlike the beta version, the release does not have SteamOS support. Due to anticheat, it is not possible to play on the original Steam Deck system – the game only has a multiplayer mode. If you use Windows then Texas Chainsaw Massacre is very playable on Windows. All subtitles seem to be fully readable and we have gamepad support.

In terms of performance, 40FPS is within reach, as long as you decide to lower the graphic details. There is quite a bit of stuttering in the game (Unreal Engine 4), but the fluidity seems to get better with progression.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre on Steam Deck – the best graphics settings

Resolution: 1280×800
Upscaling: Enabled: FSR
Image Quality: High

Preset: Custom
Anti-Aliasing: High
Effects: Medium
Foliage: Medium
Postprocessing: Medium
Shadows: Low
Textures: High
View Distance: Medium
VSync: On

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