Slender: The Arrival
The game isn't lengthy and will take most players only a couple of hours to complete. Regardless, Slender: The Arrival carries some truly notable frights. It's a powerful horror experience that will leave you feeling anxious.
Are you looking for something to chill your bones? Something to make the shadows seem that much longer and the night that much darker?
Slender: The Arrival is far from the greatest horror game on Nintendo Switch. With the likes of Outlast 2, Layers of Fear, and Resident Evil to compete against, this bland and bare horror title shows its true colours separated from the hype of 2013. Unlike the mystical powers of the Slenderman, there's nothing compelling here in the slightest, unless you like looking at poorly rendered forestry.
Slender: The Arrival lands on the Nintendo Switch six years after its original release and while the game's visual environment looks visibly dated, its sound atmosphere remains exquisite and transmits a feeling of restlessness. Where Slender: The Arrival falls below par is when it comes to its rather generic plot and a feeling of repetitiveness, aggravated by a short lifespan.
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Slender: The Arrival pulls this nonsense time again, it wants to give new life to the fiction but it can't resist showing off the goods. It delivers a variety of levels and even a new enemy, but there's no subtlety, no faith in Hitchcock's old adage: 'There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.' Some say Slender: The Arrival is just regurgitating what The Eight Pages had. This is partly true, but it's also forgotten that in horror, less is more.
Overall, Slender: The Arrival was pretty well done. It has issues. Make no mistake. There were a lot of glitches (unintentional ones), a lot of scaling and framerate issues, as well as limited controls, vast amounts of dead space, and a story that could still be fleshed out more before being a contender. It needs a graphics update and some good voice actors as well. Again, this game is ten bucks and two hours long, so I wasn't really expecting a massive surprise of awesomeness. But even my innate fear of the Slender Man mythos wasn't enough to keep me invested enough in this game to want or even try a second playthrough. I am a huge fan of psychological thrillers. But for what this game has in its psychological scare tactics, it totally lacks in the things that make a game one that you'd want to come back to and play again and again. So as the title implies, this game truly is thick on scares but slender on everything else.
Slender: The Arrival boasts some genuinely scary moments, but offers little beyond them. Chapters serve as a mini party game with friends, making this point-and-click game more of a horror movie than an actual interactive scare fest. The lack of a real story dampers things further, and if by some weird chance that players suffer the Slenderman hunt a second time, the feeling of that genuine fright will be long gone.
There are scares here, but not much game. Ye have been warned.
Ultimately, Slender: The Arrival retains the same experience as the previous versions, though it lacks the visual polish of the PC original. The move to PS4 also gives it tougher competition as far as horror games go, especially compared to the superior (and still free) P.T. If you lack a capable PC, this console re-release should suffice, otherwise stick to the cheaper and technically more proficient alternative.
The final nail in 'Slender: The Arrival's coffin is the simple fact that it's been uprezzed and cleaned up for the wrong gen, a generation where Hideo Kojima/Guillermo Del Toro's 'P.T.' has many of the same ideas, executed with maturity and expert dread, where progression isn't dependent on escaping the horror, but being forced to walk up and let it terrorize you face to face, and most importantly, it's an experience that's 100% free. 'Slender' offering something a similarly unique experience, but undoubtedly lesser, predicated on the success of successive, telegraphed jump scares and repetitive exploration can't hope to compete, and couldn't even if 'P.T.' wasn't in the picture. The result is a game that feels, pun unintended, thin on content.