For those who have been keeping an eye on the Indie development scene, the horror game Agony has surely stood out from the competition. Developed by Madmind Studios, the trailers they had released paint the picture that Agony is a game that is trying to appeal to a very visceral side of horror, with grotesque body deformations that may be reminiscent to some of Dead Space, or The Thing. While everything shown thus far has been quite impressive, the new trailer just released by the developers shows an interesting new feature: a procedurally generated challenge mode.
This promises an interesting level of variety and replayability that, for many, will come as a welcome respite from the linearity of most modern horror titles, the new game mode; aptly named Agony Mode, offers more than just an interesting, non-linear challenge for players looking for something more. It comes with a host of new gory, disturbing and grotesque content not available in the story mode. Living up to its name, the additional gamemode features a plethora of bloodshed for those truly masochistic gamers among us. From the enemy designs, to the bleak nature of the surroundings around you, the entire world of Agony is hostile to the player, which allows a level of paranoia to well within you as you walk around the world presented to you.
Many in the horror community would argue that the concept of Hell is a cliche and overdone concept in horror, and that it is always overshadowed by more subtle and less on-the-nose games, but the bone-chilling peaks at Agony that have already graced us show that with the right development team behind it, an old-hat setting like Hell can have new life breathed into it and have players at the edge of their seats.
What really makes Agony stand out among contemporary horror is that, as the just-released trailer showcases, the combination of audio and visual design creates an incredibly unnerving atmosphere that feels unwelcoming and foreign to both new and seasoned players of the genre. The way the demons of Hell screech as they tear you apart is masterfully crafted and each gush and crunch is sharp and concise. The terror these creatures make you feel adds to the overwhelming satisfaction of the gruesome ways the player can kill their demon adversaries.
Being just a stone's throw from the release of the title, this trailer has only served to give the community even more to be excited about from this fresh take on an old concept. Exploring the depths of Hell in this game manages to make the player feel uneasy in a way that few games manage to do with just visuals and sound alone.
Agony is due to launch on May 29th on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.