It is a stormy night, the lights are off, and the doors are locked. Somewhere in the distance, a woman’s haunting voice echoes. Meanwhile, a phone incessantly rings, adding to the eerie atmosphere. As you navigate through the town of Holstin, you quickly realize that it is a place of unimaginable horror. The streets are covered with writhing tentacles, and the sinks are filled with gunk. The whole town exudes existential squalor, rivaling even the famous Silent Hill. Holstin, a Polish survival horror experience, is currently undergoing a public playtest, and a newly released trailer offers a glimpse into the nightmare that awaits players.
One of the standout features of Holstin is its unique visual direction. At first glance, it may appear to be a 2D isometric pixelart game, but upon closer inspection, you realize that it is actually a meticulously designed 3D environment. The dynamic lighting and interactive objects hidden behind corners add a layer of depth and realism to the game. In intense moments such as shootouts, the perspective seamlessly shifts to an over-the-shoulder view, intensifying the player’s immersion.
The Unfathomable Evil
The exact nature of the creatures you encounter in Holstin is deliberately left ambiguous by the developer, Sonka. They are simply referred to as “ungodly manifestations.” While the specifics are unclear, the dangers they pose are evident. The streets are overrun by a slimy substance, slowly devouring everything in its path. The people, buildings, and even the wildlife are deteriorating from within. Your objective in the game is to find your lost friend and escape before the town sinks its claws into you as well.
Puzzles and Psychological Manipulation
Holstin offers a variety of puzzles that add an additional layer of challenge and intrigue to the gameplay. These puzzles often involve intricate close-ups of objects like circuit boxes and padlocks. For example, one playtest puzzle requires you to attach a single lightbulb to different lamps in a house. The reason behind this becomes clear as you realize that the tentacles blocking certain routes are photophobic, retreating when a room is fully illuminated. However, beware of venturing too close to these creatures, as they may not hesitate to engulf and devour you.
But the true horror of Holstin lies not only in its physical manifestations but also in the psychological degradation of its residents. The town’s inhabitants are slowly losing their sanity, and to truly understand them, players must immerse themselves in their delusions and explore their inner world. This aspect of the game brings to mind the experience of working in a real ale bar, where tending to the regulars often requires understanding their unique perspectives. It is this subtle interplay between reality and madness that sets Holstin apart from other horror games.
Holstin promises to be a truly terrifying experience for horror game enthusiasts. Its meticulous visual direction, menacing creatures, and psychological manipulation combine to create an atmosphere of constant dread and fear. As the public playtest continues, players eagerly await the opportunity to dive into the nightmare of Holstin, hoping to survive its horrors and unravel the mysteries that lie within.