DreadXP has made a name for themselves by releasing a number of short indie game collections and, most recently, their monster-themed dating sim. love suckerbut scare the illusion is their first foray into open-world RPGs. Developed by Lovely Hellplace, this retro-style game is set in a bizarre and unique world, where having delusions is actually a good thing.
Like many great RPGs before it, scare the illusion opens with your protagonist in a prison cell. You are released from prison to hunt down a notorious criminal, an encounter you are unlikely to survive, and the story opens up from there. Although there is a central plot to follow, after leaving the first island in the game you have access to more side quests and space to wander around the world a bit.
The game’s world-building is interesting, and the whole premise of the world itself as having been decimated by a war against true malevolent gods, is unusual in its execution. It’s not your ordinary RPG fantasy land or post-apocalyptic era that you’ll find yourself wandering through.
The writing mostly matches the dark tone, but the occasional dab of witty humor goes a long way to lighten the mood. There aren’t many memorable NPCs so far, but your protagonist has three parts, choose your own backstory that fleshes out their character, and judging by the dialogue choices, is the only sane person in a world full of chaos.
The game’s controls are fairly easy to get used to, and it works great on a mouse and keyboard setup. However, the game’s biggest weakness so far is a missing tutorial. If you’re looking for a grip to get started, this isn’t the game for you. Sure, there are a few drones strewn about explaining how save points and beds work, but I found myself going through the commands menu more times than I’d like, while completely baffled by the updates. weapon level.
It’s definitely a trial-and-error process for some game features, which can get frustrating at times, even though it fits with the game’s world-building. After all, if you’re a released convict sent to the world with just a rusty sword and some vague instructions, having to die within 10 minutes, it’s not unreasonable that you’re confused by most things.
The combat itself is easy to grasp and you are given a sword at the start of the game. There are other weapons which you will find later, as well as combat spells, and when you start to unlock various aspects you can choose the styles that suit you best. However, it’s best to enter the game with a rudimentary idea of how you want to play, as your story changes attributes and stats. Save points and beds to restore your health aren’t plentiful, so understanding the fight early on is essential, despite the game’s stress that sneaking around enemy encounters is crucial.
scare the illusionThe art style of is retro-kitsch, with graphics that wouldn’t have looked out of place in 1993. The whole world looks like someone took wonderland and fed it through an acid infuser, with magenta skies, skulls and corpses lying everywhere and some being used for decoration, and some oddly specific Tudor-style cottages across the landscape. Plants are terrifying and range from giant three-story dayglo mushrooms, to transplanted hot pink anemones, to anything that had too many eyes for me to feel comfortable with. Edgar Allan Poe, eat your revealing heart.
At the end of the day, scare the illusion is intended to target a very specific type of horror and RPG fan. If you like really retro graphics, weird horror style and open world exploration, you’ll probably find enjoyment in scare the illusiondespite the game’s early access tag. For those looking for a more traditional horror or survival experience, one with more grip, you, as the protagonist, might find a bit more than what you negotiated.
TechRaptor preview scare the illusion on PC with a copy provided by the publisher. It will launch on PC on a currently unannounced date.