Splatterhouse E3 2010 Preview

By Raymond Padilla, Jun 18, 2010 7:00pm PDT QUICK TAKE: With a ridiculous amount of violence and blood joined by some puzzle solving, this classic franchise is coming back with a vengeance. It's definitely not for the faint of heart, but if you're looking for heavy action that doesn't take itself too seriously then Splatterhouse is for you.

A remake of the 1988 classic arcade game, Splatterhouse was one of the most prominent titles at Namco's E3 2010 booth. Longtime gamers will be drawn by the old brand, wondering what a reimagined and modern Splatterhouse is like. Newcomers will be drawn by the crazy action, slick graphics, and gratuitous amount of blood. The gameplay shown at E3 was fast, fun, and stylish.

Like the original, the new Splatterhouse follows the adventures of Rick. He's visiting the mansion of this teacher, Dr. West, when his girlfriend Jennifer is captured by demons. It turns out that Dr. West is psycho that experiments with demons. It also turns out that Rick is no match for the demons. He's promptly killed, but is brought back to life -- and given super strength and crazy powers -- by the Terror Mask. This ancient artifact says that it will help Rick rescue Jennifer in return for copious amounts of blood.

The short portion of the game I saw was lots of fun. I really enjoyed beating the crap out of minions with different weapons. Bladed weapons and blunt weapons have different effects on the carnage, which made mixing and matching attacks very satisfying. All the while the Terror Mask is egging Rick on, encouraging him to engage in violence. I'm pretty sure the Terror Mask is the demented cousin of Khazid'hea, the bloodthirsty sentient sword from R.A. Salvatore's Drizz't novels.

The art in Splatterhouse is very stylish, using an outlined look that makes it seem like a moving comic book. It's not fully cel-shaded -- closer to the style in Borderlands than anything else. When Rick powers up, the game goes mostly black and white, with a smattering of color, similar to MadWorld.

While I totally expected the blood and violence in Splatterhouse, I was surprised by its sexual content. Some of it is implied and some of it is overt. Early in the level there was an entrance that looked like a bloody vagina. This was soon followed by a mid-boss with a phallic arm. Later in the level there was puzzle that required Rick to catch a group of monsters and impale them onto butt plugs. The monsters were then transported into chambers where they were microwaved to death. So yeah, the game has a Butt Plug Microwave room.

If you're looking for a game that lets you beat the crap out of monsters while gallons of blood flows in stylishly depicted levels then keep your eye on Splatterhouse. It's shaping up to be a fun and dumb (in that good way) action game with great value since it includes the classic versions of the game, including the uncensored Japanese version that didn't make it to America. It has fast-paced action, Butt Plug Microwave rooms, and slick art. What more do you want?!?

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