The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is an Exhilarating Race Against The Clock

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Preview

The asymmetrical horror genre is starting to become stale. There, I said it. Even though Dead by Daylight and Evil Dead continue to be relatively popular games, there’s been a noticeable lack of innovation in the formula for years. And it’s desperately needed. That said, I have some good and bad news about The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (TCSM). The bad news is that during my time with the recent tech test, I couldn’t see much in the way of new ideas. Sure, it plays differently than the two titles mentioned above, but by no means does this feel like the next generation of asymmetrical horror.

The good news, however, is that I had a blast with TCSM. Admittedly, I’m a total mark for the subject matter. I routinely gush about how the original film is my all-time favorite horror movie. So, maybe the simple fact that I can run around Leatherface’s house brandishing his signature chainsaw and terrifying those foolish enough to cross my path is sufficient to make me happy.

Come Meet the Family

Though, it isn’t just Leatherface that you can terrorize with come launch day. The Cook – the oldest of the playable characters – has an acute ability to listen for footsteps made by victims. Then there’s the Hitchhiker, with a propensity for traps. All three family members are unique enough to warrant experimentation. Without a doubt, you’ll find a favorite, but I found all three to be enjoyable. Two entirely new characters will be available at launch, but details on their full range of abilities are scarce.

When you’re ready to flip the script and be scared, the victims offer a ton of fun in their own right. Julie, Leland, Connie, Sonny, and Ana find themselves at the mercy of the aforementioned sadistic family, requiring proper use of their own abilities to survive encounters. Connie, for example, is an expert locksmith, becoming the go-to for breaking through doors quickly. Sonny, on the other hand, can hone in on sound much like the family’s Cook can. TCSM very much becomes a game of risk and reward when playing as the victims. Do you stick together and risk the noise that comes with grouping up, or do you spread out and find your own way to freedom?

Stairway to Heaven

Those paths to safety don’t come easy, either. There are many ways to escape the situation you may find yourself in, but none come quickly. Remember that there was only one map to play with during the tech test, but it’s safe to say it gave a fair representation of what to expect across the board. Victims will need to locate items to open escape routes, while family members will need to destroy those routes as efficiently as possible. In this sense, most matches in TCSM become an exhilarating race against the clock – one that I’m excited to dive back into this August.

I wish there were more to say about The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, but what we’ve been shown so far only scratched the surface of its full release. Fans of Friday the 13th and other asymmetrical horror games should find themselves pleasantly surprised with TCSM. Just don’t go into it expecting a genre-defining release that will leave your jaw on the floor. It’s a solid game with lots of potential, but one that will need to continuously see support to avoid falling by the wayside.

***Tech test code was provided by the publisher***