Lust From Beyond Review
Have the kids gone to bed yet? Prepare for the latest thrilling story in the Lust series, Lust From Beyond. Be forewarned, this game contains content that is strictly for mature audiences only. Violence, nudity, torture, sex – it’s all on display here in very graphic detail. Lust From Beyond is an erotica-fueled, horror story filled with cults, monsters, and a sex-infused realm that lies just beyond reality. Are you ready to get lost in Lust?
Lust From Beyond follows the story of Victor Holloway, a man who – like others – has been plagued with incredible visions of a world beyond his understanding. Through a series of seemingly unrelated events, Victor embarks on a journey to visit a doctor to better understand what he’s going through. He’ll explore the city of Bleakmoor, encounter the Cult of Ecstasy, and dive into the world known as Lusst’ghaa, the land of ecstasy.
The World of Lust
Lust From Beyond is a sequel to Lust For Darkness. Before you play Lust From Beyond, I highly recommend playing Lust For Darkness, along with the two free Lust From Beyond prequels: Prologue and Scarlett. The Lust games feature a surprisingly deep and rich history interwoven throughout the games, and it’s worth taking the time to fully embrace the backstory. There are also a variety of characters that appear or are referenced in Lust From Beyond that were in Lust For Darkness. It shouldn’t take you too long to get up to speed, Lust For Darkness clocks in around 2 hours and both of the Lust From Beyond prequels are about 1 hour each. Lust From Beyond is considerably longer, clocking in around 8 hours, depending on how thorough you are.
Lust From Beyond is a first-person, survival-horror with a heavy emphasis on puzzle solving and stealth. There is combat at some points in the game, but it is few and far between – which is good, because honestly, the combat is pretty awful. To attack, you’ll need to prep your weapon by holding one button, then press a second button to swing/shoot. It’s cumbersome and not ideal when you’re swarmed by more than one enemy. In addition, you’ll sometimes encounter enemies that are beyond your combat abilities – in cases like this, you just have to run. Crouching will put you in a sort of stealth mode. You’ll move slower, but be less easy to detect. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes difficult to tell if you’re actually hidden from enemy sight. I wish games would add some sort of HUD element to tell the player when they’re properly hidden, much like the classic stealth game Thief: The Dark Project did. Most areas will require you to complete a variety of different puzzles. Some are as easy as tracking down certain objects, while others require manipulating pieces until you create the correct design. The puzzles aren’t usually too difficult, and you’ll often get hints along the way. However, there was one puzzle in the game involving some iron maiden traps that made absolutely no sense at all. It was the one time I was forced to Google the solution after over an hour of trying to solve it myself – frustrating.
Survive the Horrors
Lust From Beyond borrows heavily from the survival horror genre. There is a substantial amount of violent imagery throughout, including some sexual violence. You will see many naked people in various states of torture – it’s definitely quite shocking at times. In addition to your health bar, you also have a mental state bar, which will deplete whenever you witness something gruesome. As your mental state bar depletes, the screen gets wavy and distorted, simulating a sort of nauseated feeling. Once it’s depleted, your controls become inverted and the game is more difficult to play. It brings back memories of Eternal Darkness for GameCube – just not quite as clever. There are pills you can take to restore your mental state, much like you’ll use bandages to restore your health. Lust From Beyond does have some jump scare moments. Like most jump scares, they’re annoying and feel cheap, but fortunately, they’re few and far between. Jump scares aside, the game does a fantastic job of ramping up the feeling of tension – I never quite felt safe, especially when you’re exploring the land of ecstasy, Lusst’ghaa.
Lust From Beyond is definitely a step up visually from Lust For Darkness, but it’s still rough around the edges. Clearly, there were some budget constraints when making this game. Character models aren’t as detailed or smooth as you might find in other games. Animations are repeated quite often, and when characters talk, sometimes you’ll be staring at the same repeated animation over and over until the conversation is done. There was even one instance when the characters lips didn’t move at all, she just stared at me speaking like a magical ventriloquist. Sex and nudity are quite prevalent in the game, but the dull visuals and poor character models make it difficult to really appreciate these moments. Conversely, some of the set pieces in the game, especially some of the larger areas in Lusst’ghaa, are quite incredible and well designed. Lust From Beyond really shines in the audio department. The characters are all voiced quite well, with only a few minor moments when the dialog felt phony. Ambient sounds, like the wind and rain accompanied by the occasional crackle of thunder, or the squishy sounds of Lusst’ghaa, all help to set the mood throughout.
Lust From Beyond is a difficult title to review. On one hand, there are a variety of technical issues and design limitations, likely due to budget constraints, that make the game look dated. However, there is a nice variety of content and areas throughout the game and the story is deep and robust. The game is linear, but there are moments when it doesn’t feel linear – and there are some choices you can make that do impact certain outcomes. It’s rare that a game can create an adventure, filled with sex and nudity, without it feeling like it’s just about the sex and nudity. This isn’t some throwaway porn game designed to cash in on some boobs, there is a genuine charm here. Lust From Beyond is not going to be for everyone, and fortunately, the game has two, free prequels you can play, both of which are completely unique stories, yet intertwined to the overall Lust story. These prequels will give players a proper look and feel for what Lust From Beyond has to offer, so if you enjoy them, you’ll definitely enjoy Lust From Beyond. While there were some frustrating bits throughout Lust From Beyond, I genuinely want to see the franchise continue.
***Lust From Beyond key provided by publisher***
- Compelling, deep story
- Variety of different gameplay elements
- Some excellent set pieces
- Solid voice-acting
- Character models are often lacking
- Some animation issues
- Combat is cumbersome