Erie is a first person horror that was created by students at the University of Utah. The game is set in October of 1966 following the meltdown of a nuclear power generator at Fermi Nuclear Power Plant. Your mission is simple, explore the plant, find and rescue any survivors, and return to above ground unharmed and unscathed. Sounds easy enough, right?
The game starts off with you falling into a pool of water and hearing cries from what you may believe to be a baby. You are informed to use your spray paint can, which you can find in the very first room, to mark casualty and danger areas or to bring out your inner Banksy.
After this, the game progresses a bit slowly, relying on multiple jump scares and doors that slam and lock shut behind you. You may start to believe that this game will be simple to complete, but you are unaware of the terror that awaits you deep inside the chambers.
After a while of exploring blood stained rooms, drawing on walls, and stumbling upon rotting corpses, you are finally introduced to a creature that has undergone a horrible mutation and is dead set on stalking and capturing its prey - you. For the first few seconds, you cannot see the monster, you can only hear him getting closer and closer to you. This allows your imagination to kick into overdrive. You do not know what is chasing you or how you can defeat it. The noise that the monster makes is disturbing on its own and can only be described as a very loud and unworldly breathing sound. There are two possible routes that this beast will appear from...which route will you choose? This mutated creature will be in constant pursuit of you for the entire game. You can run slightly faster and eventually outrun him but do note that this is only temporary and he will find you again very soon.
I will not describe the mutated creature in any sense. I will leave that up to you to discover for yourself. If you do find yourself face-to-face with the creature and captured, you will re-spawn at a previous checkpoint.
The game has now turned into a race to find three key cards in a location which resembles a very large maze filled with endless corridors and dead ends. These key cards allow you to turn off generators and unlock one door, which will be your only escape. Small tunnels will become your best friend. Blind corners and intersections will become your worst enemy.
You are also very limited in terms of defense. Do not expect to find guns carelessly left behind, frag grenades, or even a lead pipe. Your only defense is to run, hide, and remember the corridors that you have already searched.
This game is beautifully made and absolutely terrifying. The fear factor comes from the unknown, not knowing what is stalking you or where it is coming from and constantly having to run for your life while keeping your main focus in mind - to escape.
For the first few minutes, you can expect to be completely blinded by fear and recklessly running around as all you can think about is outrunning this creature which makes it easy for you to become lost or miss vital items. Running too fast causes your screen to blur ( which can give the player a feeling of actual fear ) and you can hear the sound of your character gasping for air as he attempts to sprint away from the nightmare that is behind him.
This visually stunning game that uses excellent sound techniques is available to download for free at the Desura website. Do you have what it takes to escape?