Splatterhouse Review

Player(s): 1
Extra Features: Download Content (extra survival arenas and masks)

If you were a fan of horror gaming in the late 80's and early 90's you most likely remember two gaming series very well - Castlevania and Splatterhouse. Splatterhouse started out as an arcade title and later it was ported over to the TurboGrafx-16. It was a 2-D side-scrolling platformer with plenty of blood and gore and a great shock factor that helped it to sell well. In 1992 and 1993 it spawned two sequels on the Sega Genesis.

Splatterhouse on PS3 and Xbox 360 is a return to the world of Splatterhouse and it really does have a good feel to it that reminded me of the original titles. The game starts out with Rick Taylor meeting up with his girlfriend, Jennifer, in a mansion (West Mansion). Rick and Jennifer are both attacked by creatures sent by Dr. West. Dr. West kidnaps Jennifer and leaves Rick fatally wounded on the floor. The terror mask lies beside Rick and offers Rick the power to save Jennifer under one condition - put the mask on.

After putting the mask on, Rick gains the power to defeat the creatures in the mansion and our story begins! Splatterhouse is a 3-D action platformer that focuses more on action and combat much more than it's predecessors. The combat in Splatterhouse is quite deep. It's not as deep as a Devil May Cry game, but it's not a complete button masher either. Rick has tons of moves at his disposal and he can buy and upgrade his moves as he defeats his enemies. The mask requires blood to grow stronger, so it absorbs the blood of Rick's defeated foes allowing a player to upgrade Rick's arsenal of moves.

The combat in Splatterhouse is extremely bloody - the game encourages gore! Enemies are torn to pieces at times during normal combat or during finishing moves. Rick can grab an enemy when it glows red and is close to death and perform a finishing move (splatterkill) on that enemy if a player can quickly hold the thumbstick directions on the screen. This will feed the mask more blood, so the more violent the death, the more rewarding the blood amount will be.

Rick can enter a Berserker mode where the terror mask will take full control of him as he sprouts bones on his back and gains sharp bone appendages for arms. Rick is basically invincible during this time and can literally paint the walls red. Like the older Splatterhouse games, Rick can pick up a variety of weapons and use them in combat - 2x4, lead pipe, baseball bat, meat cleaver, shotgun. All the weapons from the original series are basically here. Rick can literally splat his enemies against a wall (or the screen) just like in the older Splatterhouse titles!