Cosmic horror washes up on The Shore from Ares Dragonis.
I am admittedly a huge fan of horror and, more specifically, cosmic horror, as you may read in my past reviews. So when the first screen captures of The Shore were published, my interest was more than mildly piqued.
For the uninitiated, cosmic horror is a genre I have previously defined as “the world of gods, demigods, and cosmic horror created by the author H. P. Lovecraft.”
In recent years Lovecraft himself has become a controversial author due to his very open racism and xenophobia, but it is important to understand that 100 years after he began to be published, cosmic horror has been expanded by hundreds if not thousands of writers. Great authors such as Ramsey Cambell, Robert Bloch, Brian Lumley, Robert E. Howard, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, and Sandy Petersen just to name a few.
Robert E. Howard even included Lovecraftian Cthulhu mythology in his Conan Saga, which makes its own important place in fantasy, pre-dating Dungeons & Dragons by close to 40 years. It even pre-dates J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Hobbit by almost a decade!
This brings us to The Shore, as we quite literally wash up on a shore, a survivor of a boat crash looking for their lost daughter. Along the way, the cosmic monsters try to stop you in your attempt to find the truth and uncover the mystery.
The Shore is a beautiful game. The locations and detail of the imagery are phenomenal. For cosmic horror, it is tone-perfect for this generation of graphics.
The gameplay is very reminiscent of Layers of Fear and other horror games that some call “walking simulators.” You may do a lot of walking, but I can assure you that it is done in an interesting fashion and helps to build the horror throughout the game. The visuals, sound, and tone make for a great horror atmosphere that I want to spend more time in.
As I mentioned, these horror games can have a slow pace, and some may find it difficult to stay glued to their PC. This slow pace masks that the length of the game comes in at a very svelt 2.5 hrs. There is also the main problem of there just not being much to do. There is a lot of pixel-hunting to find clues to make The Shore effective, which may seem tedious to some gamers. The Shore currently sits at the $25 price point, which makes its length just about valid, but you can see how some people will feel that the shore game time would justify a $10 price tag versus a $25 dollar one.
Final Thoughts and Recommendations
The Shore is a game with tremendous possibilities that I hope are realized in the near future. The elements are all there, but they need to be fleshed out. There are still quite a few bugs and glitches to work out, and so far there have already been many patches… but it may still feel like a beta to many players. The Shore is a game with massive potential and a ready-made audience just waiting for there to be more so that they may spend ample time in this amazing game world.
A review copy of The Shore was made available by the publisher. Views expressed in this article are the author’s alone and not that of the publisher or editorial board.