Adapting the horror classic Texas Chain Saw Massacre into an asymmetrical multiplayer might seem odd on the surface — especially when the team setup isn’t the same 4v1 we’re used to with the famous Dead by Daylight, but instead a strange-sounding 4v3 arrangement. It does very well in practice, though, creating a tactical, tense, team-based multiplayer experience that favors brains over muscle. Whether you’re a member of the victim squad of four trying to escape, or the family trio of serial killers trying to cut them down, Texas Chain Saw Massacre’s mod to asymmetrical multiplayer format actually plays great, and the 4v3 format is a great match for the license-created movie around it.
Developer/publisher Gun Interactive is promising more maps for release next year, but for this preview session, I played six rounds at the most well-known location of the Texas Chain Saw Massacre: the Texas country house where the movie was shown. Victims begin in the basement, teamwork encouraged and, dare I say, vital; There are only a few ways to get out of the basement and only two ways to get out of the house once you go upstairs. In other words, there are only two ways to win. Yes, only two, because the victims can’t kill the family but instead just shock them, further affecting the balance of power. However, they can slip through narrow gaps in walls and dive under barbed wire traps.
Texas Chain Saw Massacre – September 2022 Footage
Meanwhile, the characters on both sides have unique skills. While a cook can listen closely to unhealthy victims and add locks on doors for the family, making it take longer for victims to reach them, Connie, for example, has a one-time ability to instantly break the lock. This can literally mean the difference between victory and defeat, as on my last run I was chasing Connie making my backyard gate – I just wish I had screenshots of this. Anyway, the last victim was still standing after we stabbed all her friends. However, I lost my powers, and Kony reached the gate in front of me. With that skill she kept in her back pocket, she immediately cracked the lock, entered the gate, and escaped victoriously. Without this advantage, I had enough time to claim one last victim – and victory for myself.
Meanwhile, the Leatherface of the franchise is great and not in the slightest smart. But he can use his saw to cut through doors as well as destroy crawl entrances and exits so that victims have fewer transportation options. I enjoyed his ability to speed up his saw, and how that relates to the power of his attacks. Swing the saw at the victim without speeding him up and you will do very little damage. Spin it too high for too long and it will stop. But if you catch the cool spot in the velocity range, you’ll get a one-hit kill, complete with a quick and horrific scene. (Note that you can also turn off the saw in order to move stealthily like the big guy.) From firsthand experience I can tell you this is very satisfying. And its acceleration as he roams the house allows him to strike terror out loud in the hearts and minds of the victims. He is my favorite character so far.
Finally, the Hitchhiker is the smartest and most intelligent of the serial killer trio. He can traverse those little crevices and crevices that victims can make, and I made sure to use his agility to whisk myself straight into the front yard when the match started, and run the gas-powered generator that powers the electrified safety system that guards the way into the road. He can also set foolproof traps to slow down victims – either by trapping them directly, or by placing them in places where teens have to spend time disrupting them.
It’s wise for the three family members to collect blood from around the house – as well as from the victims – in order to feed the grandfather, the non-playable member of the family who acts as a kind of Sauron-esque eye that sees everything like blood you feed levels to him. Occasionally he screams and tags any victim who moves the moment he screams. And speaking of leveling up, there’s a huge ongoing skill tree that I wasn’t able to play with in this one-time trial session, but it promises to allow you to customize your victim and family skills to your liking.
I admit that I enjoyed playing as a family more than the victims in my initial rounds. I had a blast trying to beat them even though they were outnumbered. But there’s no doubt that careful teamwork and coordination will pay off well for good victim players – like when one of you goes upstairs and reenergizes the basement exit, giving his teammates another way to escape. It should also be noted that the victims are able to hide in the dark corners of the house, in the bushes outside, and sneak out quietly so as not to make a lot of noise and alert the family. As the developer’s guide said, “Just leaving the door open can hurt you in this game.”
The sheer number of tactics at play between these two starkly contrasted sides is impressive. What’s commendable is how well Texas Chain Saw Massacre is doing right now, even though its release date won’t be until sometime next year. No movie license is placed on this game. Instead, it feels like an excellent pairing, and I can’t wait to play more.
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