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[Review] Puppet Combo’s ‘Christmas Massacre’ Makes a Scuzzy Festive Slasher Into a Demented Score Attack Game

[Review] Puppet Combo's 'Christmas Massacre' Makes a Scuzzy Festive Slasher Into a Demented Score Attack Game

Puppet Combo’s eye for the absurd in PS1 period horror and old-school low-budget slashers alike has been key to the recognition of their video games, and Christmas Bloodbath joins that rising record due to a giddily gory tackle the arcade rating assault recreation.

The prologue sees a younger boy, adorned solely his underwear, a Santa masks, and hat, sneaking out of his room at an orphanage run by Nuns. A voice tells him there’s a knife within the kitchen, and from there it’s as much as you. The atmosphere is usually chilly and unfeeling till you make your approach downstairs to the principle corridor, and listen to a deranged model of Silent Night time enjoying whereas different youngsters dance bizarrely as a Nun watches on like some holy sentry.

Christmas Bloodbath is at the beginning a stealth recreation, and it’s throughout this dreary, odd social gathering that you simply actually begin to be taught the programs. In both first-person or third-person, Larry can crouch to make much less noise when transferring, and may use the shadows to keep away from the gaze of the Nun and kids. Getting caught by the Nun right here means an instantaneous restart, however the part is comparatively transient, so it’s not too aggravating.

As soon as Larry efficiently sneaks previous and into the kitchen to select up that knife although, you simply understand it received’t finish till he’s murdered each poor soul, and on this stage a minimum of your prey has nowhere to go, so there’s a flexibility to precisely the way you need to hunt all of them down in suitably grisly trend.

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After the opening credit roll, we flash ahead to an grownup Larry, dressed as a grim-looking Santa, and wallowing in his festive cesspool of a home, the place his Christmas tree tells him to go on a contemporary killing spree. Larry naturally obliges, and heads off to tackle degree after degree of slasherific rating challenges in individuals’s houses simply earlier than Christmas. Similar to Previous Saint Nick, Larry has one thing to ship to each dwelling on this neighborhood.

Now, if Larry is noticed, his potential victims will panic and head for the closest exit, which is normally only a matter of seconds away so speeding headlong right into a homicide spree is a last-ditch choice, and largely not a profitable one both. As a substitute, it’s all about timing kills to cover our bodies from others, switching off lights to make sure you stay unseen, and peeking round doorways to stop Larry from stumbling into the lap of a sufferer, thus alerting the entire place to his presence.

The faster Larry offs the family and stays comparatively unseen, the higher his rating can be, however the preliminary makes an attempt are greatest utilized as a option to scout out the sufferer’s strolling patterns, doorways to keep away from, and the optimum shadowy spots to lurk in. It has the air of a festive, fast-paced Manhunt to it, besides you’re truly enjoying an unhinged serial killer who has no reluctance to homicide everybody who dares awkwardly dance round in his neighborhood.

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I used to be initially uncertain if the give attention to scoring every killfest with minimal context (though there may be some story), and having near-instant fails for a single mistake was going to harm the very ethos of what makes a Puppet Combo recreation work, however fortunately, even with this extra streamlined strategy there’s no denying it nonetheless completely captures the appropriate ambiance, and there’s one thing wickedly scrumptious in regards to the concept of a serial killer happening a homicide spree simply to rack up a excessive rating.

Let’s be trustworthy, there merely aren’t sufficient Christmas horror video games on the market. This solves that, evoking the vacation spirit of Silent Night time, Lethal Night time to create a manic, mean-spirited slasher recreation that doesn’t linger like a badly-cooked Christmas dinner.


Christmas Bloodbath evaluation code for PC offered by the writer.

Christmas Bloodbath is out now on Steam.

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