Damn, It Feels Good To Be A Slender

28 Mar

Everybody put on your fancy suits and pantyhose face masks, because we’re talking about Slender: The Arrival, motherfuckers!


I’ve talked about the perpetually gangly Slender Man several times by now, so me making a review of the new Slender game is about as shocking as… something that’s really not shocking, I guess.

(Man, analogies are really slipping.)

The Slender Man, for those not in the know, is a faceless man in a suit who can alter space and time and likes to mess around with very incredulous people with shaky cams. He’s become the first new monster in a very, very long time and also the new go-to costume for Halloween parties and I’m not quite sure how to feel about that.

According to the Slender Man Wiki, Arrival has been written by the same guys who made Marble Hornets, which I think is supposed to be a good thing, but clearly whoever made that decision never actually watched Marble Hornets. (It’s the biggest Slender Man augmented reality game, by the way.)

Writing is… not Marble Hornets’ strong suit, so to speak. Telling an engaging story or having likeable characters are two things that it just doesn’t do, which is kind of a problem when you’re writing a video game. The thing Marble Hornets does well is nice, subtle terror. A slight of the hand, as opposed to an impromptu puppet show.

Here, this is a good example.

So the first level, dubbed “Prologue”, in which you have to wander around a normal house searching for “Kate” in the middle of a dark and stormy night, is one of the highlights of the game. Actually, lets not mince words: It’s fucking awesome.

(Although, it’s such a shock-tease. It ends with the scream of a Rake, and then all of a sudden it’s the next level! Good god, what is it with video game designers specifically leaving out the coolest parts of the game?!)

Level two, “The Eight Pages” is the exact same level from the trial AND from the original game and if I talk about this damn level one more time I am going to drive sporks in to my eyes.

The third level, “Into The Abyss”, is the biggest departure from the original. Sure, you’re still running about a dark environment (in this case, some kind of industrial underground warehouse thing), trying to find a certain number of things (in this case, generators), but instead of running away from the Slender Man, now you’re running from Proxies!

I think the Witch just stole the Hunter’s sweater.

(Proxies are human schmucks who became the Pinocchio to Slendy’s Geppetto, if you get my incredibly convoluted metaphor.)

It’s a nice change, but I have no idea what the hell I’m supposed to do! They sprint up, smack you around, then pirouette away before you know what the fuck.

Level four is called “Flashback” which apparently takes place in the house again, but the game won’t stop glitching up long enough for me to finish so for all I know, this level ends with the Slender Man and Proxy tangoing under the moonlight.

And the last level is- wait, what? There’s only FIVE levels?!



I was under the impression that this was going to be a game, with a story and actual characters and a decent friggin’ length and not a random assortment of atmospheric vignettes, but, you know.

I’m flexible.

I will never, ever get tired of this picture.

Or, at least, that’s what all the ladies say.

So, level five: “The Arrival”Apparently this is the point where the game got self aware, and it opens by lighting the stereotypical creepy forest on fire. There’s “hanging a lampshade” and then there’s “lighting the lampshade on fire and tossing it out a window”.

The Slender Man, never one to lay down on the job, takes this opportunity to continue pursuing us through the forest fire while tentacle-fying everything in sight. I’m guessing it was supposed to be a quick, exciting sequence, but I died ten times because the game has some kind of fetish for not explaining things.

After the grand escape in to another underground passage, we trip across an industry standard creepy recording, until all the lights go out one by one, followed by death.

Fucking Vastra Nerada.

So, that’s Slender: The Arrival and… hey, what did I say about it up there?

“Assortment of atmospheric vignettes”?

Yeah, that’s pretty accurate.

Individually, each level is nice and scary and definitely worth the price of admission, but as a whole, it’s just a little bit insulting. The story is non-existent, and I’m not entirely sure if there were any characters.

I mean, what is it with these Slender Man stories and their complete inability to have actual characters?! Holy hell, it’s insane. We need to have one with, like, a smartass protagonist, with a socially inept friend, and maybe with an angry girl sidekick. And they all fight the Slender Man and Proxies and Rakes and maybe some new monsters and-

Hold on, I need to write this.


One Response to “Damn, It Feels Good To Be A Slender”


  1. The Ninth Day Of Regretmas: Outlasting The Holidays | A VERY STRANGE PLACE - December 21, 2013

    […] what a fool I was, back in my Slender: The Arrival review, calling it the first found footage game! But Outlast has that thoroughly beaten by a […]

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