Splatterhouse Final Hands-On

We maimed, slaughtered, and generally hurt things in the final version of Namco Bandai's gruesome brawler Splatterhouse.

Following on from our first go at Splatterhouse back in June, we had a chance to play through the game’s final edit, conquering the first two levels of its single-player mode, as well as trying our hand at Survival mode.

Like the original 1988 game, Splatterhouse follows Rick, a young university student on a quest to save his girlfriend Jenny from the insane Doctor Henry West. The game opens with Rick in the lobby of Dr West’s home, lying broken and dying in a pool of his own blood with girlfriend Jenny kidnapped by his would-be killer Dr West. Out of nowhere, the strange mask lying next to him offers a simple deal; the power to save her, in exchange for “a little faith,” which as it turns out, means blood. After donning the mask, Rick goes through a brutal transformation that changes him from the petite, fragile college student into a hulking, skull-cracking beast.

Blood acts as the currency of the game, so you have to collect it to upgrade Rick’s abilities and shed enough of it to open certain doors. The two levels we played through saw us following Dr West as he dragged Jenny; first, through the top floors of his Mansion and then through the dungeon underneath, all while wave upon wave of monsters, zombies, and hideous tentacle horrors impeded our progress. It’s from these monsters that blood is farmed, with Rick’s repertoire of brutal punches, kicks, and throws offering a wide range of harvesting options. From our time with the game, we found the combat reminiscent of the Wii-exclusive Madworld, with the game taking us on a linear path and set numbers of enemies to be dismembered in each section. Like Madworld, the game encouraged us to make use of our surroundings, picking up random pipes, two-by-fours and dismembered limbs to be used as weapons, as well as impaling our foes on the numerous pointy spikes that decorated the walls.

The little scamp never stood a chance.

In addition to the 3D brawling levels, Splatterhouse contains classic side-scrolling sections. These add a platforming element to the game, with Rick acrobatically avoiding spike traps and leaping huge chasms with a single bound. These sections gave pleasant nods to the original game, incorporating a more retro soundtrack and gameplay style that acted as a welcome change of pace from the game's main 3D style. The Survival mode also provided some solid entertainment, dropping Rick in a gladiatorial-style rumble against increasing numbers of enemies, with the simple objective of staying alive for as long as possible.

From what we played of the game, we found that it offers a diverse set of environments and enemies despite the closed setting. In the aptly named Satan’s Masque and The Doll That Bled levels, we took Rick on a rampage through a haunted house, a mad scientist’s lab, and a dungeon, battling everything from strange demonlike creatures to mutated humans that had been unlucky enough to be caught and experimented on by Dr West. Each monster we fought had its own behavior, with small demons attacking with slashing and biting attacks, while Rick’s ex-classmates tried to grab and pummel us. As a result, we were forced to adapt our approach to combat depending on the type of opponent we faced.

The retro side-scrolling sections bring back fond memories of the 16-bit era.

The game’s graphics, like its gameplay, are rough and uncompromising. The lighting is strong and partisan, giving an almost comic-book feel to the game. The animations, which in our earlier plays could be marred by frame rate issues, are now fast and brutal, with Rick’s charge attacks feeling suitably weighty compared to his quicker combo moves. The high energy of the game is also reflected in the constant stream of blood and gore that dominates the screen. Every kill results in a fountain of blood that covers pretty much everything (including the screen). In addition, any damage that Rick takes is shown on the character model, with each enemy attack removing a part of Rick’s body. At points, we were running around minus an arm and with only half of our rib cage intact.

With its unashamed gore and profanity, Splatterhouse is not a game that will be to everyone’s taste. If games reminiscent of classic slasher films and horror comics combined with brutal brawler gameplay are your forte, this could be the game for you. It is due for release on November 26, 2010, so keep your eyes on GameSpot for the full review soon.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

93 comments
darkness0_0
darkness0_0

meh. it looks like it would be fun for like an hour but then just get old and boring after that. might be worth a rent but probably wont buy.

stantheman12345
stantheman12345

looks fun but i have to say the blood looks terrible to other games i have seen

xboxgameman
xboxgameman

Metal music set list + blood & gore + pure rage an aggression = kick ass wicked awesome game! YEH!

ISZIO
ISZIO

this game looks cool. they really did focus on the blood but they didn't focus on the graphics

gq_cjc
gq_cjc

this game is a gory mess, but in a very good way. Its worth a rent at least. IMO its a buy. You have almost no time to rest. Nonstop action and gore FTW :D

Drakkengoth
Drakkengoth

people seem 2 b afraid to review this game. lame... well let me tell u it kicks a lot of f*ckin' ass, much better than dante's inferno. Believe me i am a real metalhead and a glutton for the goriest games

agentx26
agentx26

awesome bring me back when i was 11 great graphic even the 3 original game are pack in

Drakun
Drakun

@RiOrus If you are going to bring up peoples spelling on a message board, might want to make sure that you also spell correctly: "pretense"

Ronin893
Ronin893

:question: Where r the reviews people? Im hearing people getting the platinum already.

iboo01
iboo01

Pure hack and slash I think the guy was hitting one button at max two the whole vid through (mindless)

P-Dunn
P-Dunn

Has Namco Bandai ever heard of a thing called subtlety? Good grief.

_TheJoker_
_TheJoker_

Still waiting for the review!!! Don't make me buy this game before the review!

Doolum
Doolum

i dont have anything against brutal games and bloodshed in games but this one sounds over the top of acceptable games to be played on my list of acceptable games to be played.i'll pass thank you.

Mon6ana
Mon6ana

nice soundtrack.. and I think if they sell blood to the blood bank it would be good

PS3gamer890
PS3gamer890

looks horrible not even thinking of renting it

bbdieseal111
bbdieseal111

Well played ending this game is a way to much gore for me so I stick to God of War

AAWELLS07
AAWELLS07

the game really surprised me im thoroughly enjoying it. and its really nice to have a soundtrack that i actually enjoy. the boss with the 2 chainsaws was sweet and having lamb of god -walk with me in hell- just topped it off

Speuj
Speuj

These comments are hilarious! lol! Nice to see people having opinions, but why do we still have to be retarded and not let other people have theirs? Anyway, I bought this yesterday... its awesome! Perfect for some mindless fun! =P No, there's nothing groundbreaking here.. yes, its a lot of "been there, done that"... but its a great homage to an old classic, and I'm a sucker for nostalgia! =) I recommend it.

Black_Adder_
Black_Adder_

@ BloomerNYC I actually enjoy VANQUISH much more than FALLOUT 3. Didn't buy NEW VEGAS just because how boring 3rd was compared to FALLOUT 2 and FALLOUT TACTICS. About SPLATTERHOUSE - it's game for just having fun, same as DEAD RISING and actually VANQUISH too.

Dhoangy
Dhoangy

@ RiOrus Well it doesn't really matter too much on how we spell, as long as we understand each other that's fine, ITS GAMESPOT man, lighten up =D

RiOrus
RiOrus

What I find most interesting about the opinions and comments made in these forums is that although each has the pretence of being well versed in gaming, backed with such passionate opinion, hardly anyone seems to be able to spell correctly. Especially when the 'check spelling' tool is available.

irishdude199210
irishdude199210

@cynicalundead, sorry, yeah. i meant i was agreeing with the fact that it sunds like slayer in the background.

cynicalundead
cynicalundead

@irishdude199210 I don't get what you are agreeing with. I was just asking if that was the band Slayer playing in the background. Perhaps you should have mentioned someone else? I think this game is pretty cool, and I am 32, and considered to be of above average intelligence. If you criticize the game for having cartoon violence, I think you are missing the point.

Gravymakr
Gravymakr

1:37 and I'm already bored...

irishdude199210
irishdude199210

@cynicalundead, my thoughts exaclty. This gam looks so pathetic lol buy it if youe ten years old, or have the mind of one. Cartoon violence lol PATHETIC!!!

Drakkengoth
Drakkengoth

wheres the review 4 this game? i want to c what overly opinionated douchers have to say. So far for me, its game of the f*ckin year

CreatureRising
CreatureRising

I always enjoy a good excuse to kill things in grissly manners. Maybe I'll give this a look.

BloomerNYC
BloomerNYC

as long as the industry keeps ripping us off with 60 dollar games, linear titles like this won't get high reviews. it's a shame that they think it's ok to sell a 8 hour game(vanquish) for the same price as a 100+ hour game(fallout). wish the companies had a little more respect for gamers.

BloomerNYC
BloomerNYC

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Notelessinferno
Notelessinferno

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

cynicalundead
cynicalundead

Is that Slayer playing in the background if the video?

DbzJohno
DbzJohno

Played a couple of levels last night. I love the game so far. Very bloody, Excellent soundtrack, and I love the way the terror mask Taunts at rick or the certain one liners that he says. I think this is an awesome game!!!!!!!!!

green_abobo
green_abobo

i have a copy in my hot little hands and i simply cannot wait for the test drive. i'm gonna revel in every second of it. blood and gore,intense violence, nudity, sexual themes, and strong language, a metal-laden soundtrack,splatterkills,plus the first three installments of the original game(s), and a 6' terror mask figurine...how the hell can you possibly not already be on the way to the store as i type???

icetone
icetone

I played the first ones on my PC and didn't like them of their horrible gragpics and gameplay I wonder if this will be better HOPEFULLY

Twiztid-Maddox
Twiztid-Maddox

This is a very underappreciated franchise, one that has a very good cult of followers... If you see this and say it's not as good as God of War and such, you're definitely not the person this game is for...

geelw
geelw

A tiny bit of perspective to the folks on the fence: Er, it's a game named "Splatterhouse", not "Maw-sterpiece Thee-a-ter Presents: Spaltterhouse." What? You're expecting it to walk the dog and make you breakfast the morning after you play it? If you're going into this with expectations about it being "incredibly deep" or "epic" or "Game of the Year" material with a perfect score (or you approach ALL the games you want to play in this manner)... hear that knock at your door? It the Game Police. "YOU. IN THE MARIO BOXERS. Step. Away. From. The. Internet. NOW... And go play more games (and a wider variety of them so you learn to appreciate the time and effort that goes into creating them) instead of reading about other people playing them for you and what THEY think you might expect. Yes, It's not for a game for everyone (obviously) and like most horror-themed games, will cater to those who love what it has to offer and not slam it with silliness such as "it's not what I expected" or other nonsense. Sometimes it's nice to go to a restaurant, order the Chef's Special and eat what you're served. You might not know what's on that plate, but you'll be pleased enough once you're done to try it again (and yes, the dish will be totally different the next time). Even if you THINK you know what you're getting, sometimes it's more enjoyable when you shut off the critical part of your brain, dive in and get messy. Who eats a rack of ribs with a knife and fork? The operative word here is FUN, not "innovation", "by today's standards" or whatever other overcooked, overused buzz-words lazily written reviews by overly jaded editor-types say. That goes for any genre on any console. If you've played ANY of the original games, well... you're getting pretty much the same thing, but in 3D and quite uncensored. That, and you get those classics you loved as a nice bonus - sounds cool if you ask me. Just think of the new game as an extension to the arcade and console sequels and you'll do fine in not listening to what we critics have to say (unless it's constructive criticism that helps developers make batter games). Hell, at least RENT the damn game (if you can) before you start hammering away on its coffin. Just a thought...

jalm20
jalm20

bloody and simple to play, i like that

Mpantzi
Mpantzi

It's as simple as it could possibly be. I find these kind of games are sometimes more than very complex super-productions.

advocacy
advocacy

Looks as bad as The Force Unleashed II.

Silvis121
Silvis121

Wow, the game looks good visually and I like the way the gore is, but this game won't be highly rated unless the prove there is more content than this. Games don't make it very far without depth.

jadefury27
jadefury27

i see this getting like a 7 due to lack of depth in the game play but unlocking the original splatterhouse titles is a huge plus for me.

s4dn3s5
s4dn3s5

not the best video to show the game's potential. I hope it's gonna be a 8 at least