Splatterhouse First Look

We indulged in some heavy spine crushing and eyeball squishing in Namco Bandai's stomach-churning remake.

As one of the first games to receive a parental advisory warning, the original Splatterhouse on the TurboGrafx-16 (known as PC-Engine in Japan) pushed the boundaries of taste with walking corpses, decaying foetuses, and masses of gore. Publisher Namco Bandai is bringing the series up to date with a 3D third-person makeover but is keeping the same over-the-top blood-soaked visuals of the original. In our short time with a preview build of the game, shocked gasps and nervous laughter echoed around the room as skulls were crushed and spines were ripped from bodies. It's clear that Splatterhouse isn't for the fainthearted, so those of a nervous disposition may wish to look away now.

The story of Splatterhouse closely follows that of the original, but with a few twists. You play as Rick, a parapsychology student who is caught in a storm with his girlfriend Jennifer. They take refuge in a mansion owned by deranged occult figure Dr. West. West sends monsters known as the corrupted after the pair, kidnapping Jennifer and heavily wounding Rick. Left for dead, Rick finds a mystical mask that tells him it can restore his body and help him rescue his girlfriend. The Mask fuses with Rick and gives him superhuman strength, complete with outlandish bulging muscles and an appetite for blood. It's your job to guide Rick around the mansion and help save his beloved.

West's mansion serves as a hub world; portals appear that lead to new environments where Rick must solve puzzles, indulge in some platforming, or just kick the living hell out of everything in his path. Most levels involve combat of some sort. You have several attacks at your disposal, including charges, dashes, throws, and splatters. Splatter attacks are the most gruesome of the bunch and are used to finish enemies off after hitting them with regular attacks. They usually take the form of a quick-time event that requires you to mash a button or twiddle the thumbsticks in a motion resembling what is happening onscreen. Some of the attacks we were shown included crushing heads, pushing eyeballs through skulls, and, most gruesome of all, milking the blood out of enemies into a pool on the floor. You also have special magic powers at your disposal, one of which sees giant spikes rising out of the floor and impaling all the enemies around you.

No weapon can match the mighty power of a two-by-four and set of rusty nails.

Blood forms an integral part of the Splatterhouse experience. As well as adding gory eye-candy to the visuals, it powers the terror mask, which in turn powers you. The more blood you collect, the more power the mask has, and the more splatter moves you can pull off. A running counter totals up the litres of blood you extract, and there are rewards for collecting a large amount. Of course, enemies do not give up their blood without a fight. A unique regeneration system is employed, which gives a gory visual indication of how much damage you have sustained. Each time you are hit by an enemy, Rick's body gets injured. At first these are just small wounds, such as cuts and bruises. As you take more damage, pieces of Rick's flesh fall off, revealing the bones underneath. His limbs can also be ripped off, leaving you to defend yourself with just a single arm or leg. Once you are free from attacks, Rick's body gradually regenerates, with skin, flesh, and limbs growing back. The ability to rip off limbs also applies to enemies. You can tear off their arms and legs and proceed to beat them to death with them. As well as limbs, other weapons are available in the game, such as meat cleavers, lead pipes, shotguns, and chainsaws, though we didn't see any of them in action.

In addition to combat, there are puzzle and platforming sections to work through. Gore fans need not worry, though, as these sections are just as gruesome as the combat. In one section, we were shown Rick in a room with a giant eyeball for a door. Surrounding it were fanged mouths with giant spikes in the middle. In order to exit, Rick had to grab enemies and impale them on each of the spikes. This appeased the house and weakened the eyeball, allowing him to destroy it in an explosion of viscous eye fluid and exit the room. Platforming sections were similarly vile, with Rick swinging from hanging intestines and limbs to reach distant platforms. An interesting touch is the addition of pseudo 2D sections, where you can move only from left to right on a single plane. We were told these were included as an homage to the original, and they featured similar challenges, such as navigating around rotating spiked platforms and swinging axes. The elevator sections from the original also make a return. They pit you against waves of enemies as they try to destroy the gears of the elevator, which can cause you to plummet to your death.

Clean-up on aisle three.

The enemies take on many guises, ranging from simple walking skeletons to winged creatures with fanged mouths. Among the most grotesque enemies we saw were giant human foetuses which dangled from the ceiling, dripping with blood. They sprouted tentacles that lashed out at Rick and exploded into pools of pus when destroyed. There were also bosses to face, which ranged from a small serpentlike creature to an enormous snake with a giant tongue that filled the room. Most bosses required using quick-time events to take them down, with rapid button mashes executing devastating kill moves, such as tearing off heads and ripping out internal organs. The environments in the game share the same gory aesthetic. Walls drip with pus, bloody tentacles slither across the floor, and even opening a door requires squishing a small eyeball. The soundtrack is also worthy of note, with disgusting squelchy noises accompanying the visceral violence, which Namco Bandai told us were made by a room full of "sick puppies that threw meat onto walls." Splatterhouse fans will be pleased to hear that uncensored versions of the original trilogy are included in the package, though we were told these were hidden as unlockables

In the early preview build we were shown, we did notice some significant frame-rate issues, particularly when splatter moves were used, which caused the game to skip sections of the bloody animation. This was even more noticeable when a large number of enemies were present, though the game seemed to run smoothly during the platforming and pseudo 2D sections. Namco Bandai has some time left to iron out these issues, though, with the game due for release on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 this Halloween.

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Discussion

63 comments
TheBEST305gamer
TheBEST305gamer

@kickbackjack Not everyone is 16 yrs old like you. Is your world really that small?

The_Frozen_Soul
The_Frozen_Soul

will this game be as brutal as GoWIII??? can't wait to play it....

b3mb3n
b3mb3n

sweeeeet ... got Darksiders - turned out nice ... got GoW3 - turned out even nicer ... now this might be .... The Cherry On The Top :)

hellpolice
hellpolice

This version of the game will be so much fun, I hope.

kawileeh
kawileeh

damn good....!!can't wait 4 this game....

KickbackJack
KickbackJack

I foresee this title to be in the bargin bin quite shortly after its release at the bargin price of $5.99. Why do these game companies make remakes of early 90's games that people either hardly remember or are too young to know about? Oh well, better put my $5.99 + tax money aside so I can go get a pre-owned copy...

SideSwipes
SideSwipes

Did I hear that right? Blood regenerates you? Awesome.

Coolyfett
Coolyfett

I remember the old game! I forgot all about this game...Silent Hill & Resident Evil need to pay homage! They got their idea from this. I think game came out in 90 or 91

ShooterMcGavin2
ShooterMcGavin2

Looks great for some hack N' Slash arcade fun. No word on any storyline sofar which means No real replay value, would love to see new inventive ways to dismember bad guys. This might be fun from start to end but after that it looks like something you would trade in for half the retail value

ShooterMcGavin2
ShooterMcGavin2

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

sleepychicken
sleepychicken

Christ, this game has been in development for like 4 years and they're still playing "early preview builds". I know some stuff happened and the property swapped hands but damn.

Nihonjinjanai
Nihonjinjanai

It reminds me of Evil Dead Fistfull of Boomstick.

ClevBeast
ClevBeast

Played the original in the arcades but never got to the end so i watched a clip on Youtube of a guy completing it and found i had missed alot of it. Hope the new incarnation is pretty special

shahroz47
shahroz47

Please be good. Please be good. Please be good.

HiroArka
HiroArka

I will buy and love this game no matter what might be wrong with it.

cousin_eddy
cousin_eddy

Going to keep hope this will be awesome :).

MaNiKore
MaNiKore

I loved playing this game in the arcade, I spent nearly all my communion money playin it. I said nearly, because the rest I spent on cans of coke and sweets to keep me going. Aaaah, the good old days, when you used to get all hyped up by eating c-rap

itchyflop
itchyflop

BloomerNYC now thats funny, good pic for this game!!!

itchyflop
itchyflop

is was a real shiner on the sega genesis / megadrive very memorable!!! its good to see some classics being remodelled and re mastered.

manhunt420
manhunt420

I loved the old ones and hope this one lives up to the hype.

akz_chris
akz_chris

it seems this game will be fun like old times...

zvaraly
zvaraly

Really hope the dead bodies of fallen enemies remain on screen rather than fading out or disappearing after being slain. Would be fun to to pound and mutilate dead corpses even further between combat sequences. You know, for the hell of it... it is splatterhouse after all.

HB_Dad
HB_Dad

This one looks like it has the heart of the original, but gameplay-wise it seems to much more closely resemble God Of War from what I can see! I hope this game is much longer than the original as I could beat the original in like a half hour or so!!!

tobelight
tobelight

Curious why did they hide my comment? It contained criteria referencing the game. oh well

tobelight
tobelight

Lost Boy. Look at Metroid it changed genres and made an EPIC trilogy. beat em up button mashing just too annoying and gets boring too fast for me.

MrGoodKill
MrGoodKill

I'm crossing my fingers that this is as good as the hype surrounding it.

seany1399
seany1399

loved the old ones on the sega, lets just hope they dont mess it up :(

richioso
richioso

the only gun that should ever be available in this game is the shotgun, and even then only with one shot from each barrel. Just let me at'em with the chainsaw for some ol'school slashin'

GeminiEntity
GeminiEntity

Sounds like the game is has everything right when it comes to the feel of Splatterhouse. Lets hope the frame rate is steady when the game is released and we might have one scary and bloody beat em up.

alstevens83
alstevens83

Man I hope they don't **** this up. I use to love this on the Megadrive. Also interested about the Zombie clowns, will they be like the ones from L4D2, as in if you leave them alive they will draw more monsters towards you.

PS3JMC
PS3JMC

This game looks different. This game looks like one of the best horror games i have seen in a while, hope it turns out great.

nemesis9632
nemesis9632

@ tobelight I understand your doubt, however to add guns to this game would be a total slap in the face of the originals and to what this game is, it is about smashing in all baddies to a bloody pulp. That is how the originals were.

o0_L0st_B0y_0o
o0_L0st_B0y_0o

@tobelight "would of been better has FPS or 3rd person shooter. Beat em up = Fail" you fo' real? granted i will wait judgement on this but why would it be better as an fps? if its to bring back a loved classic why change it drastically into a different genre?

Darkreaper_1
Darkreaper_1

Hmmmm, while I was a big fan of the originals I have serious doubts about this game.

boom_city
boom_city

this can either be amazingly epic or fail horribly, but who honestly dint love the first splatter house all those years ago..

Ne_rome
Ne_rome

Blood, gore, action, fighting, blood, gore... This game will be EPIC.

tobelight
tobelight

would of been better has FPS or 3rd person shooter. Beat em up = Fail

raith616
raith616

after the last few dire releases from sega they should be due a good one! fingers crossed!!