Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
Albino Lullaby Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Even if I hadn't run into a game-ending glitch that forced me to start over from the beginning, I still would have been disappointed by Albino Lullaby. Any hopes for a scary story are dashed the moment the goofy slug monsters show up; turning the first-person adventure into a half-baked stealth game. All this is compounded by checkpointing problems and linear stage designs. Rating: 20%
Albino Lullaby
Albino Lullaby Albino Lullaby Albino Lullaby Albino Lullaby
  • Review Score:

  • D
There's a chance that Albino Lullaby has the greatest ending of all time. In my head it has a twist ending every bit as mind-blowing as BioShock or Silent Hill 2. Sadly, I'll probably never see how the first episode of this horror trilogy plays out. About halfway through this first-person adventure game, I ran into a major bug that made it impossible to advance the story. My only option was to start the game over from the beginning. I did not start over.

Advertised as a psychological horror game free of jump scares and excessive gore, Albino Lullaby sees our hero waking up from a car accident in an old creepy mansion. Told entirely from a first-person perspective, our goal is to break free and find a way back to civilization. But it's not going to be that easy. The mansion is full of twisted puzzles and there's a weird supernatural cult wandering the halls. And with no weapons lying around, it's safe to say this is going to be a sneaking mission.

Our kidnappers are a race of human-sized slugs who have the ability to talk and smother our confused hero. Through notes on the ground and overheard conversations, we're led to believe that these slugs kidnap humans for nefarious reasons. Thankfully these slugs are slow and easy to outrun, giving us a chance to explore the surroundings and solve the various puzzles.

Perhaps calling the obstacles "puzzles" is a bit misleading, since you're never forced to use your brain to come up with a solution. Most challenges are little more than finding the right buttons to press or locating a key to unlock the elevator. Each area is relatively small and self-contained, so there isn't a lot of backtracking and the level designs are decidedly linear.

As spooky mansions go, the one in Albino Lullaby is surprisingly ingenious. It's as if the entire house is controlled by gears, allowing players to flip and rotate rooms at the push of a button. This is just the start of a larger area that extends beyond the mansion, suggesting that these creatures have been living alongside us for quite a while.

Albino Lullaby (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

At first I thought the game was going to be a horror-themed variation on Portal, having the player twist and rotate rooms in order to solve puzzles. But that mechanic is quickly abandoned in favor of frustrating stealth sequences. And it all goes downhill from there.

Albino Lullaby is made by talented people who have worked on some of my favorite games, including BioShock Infinite and the recent Tomb Raider reboot. It has an intriguing set-up that introduces at least one cool gameplay mechanic. With all this potential, it's a shame that this first-person horror game is such a mess. The story is conveyed in the most irritating way possible, the level designs are bland and the checkpoints are few and far between. Worst of all, it's never scary.

But even if you were to accept all of its imperfections, Albino Lullaby is still a filled with game-ending bugs. The most obvious offender involves the amount of slug monsters that pile up after repeated deaths. You'll sneak through an area with relative ease, only to discover that there are twice as many enemies the next time around. Die too many times and the rooms will overflow with bad guys, making it impossible to advance the story.

Albino Lullaby (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

I got to a point in the game where there were so many enemies in a room that they were literally pouring out into the next. They completely blocked the door, leaving me with no way to complete my objective. I couldn't move them, sneak past them or even attack them. I had no other option but to start the game over from the beginning, losing a couple hours of progress.

Had Albino Lullaby been more compelling, I likely would have bit the bullet and powered my way through the game a second time. But I couldn't bring myself to repeat the many boring steps it took to get me to this point. As far as I'm concerned, the rampant technical issues are a lot scarier than any slug monster.
comments powered by Disqus