It may have sounded like one of our wishful Waiting To Happens when we announced a game based on John Carpenter's The Thing a few months back, but as soon as the screenshots started trickling in we knew this was going to be special. There's never been a better time to be a fan of this classic horror remake (if you don't already own the fantastic feature-packed DVD, go get it now), and developer Computer Artworks are staying very true to the film. The game begins where the movie ends, as a Norwegian and US team arrive in the Antarctic base to investigate what happened.
You might think the most obvious result would be a Resident Evil clone set in the snow, but in the hands of Computer Artworks it's turning into one of the most original and intriguing games currently in development. CA, in case you don't remember, were responsible for the flawed but imaginative Evolva. This practically guarantees The Thing will be visually stunning and full of new ideas. The screenshots should give you a pretty good idea about its looks, but it's the concept that will grab your attention.
The film was as much about character interaction and paranoia as it was about horrific action set pieces, and the game reflects this. Rather than playing as a solo figure, you control Blake, the squad leader of the military personnel investigating the scientist camp. While you don't directly control any of the team characters, you can give them orders through hotkeys in pure SWAT3 fashion. There are soldiers to do the heavy fighting, engineers to use computers and solve any mechanical problems and medics to keep the whole party healthy. The most important and startling feature though, is that each of these characters has a full mental life, so you need to manage their levels of fear and trust as well as ordering them about.
Almost anything you do will have a bearing on their behaviour, especially as they spiral into paranoia when they realise any one of them (or even you) could be the Thing.
But your teammates are just one of the forms the creature takes on. You'll be fighting Scuttlers (body pieces with legs like giant spiders), Walkers (humans with parts of alien anatomy shooting through them) and Ruptures (monstrous masses of flesh).
The Thing is anything but linear and there are always several ways to solve the situations you come across, whether they're brainscraping puzzles or action sequences. The state of your team is always different and you can choose to use them in different ways. Even if they die you should still be able to make it through to the end. Of course, it will be a lot tougher that way. With its unique blend of survival horror, puzzle-solving and team tactics, The Thing could well be one of those rare titles that does its licence justice.
Download The Thing
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features: Single game mode
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2018-12-06 The Thing game added.
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