Space Hotel Steam Pile Review
I don’t blame NHLislive for taking unapologetic inspiration from Alien Isolation. Creative Assembly’s brilliant horror-survival experience is beloved by many precisely because of the genius of its core concept; in which you are hunted in a confined environment by a single enemy, but one who is a powerful and intelligent predator.
It’s a great idea that has been left surprisingly free of imitation since its 2014 release but, unfortunately for Space Hotel, it is the execution that follows which places it firmly in the Steam Pile. Instead of an engaging horror experience, we’re treated to another run-of-the-mill greenlit Steam horror game; complete with arbitrary objectives, cheap jump scares, and an energy inefficient torch. [Jeditor’s Note: Torch = Flashlight if you’re confused]
The predatory creature itself, an unnamed humanoid who is described as a “deaf and visually impaired” monster, is ironically the victim of shoddy AI scripting. There were several instances in which he walked right past me without so much as a passing gander, so long as I stayed more or less stationary. As a result, it becomes remarkably easy to avoid him and, just like that, Space Hotel loses any of tension or atmosphere it might have initially had. I will admit, however, that the monster does look horrific, but only in the sense that it appears like something the McElroy brothers might create in an episode of Monster Factory.
The main objective, communicated to the player with all the clarity of a Terrence Malick film, is to find a bunch of cards in order to make your escape from the ship, which can be easily completed within an hour. This is despite the fact, by the way, that there’s no discernible way of figuring out where these collectibles are other than through a process of elimination as you wander around the environment. Other than the monster himself, and a random reference to The Walking Dead (I think?), there’s not much worth exploring among the miserable corridors of the Space Hotel.
“another run-of-the-mill greenlit Steam horror game”
Despite being set in space, where anything is conceptually possible, the environments are bland spaces populated by a myriad of chairs, tables and other bog standard pieces of furniture. If the monster does manage to catch you, prepare for a cheap jump scare which will do nothing but give you some temporary respite from the otherwise uneventful meandering which will take up most of your time.
If all this wasn’t enough to dissuade you from touching Space Hotel, the entire experience is marred with all manner of bugs and glitches, including two hard crashes which forced me to reset the game entirely.
Avoid this one as if it were a sex-starved facehugger.
[A copy of the game was purchased by the reviewer for the purpose of this review.]