Lust For Darkness Review: The Erotic Cthulhu Game You Didn't Know You Needed
Cthulhu mythos fans have been majorly spoiled lately, with They Remain and The Endless hitting theaters and a trio of video games arriving shortly including the Call Of Cthulhu reboot, open world entry The Sinking City, and today the erotic horror adventure Lust For Darkness.
After that censorship debacle in Agony soured the experience for many horror fans, players seeking something boundary-pushing will unquestionably want to give Lust For Darkness a go.
Both games have their strengths and weaknesses, but Lust has a more polished feel at launch, and while there's less overt gore, the storytelling is easily on a higher level.
At The Mansion Of Madness
Lust is more along the lines of the traditional walking simulator horror game than Agony was, focusing on exploring locations and opening an endless series of drawers while escaping detection.
The gameplay will make you think of Layers Of Fear or SOMA, but with more direct storytelling than the former. This isn't an abstract game where you have to wonder what's happening -- its a straightforward cosmic horror narrative, and that's something that's been missing from this style.
Its not all just walking and running from the monster though. Puzzles pop up every so often when you need to escape from Lusst'ghaa or make your way further into the mansion.
Some of those puzzles had me stumped for a few minutes while I tried to figure out the game's logic, but none of them are frustrating enough that you'll ever feel the need to turn it off and play something else.
To add another dimension of gameplay, you will occasionally have to use a spider-headed alien mask to detect hidden ways of progressing through areas... but if you leave it on too long you go insane.
Creating A Horror Feel
The atmosphere is ramped up properly in Lust, but the death sequences feel like they need to be expanded. Outlast for example had those truly ghoulish death scenes that made you want to avoid getting killed again, but here there's basically just a slicing motion and fade to black.
Although less relentlessly bloody than other recent horror titles, there is just as much grotesque horror on display with fully nude themes. There are unquestionably screenshots I can't include here because they push the envelope to a pornographic place.
Agony was all about the vagina-headed demons and pulsating vulva fruit, while Lust For Darkness instead has a hermaphroditic motif. Prepare yourself for a bevy of futanari creatures that have breasts and multiple penises... and probably want to impale you in unpleasant ways.
Sex stuff aside, between the unsettling alien architecture and weird arcane machinery, there's a lot the developers get right about the Mythos.
In fact an early segment of the game taking place in an old timey mansion while sneaking to avoid guards will bring to mind Call Of Cthulhu: Dark Corners Of The Earth.
The game splits itself between a plane of cosmic dread where death is a sexual release, and a giant sprawling estate where cultists are enacting a ritual. The latter segments are essentially the Eyes Wide Shut mansion, but with a stronger horror twist.
The Bottom Line
It should go without saying that Lust For Darkness is a super NSFW entry. There's dildo machines, lesbian orgies, futa statues... even the wine corks look like a golden butt plugs.
If you want a sexy horror experience, then Lust is the game for you. The voice acting and writing are easily better than Agony, although still on the indie side (a couple of minor spelling and grammar mistakes in the text will need to be updated with a patch).
There's also fabulous music to enhance the mood, and the mystery to the story will draw you in like any good thriller or detective movie.
Playing straight through, you'll probably finish the full game in a handful of hours, and other than going back to find side story objects you missed, there's not much for replay value. This is more a one and done story, but its a story that's well worth experiencing first hand, even if it is a little rough around the edges.
You can purchase the game on Steam for $14.99.