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Slendergame

"Slender" title logo.

Slender is a 2012 downloadable first-person survival horror video game developed by Devil's Playground and published by Darkhorse Games. It is based on the 2001 comic series of the same name written by G.R. Vera and based off the character; the Slenderman.

The story revolves around one of the comic book characters, Charlie Adler, as he is kidnapped after the events in the first volume of the series and tries to survive a test given by the nefarious Slenderman. Other comic book characters include Detective David Tapp, Amanda Young and Sabin Schmidt.

The game was first announced on February 4th 2011 but did not start production till April 25th. The game developers needed budget help for production and made a Kickstarter page on March 5th, asking for $30,000 and successfully over-acheiving their goal to $40,890 and being completed on January 6th, 2012. The game was released for download on the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade and PC on July 14th.


GameplayEdit

Slender is a first-person video game that tasks the player to solve puzzles, fight enemies and complete their current goals to succeed and continue their "test". While the game is entirely composed of first-person gameplay, the cinematics are mostly shown in third-person as the player character can be seen. The game features a total of 15 achievements and 45 collectables.

Puzzles and CombatEdit

The game tasks the player to complete complex puzzles to survive. Puzzles range from fixing valve pipes to turn off steam or gas to connecting circuits and completeing a circuit box to turn on electricity. Other puzzles include connecting gears to open boxes and cabinets. Puzzles are often used during time situations that involve the player trying to survive or trying to help a person out of a trap.

Combat involves sneaking up on an enemy with a weapon and completing a quick-time event to beat the enemy to death, instead of full frontal fighting. On the HUD screen during gameplay, a blue line can be seen that shows the player's stamina, which is needed to show how much energy the player has. Without energy, the player cannot perform an attack. Weapons can range from simple items like scalpels and pipes to more modified and deadly items such as a nail-embedded baseball bat and a machete. Failing a quick-time event will end with the enemy countering the attack and hurting the player.

Items and CollectablesEdit

The player can collect items to aid themselves during the game but can also find collectable items for fun. For lighting the environment to look around, the player is first handed a lighter but can find a flashlight and a camera as they progress. Med-kits heal the player and restore his health while energy drinks and water fountains can be found to restore energy to the player's stamina. Cigarettes are also helpful as they calm the player down and allow him to be more careful and still. Items like keys, nails, gears, fuses and couplers help the player unlock puzzles. Collectable items include 25 small Slenderman figures and 20 puzzle pieces.

PremiseEdit

SettingEdit

The game takes place in an unnamed condemned town that has been altered by the Slenderman for testing the occupants. The town includes dillapitated buildings that have names like Rex's Construction Zone, Hotel Inn and Never Lose Hope Hospital. The player takes control of Charlie Adler, an original character from ther comic book series who is a former reporter that becomes obsessed with capturing the Slenderman after he learns his sister died in one of his traps. In the last comic he was in, Adler confronted Jon Small, one of the Slenderman's helpers, but was shot and passed out. The game explains that he was kidnapped after the event and healed by the Slenderman to prepare for his "test".

CharactersEdit

The main character in the game is Charlie Adler, a reporter who is featured in the comic series in the first volume. After being shot and passing out, the comic series did not refer to him again, leading main writer G.R. Vera to complete his story in another form of Slenderman fiction. Other characters who appear in the game are Detective David Tapp, Amanda Young and Sabin Schmidt. Tapp was shown in the first volume as well and later being mentioned at a funeral for deceaded cops as he is revealed to be one. Young is still a central character in the series and this is explained to be one of her "tests". Schmidt was only mentioned in the comic series on the news and in conversations, mostly regarding his horrible deed and his death as well. Detective Miles Greene was not shown in the comic series since now, making this his first appearance,

StoryEdit

Charlie Adler wakes up in a dillapitated bathroom, wearing a Reverse Bear Trap and learns that he has been captured by the Slenderman to pass his "test". The Slenderman tells Adler that his obsession to capture him lead to his divorce from his wife and destroying the friendship of his partner. The Slenderman tasks Adler to rid his obsession and find the "truth" behind his sister's death. Adler escapes and begins traversing the area, soon finding Amanda Young, a drug junkie and friend of Katie Adler. He helps Amanda escape the "Chemical Armchair" and she tells him that Katie had been acting strange and becoming friends with mysterious people before her disapperance, one being Detective David Tapp.

When he and Amanda escape the room, Amanda is kidnapped by Xander, Slenderman's helper. Adler also begins finding files made by his former partner Marcus Grimes about the cult known as the "Slender Men". Adler comes across Detective Tapp and together they complete a puzzle and escape, with Adler trusting Tapp. Later, Xander kidnaps and transports Adler and he finds Sabin Schmidt, a homophobic murderer who killed an innocent father. Adler saves Sabin from angered hunters and the " Chinese Hand Trap" but he passes out from blood loss. He finds Sabin again, full of anger that Adler did not save him in time and his hands were amputated and replaced by large blades. Adler escapes Sabin's wrath until he is forced to kill him by crushing him in a trap. Adler then comes across info that states that Detective Tapp and another detective, Miles Greene, had hid evidence that let Amanda and Sabin get off-trial.

Adler is transported once again and is tasked to find and save Detective Tapp from the "Ice Block" trap but he is betrayed and injured by Tapp and left for dead. The Slenderman saves and heals Adler to continue his test. Adler finds Detective Greene in the "Pendelum" trap and rescues him in time and Greene admits to helping Tapp and being in the "Slender Men" with him as well. Greene then turns on Adler with a revolver, trying to kill him now that he knows the truth. The final confrontation in the main hall ends with Adler successfully killing Greene and going on to find Tapp. Adler is then thrown into an "Acid Pool" trap by Xander but when he survives, he finds out Tapp has killed the real Xander and replaced him.

Adler finds a room full of proof proving that Tapp and Greene were the ones in the "Slender Men" cult along with Katie. The Slenderman tells Adler the truth that he did not kill Katie but it was instead Greene and Tapp when she decided to leave the group. To finish the test and rid his obsession, Adler is forced to destroy the evidence and gets to the main elevator.

FinaleEdit

Adler decides to continue up and finds Tapp planning to overthrow the Slenderman. The two begin to hunt each other but when Tapp is heavily injured, he locks himself in a room. Adler finds a fuse and turns on an electric barrier in the room, forcing Tapp out. Adler then brutally beats and kills Tapp, gaining his revenge. Adler makes it to the basement and meets the Slenderman who congratulates him and offers him to become his helper. Afterwards, a man is seen trying to escape the Reverse Bear Trap. He sees Adler and asks for help but Adler puts on his new mask while the man is killed, proving his new alliance with the Slenderman.

DLCEdit

Darkhorse Games informed news that a DLC campaign will be released a short time after Slender comes out. The company then revealed that the campaign would be entitled A Machine for Pigs and focus on a comic series character, Officer Michael Lee, as he is taken by the Slenderman and tasked to save his wife.

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

After Darkhorse Comics had been assured about the Slenderman feature film, they decided to plan a video game release for consoles. The original plan was to release the game on-disc but as the company was busy with film production and continuing the comics, nothing was really assured and outlined, leading no game publishers to step in. Darkhorse Comics started to begin production and hired Devil's Playground to develop the game while the company's unofficial game publisher, Darkhorse Games, decided to publish. Problems arose as the company could not pull together a good budget with their current plans. With too much work in production already, CEO Mark Rufus turned the plan to Kickstarter for a minimal budget goal of $30,000 and released a video with Devil's Playground lead programmer Nick Stahl and Slenderman series writer G.R. Vera who asked for help. The Kickstarter page gained more than $30,000, earning $46,890 instead. Production began immediately with the companies deciding to release the game for download on the PS3, Xbox and PC. Slender was completed on January 6th, 2012 and released on July 14th.

WritingEdit

Darkhorse Comics originally wanted David S. Goyer, the writer of the Batman series, to create a story and script. The plan was scrapped when game publishers did not give in and budget problems arose. G.R. Vera, creator of the Slenderman series, decided to write instead and began work on a full script and story along with help from co-writer Michael Cross. Vera decided to complete the story of Charlie Adler, a reporter from the original comic series who is shot and goes missing.

MarketingEdit

A month after the game was completed, a teaser trailer was released on Darkhorse.com and spread online. An animated film, The Slenderman Chronicles, which was released on March 12th, revealed gameplay footage that was also shown at E3 the same month. Other trailers eventually released online before the game came out along with advertisements on magazines as well. Darkhorse Games gave a possibility that the game could be released on-disc a month after download comes out, if it does well in sales.

ReceptionEdit

ScoresEdit

  • Metacritic = 64%
  • GameRankings = B-
  • IGN = 7.5/10
  • GameSpy = 6.5/10
  • 1Up = 65%
  • Darkstation = 82%
  • Joystiq = 3/5

ConsensusEdit

Slender recieved mixed to positive reviews upon release, gaining a 64% out of 100 on Metacritic while also getting a B- on GameRankings. IGN awarded the game a 7.5 out of 10 for an amazing story and gruesome traps but disliked it for sloppy graphics and flawed combat. Most reviewers praised the game for it's uniqueness from the comics with mixed feelings on the sneak combat gameplay while a majority of all the reviewers praised the story by G.R. Vera calling it "mindbreaking" and "adrenaline rushing". Original fans of the series were shown to have enjoyed the game as well, most liking that it stuck to the mystery and horror of the comic book.

Negative reviews focused on the under challenging puzzles and rudundant gameplay of combat while some also criticized the graphics and the game for being too short. OnlineArcade wrote "Slender does not reach the full potential it has and fails, containing repetitive combat with a short and hard-to-follow story."

Websites IGN and Destructoid listed Slender as their "Best Downloadable Game of the Year" and it also recieved awards from Darkstation with "Best FPS of the Year".

GalleryEdit