STAIRS is a first-person atmospheric psychological horror game. Inspired by real life events. STAIRS takes place in an abandoned factory where there have been reports of paranormal activity. You will play a journalist that starts by exploring the factory to try and debunk these story’s. Here he enters a factory that contains a strange and long staircase. STAIRS has been developed by Swedish developer GreyLight. It is influenced by games such as Silent Hill and the original Resident Evil titles. Expect some scary shit to come your way while playing this game.
So lets put that journalists hat on and grab that camera, and find out what this game is all about. STAIRS is not a bad-looking game, although it does make use of the pretty outdated Unreal graphics engine. It does show a little bit, but it still looks pretty decent considering its age. Right from the offset it’s a very atmospheric looking game.
You start of in the woods near an abandoned warehouse. The eerie darkness beckons you to move on. This alongside some pretty atmospheric sound effects does a pretty good job at building up the tension of entering the unknown. You may wonder why such an outdated engine was used , when there are options like the great Unity3D engine. Maybe it’s what the developer had experience In, I don’t know. It does seem though that nowadays Indi developers are pointing towards Unity3D as it does seem to produce better looking games. However I am not a game developer so what would I know.
Your first task in the game after a short intro is to investigate the case of a missing girl, presumed dead. You follow some leads and find yourself ending up in an abandoned warehouse. This is where your adventure begins. The controls are very simple in STAIRS. You use the normal WASD keys and the mouse to interact and move around within the games environment.
From the start you realise you need to take some photos for the story to progress. You can open your journal that seems to give you some pointers by showing what photo locations you need to find. I did not find this out until 40 minutes into the game. I got lost in what to do , so I decided to restart and make sure I move around slowly so as not to miss anything important. You also for some reason don’t have a torch at hand? I mean come on, would you really choose to enter a dark abandoned warehouse at night with no torch? You will find your self taking photos (that seem unlimited) just to see in the dark areas. I don’t know if this was done for the eeriness it builds up or what, but it does feel odd.
The game itself has a very slow start, which very nearly causes you to pack it in early on, but if you bare with it, STAIRS turns into a pretty decent low-budget horror game. It’s eerie and has a great story line with some very well orchestrated jump scares , using sound effects to great effect. I jumped a lot in this game and became quite scared. So much I needed to turn my light back on to play. At one point my cat jumped on my lap and I lept out of my seat. This is one scary game at points. I can’t wait for the Oculus Rift to come out so that I can get even more immersed in games like this. I may even play through STAIRS again when I get my hands on one to see how good it is.
So to round things off, STAIRS is a pretty solid and well presented Indi game. It has a well presented story line and makes good use of sound effects to build the tension. I was very impressed as this game exceeded my expectations. There seems to be an influx of horror based games just now. All trying to get that piece of pie. Well this is one budget game you need to buy. It’s very cheap and under a tenner on Steam just now. Well worth your money. If you want a horror game that has a good story line then rush out and click buy now. You will not regret it.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Gameplay - /10
Graphics - /10
Sound - /10
Replay Value - /10