The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is one of the most notorious tales in all of American horror. Drenched in the desaturated tones of the Texas summer and vibrating with the sounds of metal on metal. How do you bring all of that into an interactive space and create an experience like no other in modern gaming?
Gun Interactive are no strangers to asymmetrical horror multiplayer games, having created one of the blueprints for the genre with Friday the 13th: The Game. But just as every element of Friday the 13th: The Game had to fit the franchise to near obsessive levels, the approach with The Texas Chain Saw Massacre leans on the same authenticity cornerstone while adding in another goal: Innovation.
This approach towards authenticity pertains to not just the film, but the region itself. Complete with photogrammetry and reference scouted from the locations and places seen in the iconic film.The team traveled to Austin and the surrounding area, photographing panoramic skies, every flower, every texture, all the little things that combine to give the greater feeling of being in that part of the country. But this didn’t stop at landscape and vegetation. The original gas station, the relocated family farm house, and every minor detail held within were painstakingly documented and utilized in game.
The study of the film, the region, the tone, and mood are all a part of authenticity for Gun. But what about the sound? Surely if you’ve seen the original 1974 film you’ve noticed that the sound design in the film is layered with uneasy discord and industrial noise woven together to create a form of music like you’ve never heard before. Enter a device like you’ve never seen before: The Apprehension Engine.
Gun CEO and President Wes Keltner sought out an instrument rare in this world, the Apprehension Engine. And with the help of Lead Audio Designer Ross Tregenza from Sumo Digital, they started building something that could deliver the sound of authenticity to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. All the photogrammetry and research, now coupled with building out this unique soundscape to play with, creating tension and releasing it, how does this all go from abstract to interactive? How does that interactive entry innovate as well? Not satisfied with a new skin on our previous entry in the asymmetrical horror genre, innovation became another cornerstone, another pillar to the team at Gun.
Team based, three vs four gameplay and stealth as a primary defense mechanism for the victims was a great start to build off of, to iterate upon, and uncover the core loops within The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The lopsided match structure, the power imbalance between The Family, complete with a chain saw wielding menace, and a cast of victims banded together in desperation to simply survive, this was what the game would ultimately be about. The deck seemingly stacked against you, yet you still fight, you still struggle to free yourself from The Family. These concepts didn’t simply check the box for something different, they shaped the game itself.
Our gang of victims all have complete and detailed backstories, reasons for being the way they are, and now, finally, you get a chance to see just a slice of how that plays out in game. Creating these characters has been massively important to Gun, and every aspect of them had to be fully developed, fully shaped, in order to inform their traits and attributes in game. Knowing that we have five capable characters at your disposal for a four-person team means syncing up with the other players around you to either double their efforts or balance their shortcomings. Cooperation is the strongest tool at their disposal, but single handedly they all are capable of putting up one hell of a fight, in their own unique and distinctive ways.
And so, the stage is set. Maria Flores has gone missing, and local law enforcement seems to have stalled out in their search. Her younger sister Ana, joined by some of Maria’s friends from college, embark on a search mission to find Maria. Play as Julie, Leland, Connie, Sonny, or Ana and face off against The Cook, The Hitchhiker, and of course Leatherface. From the iconic Family house to the gas station, and even a local slaughterhouse, remember to be silent, turn off the lights, and stay in the shadows.
We hope you enjoy the gameplay reveal trailer, and please consider following along on socials (TXChainSawGame on Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and Facebook) and keep an eye on The Community Hub for more news!