There simply aren’t enough horror games featuring aliens. There’s Alien Isolation, and perhaps you could also include Carrion in the unfortunately exclusive club, but that’s about it. Although there’s now also Greyhill Incident. The problem is, while it is a horror game featuring aliens – stereotypical Greys, no less – you probably won’t want to play it.
Developed by Refugium Games, the alarms bells start ringing literally seconds after you start a new game in Greyhill Incident. Off the bat, you’re met with some of the most atrocious dialogue in videogame history, which doesn’t give you much hope for the rest of the game. Still, you’ll likely press on, hoping for the best. Maybe the dialogue is supposed to be awful, in classic B-movie style, after all?
Actually, things do become a little more promising in the minutes that follow. The dialogue is still terrible, and you’re not given the clearest of objectives, but you’ll feel your way around, and soon you have your first close encounter of the third kind, which actually proves to be pretty tense. Soon after that, you’re meeting with a man who literally wears a tin-foil hat, further solidifying that this is a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. But just as you’re coming around to Greyhill Incident’s silliness, everything goes downhill.
We can live with cringe-worthy dialogue and a little jank, but when the gameplay is as bad as this, there is simply no hope. The true awfulness of Greyhill Incident hits you when you’re tasked with finding five rolls of tin-foil, at which point you’ll already be fed up of hearing about the stuff. The real issue, though, is the game’s aliens, and how woefully equipped you are to deal with them. And so a game that should be spooky fun soon just becomes a lesson in frustration.
It’s best to approach Greyhill Incident with a stealthy mindset. As you explore the game’s admittedly atmospheric locations, it’s simply better to avoid aliens whenever you can rather than face them. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. If you do get detected, running and hiding is often your best best, but your character here is in worse shape than Alan Wake, meaning you don’t get far before slowing to snail’s pace. And if you do manage to hide, an alien still has a chance to find your chosen spot and pull you out of it. This triggers a button mashing sequence, which if you fail takes you back to your last checkpoint.
With some weapons available to you, you might think that fighting your way out of a bad situation is a good idea, but you’d be wrong. Your pistol is effective at taking down Greys, but ammo is very limited, and when you fire, other Greys in the area will be alerted to your presence. You’d think that the baseball bat that you’re always carrying by your side would be useful, but it swings with so much inconsistency that it’s pretty much useless. And if you do manage to hit an extra-terrestrial enemy with it, it takes three blows just to knock them down for a short while.
We were never expecting Greyhill Incident to be amazing, but it falls even short of simply being mediocre. Unfortunately, it’s one of the worst games we’ve played this year. While it manages to create a truly unsettling atmosphere and has some pretty hair-raising scenes, its gameplay is so tedious and frustrating that it kills your desire to progress. And so, those looking for alien-based horror thrills will have to do with the paltry options that are already available for now.