Stasis (2)

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. You were supposed to be soaking up the atmosphere on a distant planet, kicking back and relaxing. Instead, you’ve woken up and found yourself a few unbroken ribs shy of a healthy heart rate.

Also, your family is missing, you’re on a dingy research ship in the middle of the cold vacuum of space and you’re pretty much hoping that somebody has been clumsy with the tomato sauce as there happens to be a crimson smear everywhere. You’ve just booked a stay into the world of Stasis. You can check out any time you want, but you can never leave.

Stasis (3)

By now, you’re more than familiar with the story of Stasis. A five-year epic from creator Chris Bischoff, STASIS is the kind of game that draws up easy comparisons to games such as Sanitarium and Event Horizon. You’re going to see a lot of that in STASIS, but it’s just a pair influences which have helped shape the atmosphere and style of the game, worn proudly on a bloody sleeve of nightmare-fuelled suspense and horror.

Stasis (8)

But STASIS is more than that, as it mashes up genre influences in a point ‘n click interface as players guide John Maracheck through the bowels of a Cayne Corporation ship that happens to be home to unethical science running amok.

And let’s get this out the way: STASIS is an old-school game at heart, with a few nifty new-school ideas. There’s no hand-holding here, unless it involves severing said appendage in order to solve a puzzle.

Stasis (10)

STASIS is unapologetically firm in its stance to make players pay attention and use some of their own grey matter for a change. There’s no twinkling clue laying in the background, no hints and no help to give you a leg up. It’s just you and your own brain, as STASIS puts several obstacles in your way that feel firm but fair. There’s a certain sense of euphoria attached to said conundrums once they’re solved, as players uncover more of the story through diaries, work logs and more.

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Stasis (6)

The game throws a spanner or two dozen  into the works, as solving a puzzle can often lead to death if you’re not quick enough. And STASIS doesn’t hold back. It can be a downright brutal game at times, not just because of visceral visuals, but because of the cast as well.

It’s the kind of non-linear experience that demands constant back-tracking through levels, as you scour around for something that you may have missed, like a shard of glass or a shit-stained rag in a toilet. Get stumped on a puzzle and the game pretty much stalls. And yet, this is actually something that feels welcome in a gaming landscape where answers are always readily available.

Stasis (5)

Everyone has an agenda, and you don’t know if you can or should trust the voice on the other side of your comm-device. And it’s this attention to detail that shines through a superb story. John is an all-too real reminder of how a person can be both frail and strong as he seeks to find his family. And yes, STASIS is going to be the kind of game that leaves you with a cold sweat and a suspiciously empty bladder. But it does so in a manner which feels neither cheap or clichéd.

Stasis (4)

Every scare, every fright in the game is a carefully measured mind-f**k, precisely calculated for maximum effect. Yes, there are more visceral frights in the game, but it’s the deeper psychological jabs that’ll get you in the end. And it’s a superb sound design which drives and fuels these scares.

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There’s the lack of any ambient music during most levels, the hum of a fluorescent light and the faint sound of nails scratching on a wall. Every kind of sound that you wouldn’t want to hear when you’re stuck inside a spaceship that was apparently decorated by Freddy Krueger is there and helps unsettle you even more.

Stasis (7)

But when STASIS does decide to turn the soundtrack up to 11, the Mark Morgan score is a haunting and finger-biting combination of suspense and uncertainty. The chilling soundtrack is accompanied by solid cast of actors help bring that vision to life. There are characters which include the likes of Dr Malan, the best South African villain since Arnold Vosloo introduced Randall to a shotgun severance package in Hard Target.

Stasis (1)

STASIS is a superb game, make no mistake. It’s a specific game for a specific audience, but it absolutely shines with a production that’ll thrill any horror-junkie in all the right ways.

Last Updated: September 1, 2015

STASIS
Summary
Terrifying, challenging and disturbing, STASIS is a nightmarish descent into the unknown and the kind of horror game that stays with you even when the end credits have rolled.
9.0
STASIS was reviewed on PC
79 / 100

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

  • Spathi

    Great stuff! The game is getting great reviews so far. Will have to pick this up, especially seeing as it is only $20 this week.

  • Hammersteyn

    WANTS

  • Gareth L (That eXCheez Guy)

    Was completely sold on this review, then got to “the Mark Morgan score” and I was all “MARK MORGAN?? THE COMPOSER OF THE ORIGINAL FALLOUT GAMES?!!!” and have now got my credit card in hand and about to log into Steam.

    Nice one, D! 😀

    • Game is completely worth the $20 asking price. Plus, I just adore that isometric viewpoint. It makes me feel fuzzy inside.

      • Gareth L (That eXCheez Guy)

        Oh man, it just gets better. And I’ve just bought the Pillars of Eternity expansion combo; I’m now breaking my quarterly game purchase budget. 😛

        • You’re in old-school videogame heaven! 😀

          • Gareth L (That eXCheez Guy)

            Purchased the Deluxe Edition. Because MARK MORGAN SCORE!! 😉

            Am now broke and happy.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Getting him on board was one of the Kickstarter stretch goals.

          • Gareth L (That eXCheez Guy)

            Success stories like Stasis and Pillars of Eternity really make me happy. They also wave a big “f*ck you!” in the face of companies like EA and Bethesda, who focus on impressing the public with flash – and are really doing the bare minimum.

  • Spathi

    Does anyone remember Bioforge? That game made me feel all weird and uncomfortable, and even though the game wasn’t all that great (wasn’t bad either), the atmosphere made it a win.

  • Admiral Chief Returns

    Event Horizon, yeah, no flippen way I’m EVER watching that again!

    • Guild

      One of my favourite movies. Watched it about 5 times now

      • Admiral Chief Returns

        No wonder you are always dropping things

      • Hammersteyn

        I lost count XD

        • Guild

          I got a nice boxset. I’ll post a pic of it in the Whatsapp group later. Such an awesome movie

          • It really is awesome man!

          • Hammersteyn

            I dig Sam Niel. Have you seen In the Mouth of Madness?

          • Your mouth is madness!

          • Hammersteyn

            Yes it is

          • Guild

            Nope, haven’t seen it

  • DragonSpirit009

    The game gives me the creeps but I’m seriously considering on getting this! I’m not even a fan of horror stuff!

  • Admiral Chief Returns

    Epic, glad about the good score!

  • Daniel Hallinan

    Really great to see the game receive such a warm critical reception!

    Not that anyone can see this message due to the background making comment nearly text invisible.

    HAHAHA DARRYN IS A DICK 😀

    *dances around*

    • I can see this! And OI! Awesome game!

      • Daniel Hallinan

        I see there’s now a white backdrop so text can be read.

        I regret nothing.

        • HAHA! Take it back!

        • Admiral Chief Returns

          What a chop, hurling insults at Darryn….oh, wait….haha, never mind, carry on then

          😛

          • His initiation into our brotherhood is now complete.

          • Admiral Chief Returns

            Resistance is futile

  • Tiaan Pat

    Just picked it up, cant wait to play

  • Only on PC I assume?

  • willjam

    I am really enjoying this game so far. Man, it’s disturbing. It’s incredible how detailed and polished experience this small team managed to create. My only complaint so far is the small text. Would have liked to have the option to enlarge it or make it sharper as reading forms a large part of getting the full experience. Has anyone scratched around in the .ini file and know of some way to adjust? Otherwise, this game does not disappoint at all.

  • Tits Mcgee

    Mark Morgan! Sold!

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