I like being scared. Whether it’s a horror movie or haunted house, the adrenaline rush and constant suspense are addicting.
Imagine my surprise when I learned I can now get that same horror experience in a video game. Almost everyone has heard of the “Slender” craze that’s sweeping the nerd nation recently, but when you’ve played “Slender” one too many times, the thrill just isn’t there anymore. If you’re like me, you’ve started looking for the next big horror game, and I’ve found my pick.
“White Noise Online” is an independent video game that has picked up some recognition lately in the Xbox Live community for its similarity to “Slender.”
As in most horror games, the aim of the game is to find something. In the case of “White Noise Online,” you search for tape recorders while being followed by a terrifying creature through a maze. All the while, the only light to be seen is your flashlight, which progressively becomes dimmer the longer you stay alive.
Your mission: gather all the recorders before the creature kills you.
The element this game incorporates so well, compared to similar games on the market, is the online multiplayer. That’s right —Being scared alone isn’t enough. Now you can be terrified with your friends across the globe. From there, add in some stone statues that cause your character to lose his or her mind and the ghosts of comrades who have already been caught. With all of the extra scare tactics, this game made me jump out of my skin.
Aside from the game’s visual aspects, audio adds exponentially to the fear factor of “White Noise Online.” The background is filled with creaking floor boards, growls and, if you’re close enough, the vague sound of a tape playing nothing but static.
If you are unlucky enough to be ensnared by the creature following you, you are met with a screeching noise and a sound similar to nails on a chalkboard. As in every great video game, the sound effects really do add to the overall effect of the game.
Nothing compares to the feeling of your heart jumping into your throat as the volume swells and suddenly you find yourself face-to-face with this frightening creature. My first time playing through the game I had to turn my microphone off so the person I was playing with didn’t hear me scream at every turn.
While the online element makes for a spontaneous game every time, the fact “White Noise Online” is made by an independent company with limited funds means certain aspects of the game are lacking. It’s major flaw comes with the graphics, which seem to take us back to “Resident Evil” on the Gamecube.
I came across points while playing that the screen would jump and suddenly I was facing an entirely different direction. It added to the suspense of the game at the time, but in retrospect, it made the game more difficult than it should have been.
“White Noise Online” is by far one of the most challenging games I’ve played both alone and online. It keeps me busy for days as I look for those last few recorders. I still have yet to make it through a full game. For that reason, setting aside graphics and glitches, I have to give this game five out of five unfound tape recorders and a bonus warning: Don’t play this game before bed.