When I was playing Slender: The Arrival, it seemed to go through two phases. The first was playing through something genuinely scary. Then it quickly fell down to being a 'one trick pony'. It banked so hard on what it did the first time around that it ended up doing it again. How did it play out? Errr......not well.
The story is told through pieces and scraps you find in a coincidentally numbered way. Seriously, each time it's the same. This is not a way to tell a story. If anything, it's an easy cop-out. But Slender puts all it's chips on this style. Basically you are hunting for clues and avoiding Slender Man. That's it. No skill besides running is involved. It's barely a story.
Controls on the Switch are admittedly not bad. I mean, they're intuitive and they make great work out of the Switch setup. But what does that tell you about your game when one of the best parts are the controls?
The graphics aren't terrible. I mean, for a 3D game they can't compare to Rockstar or Bethesda, but the slight graininess of things like trees, and the curious shadows when it's dark, really remind you of Blair Witch. Just like last time, but there have been some improvements. The graphics are fitting, and work for what you're doing.
Gameplay can come down to a few things: walk/run to places to find clues, interact with objects, and avoid Slender Man. That's it. That's the game. It's functional, but in terms of building up from last time, it's the same. And while being scared I the main selling point, and the gameplay fulfills it, the entire time you're going to feel like this is repetitive and end up wanting so much more.
Sound and music are another of the few bright spots. The few times music plays it's appropriately creepy. It's orchestral, but portrays foreboding so well. Other than that it's mostly ambiance with a few Slender Man appearing stingers. And it does it well – every sound makes your heart jump. Plus it sounds realistic. So top marks here.
The frame rate was okat. Some noticeable lag was there – you could tell too because your flashlight would seem to be on a timed delay at times. And there were a few glitches, such as the stray object going through a solid wall. But it mostly held together.
Slender: The Arrival is the type of game that knows what it's about – in this case, being an easy jump scare game. In that respect it does well, and if you just want a scary game to play n the dark, it fulfills that. But anything beyond that it will falter on. For me it was just way too repetitive and didn't seem to try too hard.
Final Score: 6 out of 10
A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of review.