Video games often deal with eroticism in a vulgar and ugly way. In particular, openly erotic games always seem to want to propose themselves as substitutes for pornographic films, as if between absolute chastity and the detailed representation of sexual relations there were not infinite possible and explorable nuances. Lust from Beyond instead it is proposed as an openly adventure erotica, but eager to tackle the theme in a higher way, so to speak, introducing it in a narrative framework that magnifies it, rather than demeans it, as we will see in the course of the review.
Inspired by the stories of HP Lovecraft and the works of HR Giger and Zdzislaw Beksinski, Lust from Beyond is set in our day and tells of Victor Holloway, an antique dealer suffering from sex addiction who decides to take care not to compromise the relationship with his current partner, Lily. Victor is also oppressed by strange dreams, which will turn out to be more real than he could ever imagine and which will put him in contact with the Cult of Ecstasy, led by the mysterious Amanda Moon, who will make him discover the existence of Lusst'Ghaa. a parallel dimension, domain of the god of pleasure lauv'abrarc, whose inhabitants live perpetually in the throes of sexual euphoria and often take pleasure in the pain of others. All this translates into ahorror adventure in which there is no lack of sexually explicit moments, but all well contextualized by the story and never free or put just to satisfy the voyeuristic taste of the player, so much so that the story also offers a good dramatic crescendo, which leads to one of the two possible endings.
In terms of gameplay Lust from Beyond offers a good variety of things to do. From the very first chapters, in order to move forward, the player is asked to solve puzzles, in reality never too complicated, which however require you to explore the levels far and wide, such as finding some objects to complete an order for the shop. Victor or find a flyer to be able to call a certain character. In this sense, the game is quite clear in terms of design and almost never gives precise indications on where to find what, so much so that some may find it almost dispersive at times. In reality, that of the developers seemed to us a deliberate choice, made to increase the difficulty of the game and to allow users to study every map inch by inch, where hidden details and little secrets are not lacking. A real problem, however, is that of the difficulty of identifying interactive objects, which basically require you to get close to everything visible to verify that it can be useful or not. Fortunately, the adventure stages are quite quiet, in the sense that often the player is left free to move, with no enemies to oppress him, so you have all the time you want.
As the game progresses, which in total it took us just over eight hours to complete, even the puzzles evolve. For example, once a gun is obtained, puzzles are introduced where you have to shoot certain elements of the scenario. Everything has been studied quite well, although we must admit that many may find the general pace a little too slow, despite the sudden acceleration of some sequences. The worst moments, from this point of view, are the adventure phases that take place on Lusst'Ghaa, much more repetitive in design than those that take place in our world and more focused on not-so-interesting environmental puzzles. Perhaps we could have avoided making the world of ecstasy a place where you have to go around hunting for pieces of objects, but we imagine that this would have shortened the gameplay a lot.
But Lust from Beyond is also a survival horror ... which unfortunately is also its worst side. Whether the enemies on duty are bloodthirsty cultists or lustful monsters who want to enjoy tearing us apart, their artificial intelligence is still not very developed. Basically they just look around the map and run to meet us as soon as we enter their field of vision, without intermediate states. In theory, the game provides a barely sketched stealth system, which, however, is limited to allowing us to walk curled up to make less noise and does not require particular precautions regarding the distance from the enemy or positioning in shaded or light areas. Be that as it may, Victor soon comes into possession of weapons that also introduce a combat system, unfortunately also sketchy and unsatisfactory. In particular, fighting with the knife seems like a game of luck, while the gun gives some more excitement (but don't expect Lust from Beyon to turn into Doom), especially due to the slow reloading of the weapon, which forces you not to shoot. madly. In any case, the phases in which there are enemies to avoid or eliminate, set in the real world or in Lusst'Ghaa it does not matter, are the least interesting of the whole game, because they create very little tension, especially after understanding the simple mechanisms that regulate them.
From a technical point of view Lust from Beyond is a good title, as well as made with great intelligence. Environments are generally small, but full of tasty details, a smart choice as the development team isn't very big. Usually the largest and least detailed areas are also the ones you cross the fastest, so you don't have much time to observe them. Particular praise goes to the realization of the world of Lusst'Ghaa, which manages to convey a strong sense of distorted carnality, while being somewhat repetitive in its general elements. Basically we are faced with a great job from almost every point of view. To be less convincing are the human models, in particular the faces, too stock, even if dignified (especially those of the main characters). Unfortunately, independent productions always have big limits from this point of view, because they lack the resources to access the most advanced modeling technologies, often very expensive. The same goes for the animations, good but not exceptional, apart from those of the erotic scenes which are the most accurate.
CommentDigital Delivery Steam Price 16,79 € Resources4Gaming.com
Lust from Beyond is an overall successful title that pushed us to continue in history, despite the presence of the combat sections, the worst in the game. We are not sorry for the slowness of the adventure phases either, as old lovers of the point and click genre, but we admit that some might find them a bit too distracting in their request for a detailed exploration of such small environments, but not too much when you have to start look in every corner to find out how to move forward. What to say? If you are one of those who want the game to always tell them what to do, forget it. Others will find a good adventure, narratively interesting. Of course there is explicit sex, but you should have already figured out that by reading the review.
- Interesting story
- Tasteful eroticism in a video game?
- Adventure phases a bit distracting but overall well done
- Fighting is agony
- The enemies are not very smart
- Interactive objects are not immediately visible