Before the upcoming game Splatterhouse let players choose a "coward" difficulty setting, the game's developers were going to call their easy mode "pussy." This is no gentleman's game.
We've already called Namco's revival of Splatterhouse the bloodiest game we saw at the big E3 show last June. During a demo of the game shown to Kotaku last week in New York, I learned that it could have been more graphic
There had been plans to allow the player to make the game's hero, Rick, rip his arm off his body and use it as a weapon. Those plans were left on the cutting room floor, one of the game's developers told me. In the November game, players must settle for allowing at least one enemy to rip Rick's arm off for him. Bloody but not slowed, Rick can still use it as a weapon.
Oh, but if Rick could do that at any time, it might make the game too easy? The player would essentially always have a potential weapon handy? The naive games journalist is answered by the developer who says that wouldn't have been the problem. Organic weapons in Splatterhouse tend to fall apart quickly.
You can rip enemies apart in Splatterhouse. You can brawl and slice through them. Their body parts will be weapons. The Namco developer estimated they can be chopped into seven pieces, three pieces usable as weapons.
All this violence has two purposes. One is to connect the plot points of hero Rick trying to rescue his girlfriend from a maniac in a mansion, of Rick having his guts-spilling wounds healed by a mask that plumps him up as a muscled berserker for reasons unknown.
The violence's other purpose is to be fun. Like so many other action games, the pleasure of the game will be in the crunch of buttons, as they let Rick punch and pound the monstrous enemies in this horror adventure, no mercy. Do you mind a game that revels in the ways you can rupture the abdomen, mouth or anus of the monsters you fight? For historical reference, the three original Splatterhouse games are hidden in this new one.
The soundtrack to this limb-ripper of a game is heavy metal. The aural growl and thunder sounds right.
This is the kind of game that would call a player who chooses easy mode a pussy. But games can't decide such things. Corporate headquarters can, the developer told me. Corporate didn't want the players to be insulted. So, somehow, some way, this is the toned-down Splatterhouse. Could have fooled me.