The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Review

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Review

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre video game is a loving homage to the 1974 film and can be great fun with friends.

There once was a time when horror games were confined almost entirely to single-player experiences, but that has changed in the last decade with the rise of asymmetrical multiplayer horror games. The most popular of these is Dead by Daylight from Behaviour Interactive, though Friday the 13th: The Game found some success as well. Now The Texas Chain Saw Massacre from Sumo Digital and Friday the 13th publisher Gun Interactive is trying its hand at the genre by creating a video game version of the original 1974 horror film.

1974’s Texas Chain Saw Massacre is one of the most culturally significant horror movies ever made, influencing countless copycats and originating tropes that are still seen in slasher movies to this day. Creating a video game that lives up to the film’s legacy is a tall order, but Sumo Digital has done a great job recreating the gritty horror of the movie in the form of an asymmetrical multiplayer horror game that plays like a more polished and cinematic version of Dead by Daylight.

Most asymmetrical multiplayer games are 1v4 affairs, with one person controlling an especially powerful character and four others playing as the mostly-defenseless survivors. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre game is instead 3v4, with Leatherface and two of his twisted family members hunting down four victims.

Killers and Victims in a scene from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

There are three maps in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre at launch: the family’s house, the gas station, and the slaughterhouse. All three maps start out in dark underground lairs that lead to one of the three previously mentioned structures. Anyone that manages to escape from the structures has one more area to clear before they can survive the match and win the game.

The family house is easily the best map in the game, giving horror fans the chance to explore one of the most iconic locations from the 1974 film, brought to life with stunning detail. It’s also the least-confusing to navigate. The slaughterhouse especially can feel like a maze for both the killers and the victims, which can make matches last longer than they should as everyone is sort of fumbling around trying to figure out where the exit is.

As the victims, players need to find tools to unlock exits, all the while avoiding the killers and potentially crafting a shiv to stab Grandpa. They can also solve puzzles to open additional exits or satisfy other requirements to make their escape. The killers, meanwhile, have the primary goal of preventing the victims from escaping, but they can also collect blood from buckets around the map to then feed to Grandpa.

Texas Chain Saw Massacre Grandpa

Grandpa is one of Texas Chain Saw Massacre‘s creepier characters. The victims inevitably wake him up in every match, leading to a jump scare where he flashes on the screen to make his presence known. After Grandpa is awake, he periodically uses what can only be described as echolocation to reveal the location of the victims as they’re sneaking their way around the map. Feeding Grandpa blood enhances his echolocation abilities, in turn making it even more difficult for the victims to stay hidden.

Playing as a victim in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre game is a lot of fun with the right group of friends. The game does a great job of creating tension and cultivating memorable, terrifying moments. Getting found by the killers leads to adrenaline-fueled chase sequences where one wrong turn can lead to a brutally graphic death, while outsmarting the Slaughter family and successfully escaping is both exhilarating and satisfying.

Each victim has a special ability they can use to get an advantage over the killers, like Connie’s Focused ability that lets her pick locks significantly faster than her fellow victims, all while making a lot less noise. There’s also Ana’s ability that gives her more endurance than the other characters, and Leland’s ability that lets him knock the killers down. Sonny and Julie aren’t nearly as useful as the other three, with Sonny able to detect sound and Julie able to mask her presence from the killers for a limited time. Connie’s Focused ability is far and away the best skill in the game, practically making her a requirement for any team that is serious about getting out alive.

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The killers in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre have their own unique abilities as well, like the Hitchhiker who has more freedom of movement and can lay traps, or Leatherface, whose chainsaw can be used to destroy obstacles and doors, giving the victims fewer places to hide. Unfortunately, playing as the killers in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre isn’t nearly as fun as playing as the victims.

Most of the killers have limited movement compared to the victims, which can make navigating the more maze-like sections of the maps even more frustrating. The anxiety that comes from playing a victim is inevitably gone when playing as the killers, which saps away much of the game’s entertainment value. The beginning of matches can also be particularly boring for anyone not playing Leatherface, as the other family members start out above ground and most of the time have to wait for the victims to make their way to the surface before they’re a real factor in the match.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre can be an incredibly entertaining experience when playing as the victims, but it becomes significantly more tedious when stepping into the shoes of the killers. Unfortunately, even playing as the victims starts to become dull after a while, as the maps are memorized and the scare factor that comes from the unknown is lost. It quits being a novel horror experience and settles into the skin of a standard asymmetrical multiplayer game, with really the only reason to keep playing being to level up the characters and experiment with different builds. New maps could go a long way in ensuring that The Texas Chain Saw Massacre game has long legs, but it remains to be seen just how much post-launch support it will get.

Texas Chain Saw Massacre Sonny Toolbox

Fans may be hesitant to invest in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre until there’s a roadmap detailing what’s coming. Something else that they may want to be cautious about is the fact that The Texas Chain Saw Massacre has no offline options whatsoever. There are no bots and there aren’t even playable tutorials, so if the game’s population dwindles, it will basically be unplayable. However, there is one thing working in its favor that could prevent that worst-case scenario from happening.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a day one Xbox Game Pass game, meaning subscribers to Microsoft’s service can play it without paying anything beyond their usual subscription fee. This seems to have gone a long way in ensuring that The Texas Chain Saw Massacre has a healthy population of players at launch, and it should make it so new players are more willing to give it a shot.

At launch, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is one of the better-looking, more-polished asymmetrical multiplayer games on the market. It does a fantastic job of capturing the grotesque vibes of the 1974 horror film and translates its themes brilliantly into a gaming experience. Playing as the victims with a group of friends is a great deal of fun, though playing as the killers is not nearly as exciting. Only having three maps at launch is also not ideal and the game’s lack of offline options is disappointing, but hopefully future updates will make The Texas Chain Saw Massacre an even better horror game than it is now.

THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE 2023 game

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Inspired by the seminal 1970s horror movie, Sumo Nottingham’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is an asymmetrical PvP experience that pits a group of victims against a Slaughter Family representative. The game features iconic villains from the films like Leatherface, The Hitchhiker, and Grandpa.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is out now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. Game Rant was provided with a PC code for this review.

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