Developed By: MrCiastku
Published By: No Gravity Games
Category: Shooter, Horror
Release Date: 03.09.2020
If you’ve ever wanted to explore an abandoned FPS server kept online years after its expiration date, then you’re in luck. Connection Haunted grants you access to this forgotten world of empty metro lines and a twisted forest. Armed with only a pistol and some glow sticks, you’re free to wander in the dark until you either get bored or booted.
Connection Haunted is a novel idea illustrating what an old FPS shooter’s server might look like if it were left to rot. From the opening screen, the game drops you in a lobby where you must first choose and enter one of the three servers. From there, your instructions are to capture three flags hidden throughout the map and return them to the home base. This simple gameplay concept is the framework from which the game begins to toy with you.
The levels of Connection Haunted are creepy at least within the first few minutes of seeing them. Cast in late 90’s era FPS graphics, each level builds its tension with glitchy psychological and visual harassment. What you’re able to see – which isn’t much due to some of the game’s pitch black environments – warps and distorts over time in the vicinity of one of the moaning phantoms inhabiting this cursed, online world. Perhaps it’s this allusion to real online loneliness that spooked me or perhaps it was the game’s ambiance based on this unique and interesting take on horror. On my first playthrough, I thought I might actually run into another player. As it turns out, the ghosts were real.
Either way, any goosebumps raised by Connection’s few jump scares were quickly forgotten through repetitive and shallow level design. The game is so short it’s difficult to avoid spoilers, but without giving away too much you’re led by a cryptic player two who gives you instructions to find him if you choose to abandon your task of capturing the flags. There are other creepy tidbits to find, but the replay value here is too low to recommend, even at a bargain price.
Connection Haunted is a shame insofar as it doesn’t commit fully to its own bit. The graphics (and performance for what it’s worth) are great and sit nicely within the retro aesthetic. The ambiance is eerie and the idea of an abandoned server as a setting is very cool. But with nothing more to do than run from the same enemies in an empty maze, the fun wears off quickly. There’d be a good game here had this interesting take on horror been developed into something longer than a demo.
*Game Download Code supplied for review purposes