Husk – Less is More

Less is More is a series of articles that looks at games mechanics, gameplay elements, locations and other such design choices that weren’t needed and how they retract from the overall experience of the game.

Husk isn’t a great game. That isn’t to say, however, that it is a bad game. It rests quite neatly as one of those games that despite being irritating and not all that good, you want to finish all the same. It does something that in lots of other horror games would’ve had me spinning in circles looking for imaginary enemies or running in terror. However, since Husk manages to so royally mess up the fear element of its game this wonderful feature is nothing but an irritating sound effect.

What I’m somewhat long-windedly getting at is that a number of areas in Husk contain vending machines. Due to reasons, they have spilt their contents across the floor and will constantly rattle whenever you walk over them. They do the same thing when enemies walk over them or at random to try and scare your socks off. The problem is that the enemies are so un-frightening and are about as flimsy as a chocolate fireguard. So it doesn’t really matter if one is behind you somewhere because they aren’t a threat. Even if one does startle you and manages to kill you it isn’t really an issue. This is because the game constantly saves, so in the event of your death, you merely respawn about 10 paces behind where you just were. You also now know exactly where the monster is and can either shoot it from afar (which is a bit cheap), try to skirt around it (which rarely seems to work) or punch it in the face to stun it before casually walking away (which is the dumbest way of dealing with an enemy in a horror game ever). As you can see the enemies which are where a lot of the ‘horror’ comes from in this game are pathetic and undermine all the hard work that has gone into the rest of the game.

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