A Preview of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Game
The publisher behind the 2017 title Friday the 13th: The Game has opted to turn another classic horror franchise of the 70s and 80s into a multiplayer video game adaptation. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is an upcoming third-person asymmetrical survival-horror game being published by Gun Interactive, a video game publisher best known for the widely acclaimed entries Friday the 13th and Layers of Fear 2.
This is the first iteration of the franchise as a video game since the 1983 release of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on the Atari 2600 by Wizard Video, which was received with a great deal of controversy due to its violent nature. Nevertheless, Leatherface has found recent success as a guest character or outfit in games like Dead by Daylight and Call of Duty: Warzone. This latest horror-survival game could be his next big break.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre game and storyline
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre film is a horror classic, telling the tale of a family of cannibals who hunt and kill any unlucky soul who wanders near their country home. In the original film, only one person survives, whereas in the upcoming video game adaptation, any number of the victims in each match get the chance to triumph and escape... or die a horrible, grisly death at the hands of the Sawyer family.
Gun Interactive, working with UK-based developers Sumo Digital, have taken elements from 1974 movie The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and put their own spin on the premise. The game is set before the movie and involves having a group of young adults arrive at a desolate farmstead in Texas that happens to be home to the famous family of cannibals.
Story-wise, the game opens with a cut scene of the chase and subsequent death of a young woman named Maria Flores. Hoping to explore Texas and check out its wildflower season, Maria had traveled to the state with plans to take photos of specific species of flowers. After discovering Maria missing, Maria’s sister joins with her friends and goes to Texas in search of Maria and end up finding the house where Cook, Hitchhiker, and Leatherface, alongside two brand new characters—Johnny and Sissy—will hunt them down.
The rest of the story is as you would expect from a game of this genre. Four young adults are trapped in the Sawyer family’s house and have to do everything they can to escape while three killers try to hunt them down.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre follows the formula players have already seen in Friday the 13th: The Game and Dead by Daylight, with asymmetrical 4v3 multiplayer gameplay adapted in such a way as to make it work with the structure of the Texas Chain Saw Massacre movie. Each match has four victims and three killers, and from the launch screen, players choose which of the characters they will play. Each of the seven players in the lobby is a real person. After selecting characters, you and your teammates will then go head-to-head against the other team to either escape the house or slaughter the victims. Victims must work together to unearth clues, traps, and possible routes to escape while also engaging in a blood-bumping cat-and-mouse chase with the killers. Killers, with the use of traps and barbaric tactics, must snuff out the victims and eliminate the possibility of them ever escaping to freedom.
Matches take place in both well-known locations from the original movies and completely new areas created for the game. So far, the studio has announced the Family House Map, the Gas Station Map, and the Slaughterhouse Map. The first two are accurate representations of places in the movie, but the Slaughterhouse is a brand new location.
Each match starts with the victims shimmying free of their restraints in the basement, which is a claustrophobic network of crawl spaces, tunnels, and slaughter rooms. Escaping the basement opens up the rest of the house, which is full of handy resources, such as lock picks, health tonics, and bone shards that can serve as handy shivs. Finally, once the victims make their way out of the house, they have to navigate a wide-open, brightly lit farm.
Characters have unique abilities and attributes that make the experience of playing each one of them distinct, and a skill tree system enables further character customization. Victim characters have toughness, endurance, strength, proficiency, and stealth attributes, whereas family characters have savagery, harvesting, and endurance attributes.
The following are the five victim characters players can choose from:
- Connie: can instantly crack a lock without passing a skill test—perfect for escaping the basement early on or making a last dash for freedom.
- Sonny: has a heightened sense ability, which works as a type of buff, allowing him to detect noises and track movements.
- Julie: has the ultimate escape ability, which makes her untrackable by the family and increases her stamina while running, enabling her to run for longer.
- Leland: can throw his weight at his pursuers, stunning them, with his life-saver ability.
- Ana: is the leader of the gang and is much more durable than the others thanks to having the pain is nothing ability, which reduces the damage she takes and makes her immune to poison.
The following are the five family characters players can choose from:
- The Cook: is slow and unwieldy but has the seek ability, which allows him to track where a victim is through the noise they make.
- Sissy: a new character, can craft poisons to blow in the victims’ faces or put on items around the map.
- The Hitchhiker: a wiry guy who makes up for his small knife with his ability to place improvised bear traps around the map and chase victims using the same passages they use.
- Johnny: the second new character, can track fresh footsteps, making it easier to find the other players.
- Leatherface: the star of the show, has the maim ability, which enables him to cut down victims, doors, and other items that may have gotten in his way.
Last, there’s Grandpa, an NPC who hangs out in his rocking chair. When the family feeds Grandpa blood harvested from unlucky victims, Grandpa can send out a kind of sonar sense to ping and label any victims in the vicinity—helpful for the killers.
Teamwork is essential for winning matches, and the two sides combine nicely to create a satisfying experience with a kind of cat-and-mouse gameplay rhythm.
Graphics and design
Horror games and movies typically feature dreary atmospheres, spooky ambiences, perhaps some bad weather, and nighttime scenery. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre bucks that trend, with the focus on daytime horror differentiating this game from other popular horror titles. The otherwise serene Texan farm that sets the scene in the upcoming game works as the perfect playground for escape attempts and murder.
Gun Interactive and Sumo Digital have taken the utmost care in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre to depict the scenery of the original movie, using the movie as the main inspiration for the game's content and visual style. Each minute detail matters to the studios; the developers even got their hands on the original floor plans of the Sawyer house in an effort to be as authentic as possible. Everything from specific stones in the basement and light switches around the house to the surrounding flora and fauna were reconstructed.
This commitment to authenticity is not limited to the content and aesthetic either. When announcing The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Gun Interactive revealed that horror veteran Kane Hodder would be playing Leatherface. Although horror fans may link him to his role as Jason Voorhees in the Friday the 13th game and four films, he was also the stunt double for Leatherface in Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre game release date
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is set to release on August 18, 2023, on PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows PC via Steam. Xbox Game Pass subscribers will have immediate access to the game on day one. Make sure to check out the Xbox Game Pass, and see why Acer is an official sponsor.
Ashley is a technology writer who is interested in computers and software development. He is also a fintech researcher and is fascinated with emerging trends in DeFi, blockchain, and bitcoin. He has been writing, editing, and creating content for the ESL industry in Asia for eight years, with a special focus on interactive, digital learning.