From 50 Shades of Gray all the way back to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales to the biblical story of Samson and Delilah, humans have always been intrigued with sex, attraction, and the social boundaries around the delights of the flesh.
Lust For Darkness Review PC
Lust for Darkness, developed by Movie Games Lunarium, attempts to combine erotic fiction with themes reminiscent of H. P. Lovecraft. Unfortunately, Lust for Darkness takes hold of some of the more sordid tropes of the erotic fiction genre, without taking advantage of the Lovecraftian themes, or even the gaming medium itself. Thus, leaving the experience feeling flat.
Your wife is kidnapped by a sex cult bent on opening a portal to a world of eternal pleasure named, wait for it, Lusst’ghaa. To be fair, the game explains the word “Lust” comes from the experiences of that world, not the other way around. But, this alone speaks volumes about the quality of the in-game storytelling, which, unfortunately, never fares any better than your typical discounted bodice ripper.
Without giving much away, you end up with a woman is kidnapped, the woman is then raped, and she then develops what appears to be an extraordinary example of Stockholm’s Syndrome. I am not one to feign offence, so I realize this is a standard trope in erotic fiction, but the story never really progresses above this, nor is there really much story to speak of in general.
There are sections of background info you can find throughout the game that give more details on the cult itself, which were actually quite interesting. These extra bits of story told through text were never quite enough to make up for the lack of story in a playthrough, but it did demonstrate to me that the developer put far more thought into the tale than the player ever gets to experience directly. I hope if the developer chooses to move forward with another title, they can add in more of this type of storytelling as a part of the game experience rather than in the form of side collectables.
Gameplay was similarly thin. Most of your time is spent simply wandering about, which would have been fine had there been a more detailed experience or plot. But, as it is, you find yourself only in a handful of run-ins with the baddies of Lusst’ghaa. These are very short run sequences reminiscent of Amnesia. However, these are so few and fleeting, the game rarely engenders a true sense of dread or terror. I was able to make it through each one without much trouble. Similarly, the puzzles are also few and far between, and so simple that can be solved in a matter of minutes.
To the developer’s credit, however, the game looks gorgeous and it is clear much time and thought were invested in everything from the numerous nick-knacks and items of decoration scattered across the extravagant mansion, to the purple-hued caverns of Lusst’ghaa, to the various masks you will see the cult members donning prior to their upcoming ceremony.
It is the clear attention to visual detail, along with some of the interesting background info you can discover along the journey, that makes me think Movie Games Lunarium has potential to develop an interesting title. But, Lust for Darkness is not that title. The game comes in at around three hours in length, but the short experience still feels hollow and offers little to nothing to encourage a second run-through unless you feel compelled to locate all the little snippets of extra story detail.
Lust for Darkness is visually stunning, and some of the background stories that can be found throughout the game suggests a better narrative than the one we get to experience. With overly simplistic puzzles, a thin gameplay narrative, and very little reason to ever fear your surroundings, the game fails to offer either terror or erotic delight.
If you are looking for a good scare combined with a menacing form of eroticism, it might be best to play a little Amnesia and then settle down with a glass of wine and whatever erotic fiction is currently on sale on Kindle.