“It was already too late when they called us. The rescue team was ready for anything… but then… that bright light. Before I could open my eyes… we were the only ones left…”
What starts as a rescue mission, soon turns into a disaster. A helicopter that was meant to reach for an Alaskan science lab and rescue scientists and military personnel locked inside the base, soon face the very thing the distress call warned the members of the rescue team about.
In Distrust, you initially start off with either one or two survivors (three if you unlocked a certain achievement) with the momentous task of going through the six levels of the military base you are trapped in. You will fight the cold, hunger, and your sanity to eventually reach salvation all the while hoping you won’t fall prey to the alien life form, the “anomaly” on your way out.
At the beginning of the game, the story lacks much depth and something that can easily be skipped over. As time goes on this shifts as you become more attached to your playthrough. Part of this has to do with the fact that game is presented in such a way where you must learn your surrounding as you go. Some may find this staunch adherence to learning your surroundings a turn off if you are not patient enough. In modern games we like things to be clear and explained; get this, fetch this, go here, move there etc. In Distrust, however, you are given no specific mission guide or explanation as to what to do. Making getting lost and dying a real easy feat to accomplish unless you are diligent, but even then Distress is not the game that will wait for you to figure things out. Even the tutorial suffers from the same issue, the one spot where this information should be present, fails to teach the players how to properly play; leaving players to only truly learn on their first playthrough.
This doesn’t make Distrust entirely unfair, information is available, but don’t expect it to be handed to you, Distrust requires you to read and be informed. There are a lot of details, and you need to give them the proper attention (characters themselves react and hint on how to behave and what they are good for). Multiples times I had to stop a few times and write notes to make sure I wouldn’t miss anything. On lower difficulties paying attention to cues is enough but on the harder difficulty expect to need to keep track of every little thing. During your playthrough, you may be tempted to light up an area to have a clear path, or finding a warm place instead of rushing back to another building. Making those choices will punish novice players, wasting resources, a precious commodity in the latter games that quickly become scarce towards the end.
In order to perform actions (like you know… running, opening locks, making scraps of food, cutting wood, etc), you need stamina, and stamina has this really bad nasty habit of depleting very quickly. To refill it, you need either need food or sleep, running too long on zero stamina means your characters will suffer afflictions, such as white noise (no sound when you are running as them), disorientation (literally this), nasty laughter (yeah it’s annoying as it sounds) or even color blindness. To regain your sanity you can take a good long sleep, but…when you do, you run the risk of awakening/summoning the anomalies, Alien life forms that have been experimented and studied on in this base you are trying to escape(remember the guys we need to save who sent us distress call? Yeah they’ve been playing with those things for some time now).
The anomalies are drawn to human brain wave movements, which increases when you put a character to sleep for too long. Once one is around, they tend to lurk and find ways to kill, making you waste resources and time if you are able to fend them off. Some of these aliens you can be moved by light, others by heat, some you need a trap device or simply a good bullet. Either way, you soon learn that it’s not easy running, gathering resources, surviving and even escaping from this hell.
To be honest, I myself have yet to finish this game, but I am looking forward to this. Like Alawar Premium’s other game, Beholder (and Beholder – Blissful Sleep“, Beholder’s recent DLC, you are promised a good survival indie game, that takes you into the world of the characters you are playing as, and soon become a member of the plot itself.
If you have a chance, don’t miss out on this one.