29 people found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 0.4 hrs on record
Posted: Oct 21, 2015 @ 6:33pm

Let me say this up front: I probably should not be trusted with first-person horror games. I'm a very jumpy person and tend to get very immersed in games, so first-person horror is like a waking nightmare for me no matter the quality. Keep that in mind when I say that Hektor creates a palpable sense of isolation and dread, and despite that I still hated it.

Honestly I was all set to review Hektor after about 20 minutes. In that time I never saw a monster or moved the plot forward in any way. Instead, I encountered three things that made me never want to play it ever again. The first was the intense, unshakable nausea that the game's sanity effects inflicted on me. Your character has some sort of dementia that causes their vision to constantly swirl and lose focus, and only a few minutes of fighting that in cramped, darkened hallways was enough to make me want to hurl. There are pills you're supposed to take regularly, ostensibly for your sanity, but they have no effect on the visual agony you are constantly exposed to.

The second was the layout of the game. Which is to say, there isn't any. Hektor's big gimmick is that the levels are procedurally generated on the fly, changing the places you just came from. This means you can walk down a hallway, poke your head in an office, go back down the hallway, and end up in a completely new place. This might sound cool to fans of House of Leaves or Grave Encounters, but think about what that means in terms of game flow. There is no way for you to get to a specific place in a level. Every time you round a corner, there's no way to know where you're going to end up. And this is bad because you need to reach certain rooms in a certain order to progress. So that means a lot of running down the same halls over and over until the game decides to cycle you into the area you need to be. I won't deny that it's an unsettling effect at first, and there's more than one good setpiece using it, but it really saps the appeal of exploration and makes progressing needlessly bloated.

The third was the rape hallway. There are fully voice-acted notes to be found from the different inhabitants of the Hektor complex. Some of these are pretty banal, like a guy wondering where his buddy is or a secretary commenting on the guy that always stares at her in the office. Then you end up in the dormitory wing, and find a note from the secretary about being raped every night. So you're listening to this girl describe her fear and discomfort whilst being raped, and then you realize that YOU CAN HEAR HER BEING RAPED in that very hallway at that very moment. Hektor, being a spooky game, has spooky voices that say things like "Run" or "I'll find you", but in this case it's a lot of "No please stop" and "Why are you doing this" between choked sobbing. There's even a cherry on this ♥♥♥♥ sundae, which is that the procedural level generation might make you run through the dorm wing multiple times. And yes, every time you pass through, she's being raped.

I don't know what the point of Hektor is, and after all the physical and mental discomfort, I don't really care to know. There are plenty of first-person horror games that don't make me want to throw up or force me to listen to endless rape being acted out. They might not be as graphically impressive or well voice-acted, but at least they won't make me sick in nearly every sense of the word.
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