‘The Town of Light’ Hits Horror Games With Both Barrels of Real-Life Creepy

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chris-littlechild - July 21, 2015

Let's be frank here (even if your name isn't Frank, pretend it is and play along, because it's Monday morning and I don't feel like dicking around): a lot of the horror genre is completely whack. Lofty tales of demons, alternate dimensions, angry slavering aliens from distant planets... it puts on a good gory show, a lot of the time, but it's so devoid of reality that it can't get under our skin after watching like the best horror can.

What we want (well, what I want, your own opinion may differ) is a touch of the holy-balls-that-could-actually-happen-and-I'm-going-to-shit-the-bed-tonight effect. Less fantastical, more reality gone twisted. Stephen King favors this idea, with his novels and short stories bringing out the terrifying side of objects as everyday as typewriters, laundry pressing machines, walkmans and Kindles.

Over in video games, The Town of Light is seeking to add a dose of that creepy-ass reality to one of horror's most played-out tropes: the spooky asylum.

The game's setting is a real place; a hospital in operation during the 1940s in Volterra, Italy. A mysterious yet rumored-to-be-highly-dodgy one, natch.

 ‘Our goal is to recreate the experiences, the anguish and the human drama of patients living in mental institutions up to the end of the last century: both the pain of mental disease and the horrors patients underwent within the walls of the institutions where they were being ‘treated,'' quoth the developers. "'Our story takes place in one of the biggest asylums that ever existed in Italy, which counted more than 5000 internees at one time and was located in the city of Volterra: an asylum with a most controversial though little known history.'

The Town of Light will, we're told, use actual testimony from patients and staff to bring life to some of the most unnerving horror of all: the bastardly things real people do to each other. Are we making the whole ‘asylum' thing interesting again, right here? I think we might just be, and that's pretty damn impressive. Hit the link for more on the game.  

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